HCN News & Notes

RIZE Massachusetts Awards Grants to Improve Connections to Substance-use Services

BOSTON — RIZE Massachusetts, an independent, nonprofit foundation solely dedicated to funding and creating solutions to end the overdose crisis in Massachusetts, announced nearly $2 million in grant funding for eight nonprofit organizations that will strengthen connections to substance-use treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services for individuals during hospital visits and after discharge to the community.

One of those grants is to a Western Mass. organization: $250,000 to Whose Corner Is It Anyway in Holyoke, which is developing a peer-driven approach to build trust between hospital clinicians and people who use drugs, with linkages to Springfield-based Baystate Health.

The Linkages to Care (LinC) grant program supports community-based organizations that are considered central to positive recovery results and reduced rehospitalizations. Research funded by RIZE shows that individuals who survive an overdose have a higher risk of future overdose, and linking them to ongoing services following a hospital discharge is likely to save lives.

“Since our founding, we have always believed that it will require systems change to end the overdose epidemic, and a key part of this approach is to create connections where gaps exist,” RIZE President and CEO Julie Burns said. “Our Linkages to Care grant program will help strengthen collaboration between the inpatient care system and the range of substance-use services that are available to support individuals in the community.”

The goals of the LinC program are to support individuals who use substances and those seeking treatment by building connections across care systems and disciplines, and to reduce overdose deaths by increasing coordination during points of transition. RIZE invited applications from nonprofit, community-based treatment, harm-reduction, and recovery programs located across the state.