WASHINGTON -- Today, U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, as well as Representatives Chris Pappas (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02), announced that Cheshire County will receive $200,000 and Linwood Medical Center will receive $116,476 in federal funding to support workforce training for mental health and substance use services in rural areas. The funding was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Rural areas in New Hampshire often do not have the full workforce capacity that they need to help Granite Staters who are struggling with substance misuse or mental health crises,” said Senator Hassan. “This crucial federal funding will allow Cheshire County and Linwood Medical Center to strengthen their workforce training programs so that Granite Staters receive the best quality care. I am pleased to announce this funding, and I will continue working to help our state address the substance misuse epidemic.”
“As New Hampshire families and communities continue to feel the devastating consequences brought on by the substance use disorder crisis, I’m glad to see these federal funds heading to Cheshire County and the Linwood Medical Center,” said Senator Shaheen. “This funding from the Department of Health and Human Services is a key step to expanding access to treatment and bolstering investments in mental health resources across our state. Making sure that local communities have the necessary training and resources to prioritize prevention, treatment and support efforts for impacted Granite Staters has long been a top concern for me in the Senate, and I will continue to work with the administration and fellow lawmakers to turn the tide on this epidemic once and for all.”
“Granite Staters in need of mental health and addiction treatment and services often face barriers in access to care – especially in our rural communities – and bolstering our health care workforce is essential to ensuring access to those who need it,” said Representative Kuster. “This federal funding to support workforce training for mental health and substance use services headed to Cheshire County and Linwood Medical Center is an important investment in the health and wellbeing of our communities. As founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, I will continue working to support patients and expand access to high-quality mental health and addiction treatment in New Hampshire.”
“We continue to face a mental health and substance misuse disorder crisis, and must invest in our health care workforce so those struggling can get the help they need,” said Representative Pappas. “I’m pleased to see these funds coming to New Hampshire so those suffering can access the treatment they need, and I’ll keep fighting to deliver critical funds and resources so first responders and health care providers have the tools they need to serve our communities.”
This $200,000 in federal funding will help Cheshire County further develop its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel training program to improve the quality of patient care and ensure public safety. Their objectives include (1) Creating a Cheshire EMS training program and offer at least 60 hours of training; (2) Recruiting and providing initial EMR or EMT training to at least 6 employees of large businesses; (3) Providing initial EMS training to firefighters; and (4) Purchasing equipment and supplies, including Naloxone.
The $116,476 in federal funding will help Linwood Medical Center, which is an ambulance service serving the Lincoln-Woodstock area, to train new hires and continue education for existing staff. This will allow employees who would normally receive trainings in Concord or the surrounding areas to do their trainings and certifications closer to home.
The NH Delegation has worked together to help address the substance misuse epidemic. Since 2017, Senators Shaheen and Hassan have worked to secure a nine-fold increase in funding to New Hampshire to address the substance use disorder epidemic. Last year and following Senator Hassan’s advocacy, the Biden administration removed some requirements that limited health care providers’ ability to prescribe buprenorphine, a critical medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder.