This past year we saw our community challenged by the opiate crisis that affected not only Mahoning County but the entire state and nation. Amidst all the challenges that we faced with the loss of lives, our System of Care stepped forward to address the need in our community.
We began this year focusing on Sequential Intercept Mapping in order to develop a more seamless approach to address issues in our community involving the justice system, law enforcement and the mental health and drug and alcohol treatment communities. This was followed by Governor Kasich holding his cabinet Opiate Action Team meeting in Mahoning County. State leaders from the State Police, Department of Health, Mental Health and Addiction, and Pharmacy Board met with over 20 community leaders from Mahoning County to have a discussion on the needs of our local community.
One of the outcomes of Opiate Action Team meeting was the need to develop a strong Critical Incident Stress Management Team as well as a Loss Team for our community. Unfortunately the need for both teams was necessary this past year. CISM Team members have provided support for first responders who have responded to a number of fatal auto accidents as well as deaths cause by violence and fire.
The much awaited ground breaking took place this year for the Commons at Madison. This 40 unit project, which is a joint venture of Meridian Health Care, Compass Family and Community Services, and Help Network of Northeast Ohio, will provide our consumers with much needed safe affordable housing. The Board also took the lead in developing a Hoarding coalition, by gathering departments from all over the County, to address this growing need in our community.
We developed a collaborative with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce to address the need for drug free workforces. The initiative was funded by a grant from OMHAS and targeted businesses in the Austintown area. Other grants obtained included the 21 Cures Grant from OMHAS for $140,000.00 which was matched by the Mercy Foundation for a total of $280,000.00. This funding will provide Certified Peer Recovery Supporters in several of our treatment agencies as well as in the hospital emergency departments in Mahoning County. Our relationship with Mercy Health continues to expand as we co-funded a Behavioral Health Hospital Navigator to reduce the length of stay on the Psychiatric Unit and in the Emergency Department.
This successful year was only possible with the outstanding collaboration of our community partners, and we are looking forward to continued growth and success in this coming year. Thank you, Duane Piccirilli, Executive Director