Hospital Spotlight for Critical Access Substance Abuse Project: Mary Breckinridge Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Hyden, Kentucky
Critical Access Substance Abuse Project (CASAP)
Mary Breckinridge Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), located in Hyden, Kentucky, is a 25-bed critical access hospital (CAH). In 2017, supplemental funding was awarded to the Kentucky Office of Rural Health’s Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program to support CAHs located in communities with high rates of poverty, unemployment, and/or substance abuse. Mary Breckinridge ARH utilized the supplemental funds based on needs identified around substance abuse.
Mary Breckinridge ARH is located in Leslie County, which has one of the highest rates of Hepatitis C in the nation. With support from the Kentucky Flex Program, Mary Breckinridge ARH has formed partnerships to help reduce the rates of Hepatitis C as well as to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic by implementing a needle exchange program.
“We take the approach of hospitality and compassion and create a judgment-free zone to provide care. We’re just doing what’s right.” -Mary Breckinridge ARH Administrator
- The number of patients provided education on substance abuse increased 255% in the first year of the project.
- The Board of Education and local law enforcement carry Narcan as a result of a free Narcan clinic hosted by Mary Breckinridge ARH.
- Narcan prescriptions are being written in conjunction with opioid prescriptions.
- Due to education initiatives, there has been a reduction in stigma toward patients with an opioid use disorder by staff community partners.