The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) is a multi-year initiative by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), in high risk rural communities. This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under RCORP-Implementation. This funding opportunity, RCORP Implementation, will advance RCORP’s overall goal by strengthening and expanding SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services to enhance rural residents’ ability to access treatment and move towards recovery.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a five-point Strategy to Combat Opioid Abuse, Misuse, and Overdose, which outlines concrete steps local communities can take to address the opioid epidemic. In alignment with the HHS Five-Point Strategy, and as part of the RCORP initiative, RCORP-Implementation award recipients will implement a set of core SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery activities, as outlined in Program-Specific Instructions. These activities incorporate evidence-based, promising, and innovative approaches proven to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with opioid use disorder including overdose, such as naloxone distribution and other harm reduction services, and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
Given the complex and multifaceted nature of SUD/OUD, as well as the need to secure community buy-in and generate adequate patient volume to sustain services, HRSA requires that applicants be part of broad, multi-sectoral consortia. For the purposes of RCORP-Implementation, a consortium is an organizational arrangement among four or more separately owned domestic public or private entities, including the applicant organization, with established working relationships. The entities, including the applicant organization, must all have different Employment Identification Numbers (EINs).1
Consortia should be able to operationalize their proposed work plans immediately upon receipt of award.
The target population for the award is: 1) individuals who are at risk for, have been diagnosed with, and/or are in treatment and/or recovery for OUD; 2) their families and/or caregivers; and 3) other community members2 who reside in HRSA-designated rural areas, as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer
Applicants are encouraged to include populations that have historically suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities, and other inequities, as compared to the rest of the target population, when addressing SUD in the proposed service area. For
1 Tribal entities may be exempt from this requirement. Please reference Eligible Applicants for more information.
2 Applicants are encouraged to include individuals in the community who are involved in improving health care in rural areas.
example, a recent study found that more rural racial/ethnic minorities reported their health as fair or poor, that they were unable to see a physician in the past 12 months because of cost, and that they did not have a personal health care provider compared to their non-Hispanic white counterparts.3 Examples of these populations include, but are not limited to, racial and ethnic minorities, people/persons experiencing homelessness, pregnant women, youth and adolescents, etc.
The primary focus of the RCORP-Implementation award program is OUD. However, recognizing that many individuals with OUD are polysubstance users, or have other co-occurring conditions, consortia may also use RCORP-Implementation support to help address other SUD-related needs of the target population of individuals and families affected by OUD. Applicants should link any additional activities they propose to the needs of their target population and service area. Please note that no competitive advantage, funding priority, or preference is associated with proposing activities beyond the core/required activities outlined in Section IV.2.
HRSA expects that consortia funded by RCORP-Implementation will sustain the strengthened and/or expanded level of SUD/OUD-related services in rural areas made possible by this funding opportunity both during and beyond the period of performance. Over the course of the three-year period of performance, RCORP-Implementation award recipients will complete detailed plans for sustaining their consortia and SUD/OUD services beyond the RCORP-Implementation period of performance.
Finally, RCORP-Implementation award recipients are expected to work closely with a HRSA-funded technical assistance (TA) provider throughout the three-year period of performance. Targeted TA is provided to each award recipient at no additional cost, and is intended to help recipients achieve desired project outcomes, sustain services, align their performance reporting/evaluative activities, implement quality improvement efforts, and overcome challenges to project implementation. HRSA will provide more information about TA support upon receipt of award.
Eligible applicants include all domestic public or private, non-profit or for-profit entities, including faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations. In addition to the 50 U.S. states, only organizations in the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federated State of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau may apply. If you are located outside the 50 states, you must still meet the eligibility requirements.
The applicant organization may be located in an urban or rural area and should have the staffing and infrastructure necessary to oversee program activities, serve as the fiscal agent for the award, and ensure that local control for the award is vested in the targeted rural communities.
All activities supported by RCORP-Implementation (i.e., all service delivery sites) must exclusively occur in HRSA-designated rural counties or rural census tracts in urban counties, as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer.