October 4, 2018

Partners awarded $1.6 million to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

For more information, please contact:

M. Rachel Porter

Sr. Director, Marketing & Communications

Partners Behavioral Health Management

O: 704-842-6304

C: 980-293-3978



Partners awarded $1.6 million to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

Federal SAMHSA grant supports innovative opioid treatment for those unable to pay

GASTONIA, N.C., September 28, 2018 Residents of Gaston and Lincoln counties age 18 and older with an Opioid Use Disorder, but lacking insurance or the ability to pay for treatment will be eligible for help through the Gaston-Lincoln Medication Assisted Recovery Services (MARS) Project.

Partners Behavioral Health Management has been awarded the Targeted Capacity Expansion: Medication Assisted Treatment Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction grant by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This $1.6 million grant will provide comprehensive Medication Assisted Recovery Services to 160 individuals over the next three years.

This is the third time in the last year that SAMHSA has chosen Partners to receive a significant grant award. Partners is the only North Carolina LME/MCO to be awarded SAMHSA funding for Medication Assisted Recovery. State officials have taken note, as well. In August, Governor Cooper called a roundtable meeting at PartnersHickory office to hear first-hand from Partnersexperts and local leaders about their unique community-based approach to fighting the opioid crisis.

Barbara Hallisey, Project Administrator and Partners’ Associate Clinical Services Director, said, “Gaston and Lincoln counties have been hit extremely hard by this epidemic. Both counties have significant gaps in services that this grant will fill.The Gaston-Lincoln Medication Assisted Recovery Services (MARS) project will provide critical access to comprehensive, evidence-based services for indigent adults desiring recovery from Opioid Use Disorders.

The MARS project has two primary goals: the increased use of medications to assist with recovery and the reduction in misuse of opioids. Medication Assisted Treatment combined with therapy, peer support and other psychosocial supports will be key to engaging individuals and promoting meaningful, whole health recovery from Opioid Use Disorder.

Integrated Care of Greater Hickory will provide treatment in Lincolnton and McLeod Center will serve

individuals through their Opioid Treatment Programs in Gastonia and Hickory. Healthcare researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will serve as the grant researchers and evaluators. Providers will begin accepting admissions to the project by January 2019.

The Gaston-Lincoln MARS Project expands and enhances the recovery-focused, evidence-based services available for individuals with Opioid Use Disorders. This is in addition to the Medication Assisted Treatment services currently available to individuals in Partners’ eight counties through local, state and federal funding.

Click here to learn more about Partnersefforts in the community to fight the opioid epidemic.


About Partners Behavioral Health Management

Partners Behavioral Health Management is a leading local managed care organization (LME/MCO), providing access to care for central and western North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. Partners manages all Medicaid, state and local funding for intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental health and substance use disorder (IDD/MH/SUD) services in our covered areas.

Partners is recognized across North Carolina for our local presence and unwavering commitment to the counties and the families we serve. Through community focus and longstanding partnerships with local stakeholders, agencies and elected officials, our members receive the care and support they need.

Partners serves individuals in Burke, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Surry and Yadkin counties and has community offices in Gastonia, Hickory and Elkin