Mercy College of Ohio receives HRSA Grant to Train Health Professionals to Support Opioid-Affected Families

Mercy College of Ohio received a four-year grant totaling $740,998 from The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to increase the number of peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessionals who will be prepared to work with families impacted by opioid use and other substance abuse disorders. These peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessionals provide community-based services for people with mental illness or substance use disorder that promote recovery, self-determination, self-advocacy, well-being, and independence.

The grant will provide tuition assistance and stipends to students in Mercy College’s two-semester Community Health Worker (CHW) program totaling up to $4000. The CHW program will be enhanced and expanded to prepare students to meet the needs of recovering opioid addicts. After completing the CHW certificate, graduates will have the opportunity to be placed in one-year paid apprenticeships that will immerse them in hands-on experiences further preparing them for careers. These paid apprenticeships will also include an additional stipend of $7500. CHW program graduates may be offered permanent employment following their time as an apprentice.

“There is an increasing need for professionals to fill this critical role in every aspect of healthcare and social services. Families affected by Opioid Use Disorder need support from a network of professionals that can work together to address medical and non-medical needs. Mercy College’s Community Health Worker program will use these grant dollars to increase the number of well-prepared CHWs in our community,” said Tim Depinet, MPH, RT(N), CNMT, Director, Allied Health Certificates.

The CHW program is available to Ohio residents with the lecture content provided online. Mercy College will assist in establishing a clinical facility in students' local areas that will meet the requirements of the program. Those interested in Mercy College's CHW program are encouraged to visit or contact the admissions office at

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $740,998, with 100 percent funded by HRSA/HHS. 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.

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