The Ross County Health District’s “Partnerships to Support Data-Driven Responses to Emerging Drug Threats” grant awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) aims to collect data across sectors to tackle the opioid epidemic in Ross county. The grant links cross-sector partners with public health to develop rapid response strategies that will reduce overdose deaths using real-time data to drive strategy development. Connecting public health, public safety, and behavioral health networks together through data linkage allow us to establish a baseline to comprehensively understand the problem we face, the capacity we have as a county to address the problem, and identify gaps or barriers to overcome in accomplishing that goal. Expanding existing data efforts and developing new data collection methods enables us to progressively approach substance use disorder from an entirely new perspective and connecting this data across different sectors allows us to get a well-rounded image of substance use disorder and overdose that has severely impacted Ross county since 2015.
Through collaboration with community partners, a key area for improvement identified in Ross county is rapid access to treatment. Once someone decides to seek treatment, how can outreach teams and intercept points help connect them to treatment more efficiently? Data is presently being collected from various intercept points in the community identified as key connection points, uniquely situated for outreach and connection to treatment. Currently, our intercept points include the Post Overdose Response Team (PORT), Ross County Jail, Adena Health Systems, and Peer Recovery Supporters through Ross County Community Action and Ross County Recovery and Outreach Center. In an effort to expand the county’s outreach network, two additional intercept points are also being onboarded through grant funding. A new social worker position that will be placed within the Chillicothe Police Department through Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, as well as a new Peer Recovery Supporter within the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library. These intercept points in the community frequently interact with high-risk populations or those experiencing struggles with substance use disorder and are able to utilize their roles to connect those in need to treatment or wrap-around services.
The grant has also provided additional opportunities to help those suffering from substance use disorder. Since the onset of COVID-19, reports have shown escalating overdose rates that have been steadily increasing across the country, with Ross county on track to surpass the highest overdose rates reported since 2016. Ross county is particularly vulnerable to experiencing difficulties continuing care as a result of transportation and technology limitations due to the Appalachian and primarily rural makeup of the region. This grant has allowed for an opportunity for growth in connecting individuals to care during a time where it’s been needed most. Through the placement of iPads with community partners such as Ross County Community Action and faith-based partners in outlying areas across the county, we’ve been able to provide a means for continuation of care and access to resources. Allowable services include telehealth medical appointments, substance use related services, mental health treatment, peer support and family/educational services.
Our agency is excited to be able to provide these services and tackle the opioid epidemic using new and innovative strategies and evaluating the opioid epidemic in a new and analytical way. For more details or questions, please contact Ross County Health District at 740-779-9652 and ask to speak to Project Coordinator, Ashley Chaney.
Telehealth Services Access
You can use one of our iPads to attend your telehealth appointment.
What our iPads can be used for:
- Medical appointments
- Mental health services
- SUD related services
- Peer support
- Family and educational services
Where you can find an iPad:
Ross County Community Action
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 250
Woodbridge Avenue Chillicothe, OH
Please call 740-702-7222 to schedule a time for use.
Frankfort Church of Christ
Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon
3636 County Road 550 Frankfort, OH
Services are walk-in based. No scheduled appointments are necessary.