Join Judge James Daniel on Tuesday June 25th from 4:30 – 5:00 on the steps of the Nassau County courthouse, located at the Judicial Complex, 76347 Veteran’s Way, Yulee, for the official kick-off of the Nassau County Opioid Response Program Planning Initiative (ORPPI-Nassau).  This initiative is funded through a grant from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assist rural communities responding to the opioid crisis.

The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning Grant supports a planning partnership between the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida (HPCNEF), the St. John’s River Rural Health Network, Starting Point Behavioral Health, Nassau Alcohol Crime Drug Abatement Coalition (NACDAC), and the Opioid Task Force.  The partnership will seek solutions in the treatment for and prevention of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, in rural counties at the highest risk.  

From 2007 to 2017, the rate of unintentional injury deaths by drug overdose in Nassau County more than doubled from 16.7 to 34.0 respectively. The overall goal of this initiative is to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdoses in high-risk rural communities through multi-sector consortiums and strengthen organizational and infrastructural capacity. 

According to Susan Grich, President and CEO of HPCNEF, “opioid use disorder is a national epidemic and HPCNEF is committed to help the rural communities in Nassau County develop a solid program to reduce the incidence and prevalence of opioid use addiction. We are extremely pleased to have the support of Congressman John Rutherford.”

 “As a former sheriff, I have seen firsthand the opioid crisis and its heartbreaking impacts, especially on our rural communities,” said Congressman Rutherford. “Solving this crisis won’t be easy – it will require teamwork among state, local, and federal partners to find solutions and address the specific needs of each community. I am pleased to see Northeast Florida receive these additional federal resources to combat a growing epidemic, and I pledge to continue supporting these efforts in Washington.”

Our partners will share the work plan for this initiative and seek additional community participation from stakeholders, residents and volunteers interested in participating in this important community-wide effort. 

“The Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning Grant 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 $200,000 with 0 percentage financed with nongovernmental 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.”