Kittitas County Health Network receives Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Planning Grant


Ellensburg, Wash. (September 25, 2018) – Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) received notice that they have been awarded a $200,000 grant on behalf of the Kittitas County Health Network to develop plans to implement evidence-based opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions. This funding is a key part the $396 million awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) to support the HHS Five-Point Opioid Strategy. Nationally, HRSA is awarding a total of $19 million of RCORP-Planning grants to assist 95 rural organizations in reducing opioid overdoses among rural populations at the highest risk for substance use disorders.  In Washington State, awards were made to KVH and Grays Harbor County Public Hospital District #1 in Elma.

The recently formed Kittitas County Health Network (KCHN) consists of 19 organizational members from behavioral health, business, education, food system, critical access hospital, housing, local government, managed care, primary care, public health, public safety, social services, and transportation sectors.  The KCHN exists to improve population health in Kittitas County, WA through cross-sector collaboration and systems change.  The Network grew out of the work of health care professionals interested in improving health care and reducing the costs of health care in Kittitas County.

The purpose of the Network opioid response project is to support one-year of planning and active response to the opioid crisis by strengthening and advancing the coordination of care from prevention, treatment to recovery of opioid use disorder and substance abuse. Lead Network members of the project include Community Health of Central Washington, HopeSource, Kittitas County of Public Health, and Kittitas Valley Healthcare. As a collaborative coalition, the KCHN will be able to strategically plan to address the increasing rates of opioid use and adverse effects, including the demand for public, primary and behavioral health care services in underserved rural communities. The target population is new and at-risk users of opioids, and their caregivers by approaching all focus areas, from prevention, to treatment and recovery, across the continuum of care to ensure continuity for individuals affected or at-risk for opioid use disorder. “This funding will help make it possible to have a positive impact on the opioid crisis in Kittitas County”, states Lauren Denton, Director of the Foundation at KVH and KCHN Leadership Council Member. “The KCHN is an example of how unique our community is through collaborating across sectors to effectively respond to the vastly different healthcare challenges rural counties face.”

For more information on the RCORP-Planning Grant or KCHN contact Lauren Denton at 509-933-8669.  For information on HHS and the Five Point Opioid Strategy, contact the HRSA Office of Communications at