Agencies working with Safe Harbor Behavioral Health in Erie, including UPMC Northwest and Venango County Substance Abuse Program, will benefit from a $200,000 federal grant received by Hamot Health Foundation.

The purpose of the funding, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is to address disparities that plague rural communities attempting to eradicate substance use disorder, according to a UPMC news release.

"The Foundation is honored to accept this grant and will administer the funding through multiple agencies, including Safe Harbor Behavioral Health of UPMC Hamot," said Boo Hagerty, Hamot Health Foundation president. "Because of the unique collaboration of the organizations involved, their outreach can have a much bigger impact in the region as they work together to effectively address problems facing rural communities."

Hagerty said funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration is targeted toward developing local stakeholder partnerships, conducting needs assessment, and developing plans to implement appropriate programs.

"This funding will enable us to plan and collaborate across organizations to expand services and overcome barriers for individuals with substance use disorder," said Mandy Fauble, Safe Harbor's executive director. "Because of targeted funding from HRSA, we can ensure individuals have opportunities for recovery, no matter where they live.

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