DATE: August 11, 2022
RE: Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA)-Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) grant awarded to Oxford County organizations.
CONTACT: Kari Taylor, Director, Western Maine Addiction Recovery Initiative (207) 450-5578,

The Western Maine Addiction Recovery Initiative (WMARI) and its consortium partners, River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition, the Larry Labonte Recovery Center, Common Ground Counseling, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department, the Oxford Hills School District-MSAD 17, and MaineHealth/Western Maine Health (Healthy Oxford Hills), are pleased to announce that we have been selected as a recipient of a multi-year award from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA)- Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP).

Substance use and the opioid crisis continue to impact our community daily. In 2020 and 2021, fatal overdoses in Oxford County were at their highest of all time. Working together with our community-based partners allows us an opportunity to reduce disparities in access to treatment services for substance use disorder and opioid use disorder (SUD/OUD) in our County. Though our organizations have collaborated for many years, the HRSA-RCORP funding will allow us to expand upon previous strategies and implement new approaches.

The project will implement prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies including, but not limited to: partnering and strengthening collaboration with law enforcement, first responders, healthcare providers, faith-based leaders, and treatment providers; educating the community on prevention strategies, harm reduction, stigma, adverse childhood experiences, and resiliency; increasing access to Naloxone (a lifesaving overdose reversal medication) and providing overdose education; linking programming to middle and high schools; establishing a peer recovery center in Oxford Hills; expanding the peer support workforce; increasing the number of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) providers and access to MAT; training the community on safe storage and disposal of prescription drugs; referring individuals with OUD/SUD to supportive recovery services; and screening for HIV/HCV.

“While there are efforts on multiple fronts within this community to care for those with substance use disorder, those resources are still challenging to find and access,” said Christina Booth, RN, WMARI Board Member, and ER Nurse Director of Stephens Memorial Hospital. “By having a physical place where people know they can go to get support, go to meetings, and find resources, it will provide this community with a very direct and visible path for people to start or continue their path to recovery. I also feel that this Recovery Center will help break down the stigma of substance use disorder by highlighting that this is truly a community issue. So much substance use happens behind closed doors; there is so much denial around the issue. I think the more we can bring light into those dark places, the better for the health and welfare of our community.”

We look forward to working with HRSA and sharing updates with you on this vital work. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, including participating in the program, please email us at



This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,000,000 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit