News Release

Indian Health Service

The Indian Health Service awarded $16 million to tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations to combat the opioid epidemic in Indian Country through the 2021 Community Opioid Intervention Pilot Project.

“These funds will reinforce tribal and urban Indian communities in their effort to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery services to address the impact of the opioid crisis within their communities.” said Indian Health Service Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler. “The Indian Health Service continues to support safe and effective therapies to best manage pain and opioid use disorder.”

Congress first appropriated funding for this project in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019. The Indian Health Service conducted consultation and confer with tribal and urban Indian organization leaders to understand their priorities for these new resources. Of the $20 million available, tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations received $16.2 million. The remaining $3.8 million in funding will support national management activities.

Thirty-five grants were awarded to implement innovative approaches to address the opioid crisis in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. These approaches may include expanding current medication-assisted treatment using evidence-based and recovery-focused programming, increasing opioid education training, increasing providers of culturally-relevant medication-assisted treatment services, supporting youth and elder advisory committees, and developing cultural social messaging through mainstream and social media in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Tribal organization grantee recipients include Mathiesen Memorial Health Clinic , a rural health clinic located in Jamestown, California. The facility currently operates a small medication-assisted treatment program to provide care to patients affected by opioid misuse. The clinic was awarded $500,000 to aid in building comprehensive support teams to empower tribal communities in addressing the opioid crisis in the community. “These funds will help our clinic increase staff capacity that includes licensed addiction professionals and traditional healers,” said Chief Operating Officer John Vass.

“Indian Health Service is supporting American Indian and Alaska Native communities by allowing them to provide culturally relevant services that encourage positive patient outcomes through appropriate and effective pain management,” said Indian Health Service Division of Behavioral Health Director Dr. Glorinda Segay.

The Division of Behavioral Health within the Indian Health Service Office of Clinical and Preventive Services serves as the primary source of national advocacy, policy development, management, and administration of behavioral health, alcohol and substance abuse, and family violence prevention programs for American Indian and Alaska Native people.

For a list of grantees visit: 2021 COIPP Funding Awards

The Indian Health Service, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 574 federally recognized tribes in 37 states. Follow the agency via social media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.