LOUISVILLE, KY – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) announced July 16 that Volunteers of America Mid-States (VOA) received a $2.6 million competitive federal grant spread over five years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Only three facilities nationwide were awarded funding from this grant program.
Senator McConnell and Congressman Rogers contacted SAMHSA in support of their constituents’ grant application and inspirational work to help mothers and families maintain long-term recovery.
VOA plans to use the grant funding for treatment and recovery services for pregnant and postpartum women and their children in Southeastern Kentucky. Last year, Senator McConnell attended the ribbon cutting of VOA’s Recovery Community Center in Manchester. The Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, James Carroll, also attended at Senator McConnell’s invitation.
According to VOA, the grant funds will be used in partnership with the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute to serve an estimated 1,250 individuals and their families over a five year period.
“As Kentucky battles the coronavirus pandemic, I’m proud of wonderful leaders like Jennifer Hancock and her team who keep focus on saving lives from the scourge of addiction and substance abuse,” said Senator McConnell. “It was my privilege once again to partner with VOA and champions for Eastern Kentucky, Congressman Hal Rogers and Senate President Robert Stivers, to bring these federal funds to Clay County. As Senate Majority Leader, I’m constantly working to ensure Kentucky punches above its weight in Washington, and I was glad to help VOA receive this prestigious national grant award.”
“Volunteers of America Mid-States is honored and humbled to be one of three recipients nationally of this much-needed grant funding,” said Jennifer Hancock, CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States. “We are very thankful for this investment and are particularly appreciative of the support of Leader McConnell. Leader McConnell has worked tirelessly to respond to our opioid and substance-use disorder crisis and drive essential funding to Southeastern Kentucky. The pregnant and parenting women of this region will benefit from this grant and the dedication of Leader McConnell. VOA looks forward to expanding our work and commitment to Southeastern Kentucky.”
“This is where the rubber meets the road, with programs that provide resources to enable qualified professionals to reach out to pregnant mothers battling substance use disorder at the most critical time for the lives of their babies. I applaud the generous and compassionate work of the individuals on the frontlines of this heartbreaking epidemic in Southeastern Kentucky,” said Congressman Rogers. “I’m proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our stellar team in Washington and Kentucky to protect programs that save lives and turn the tide of addiction in rural America.”
“This federal investment into Southeastern Kentucky is welcome news as we continue facing the crisis of addiction,” said Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, who represents Clay County. “For years, Senator McConnell has brought national attention and federal resources to support the life-saving efforts such as those of Jennifer Hancock and VOA. It’s been my privilege to work with them both on behalf of Manchester and those in need. I’m grateful they are constantly delivering for Kentucky, and I look forward to the many families who will benefit from this grant.”
Since becoming Majority Leader in 2015, Senator McConnell has prioritized the fight against the opioid and substance abuse epidemic by increasing federal funding for the response. Under McConnell’s leadership, Kentucky has received more than $240 million. In 2019, Senator McConnell and Congressman Rogers worked with the University of Kentucky to help secure an $87 million competitive federal grant—the largest in school history—to address the opioid crisis in high-risk communities. He has also helped secure the inclusion of some of Kentucky’s hardest-hit counties, including Clay County, in the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to promote coordination and support for law enforcement in Kentucky. Last month, Senator McConnell announced he helped secure HIDTA designations for three additional Kentucky counties: Simpson, Logan and Clark.
Senator McConnell consistently draws attention to Kentucky’s prevention, treatment and enforcement efforts with the President’s Cabinet and federal agencies. Multiple Drug Czars, the federal official responsible for coordinating the national response, have visited Kentucky at his request to see the innovative work being done in the Commonwealth. Most recently, Director James Carroll visited Simpson, Logan and Clark counties earlier this month.
In 2018, President Trump signed into law the landmark opioid and substance abuse bill Senator McConnell helped shepherd to enactment. In addition to the CAREER Act – which Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) supported in the House — the legislation contained the Senator’s Protecting Moms and Infants Act, which authorized an increase in federal funding to help babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
Release from Senator Mitch McConnell