The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) is a multi-year HRSA initiative aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), in rural communities. This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program–Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorder (RCORP-RCOE).
The purpose of this program is to build the evidence base for what prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions are most effective and sustainable in rural communities. The Centers will achieve this by identifying, implementing, and evaluating SUD/OUD community-based pilot projects and then disseminating the outcomes, lessons learned, and translatability of those projects to other rural settings through written publications, conference presentations, toolkits, and other mediums, including a joint Clearinghouse. These dissemination efforts will in turn assist other rural entities in establishing, expanding, and/or strengthening the quality of SUD services in their communities.
Three Centers will be awarded under this funding opportunity:
1) RCORP-Rural Center of Excellence on SUD Prevention
2) RCORP-Rural Center of Excellence on SUD Treatment
3) RCORP-Rural Center of Excellence on SUD Recovery
Each Center will propose to implement and evaluate five community-based pilot projects over the five-year period of performance that pertain to the Center’s focus area (Prevention, Treatment, or Recovery). A non-exhaustive list of possible topics for each Center is included in Appendix A. Applicants must justify the knowledge gaps each pilot project will fill and how the projects will contribute to the evidence base for effective SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions in rural settings. Four final projects will be chosen in consultation with HRSA upon receipt of award and may include emerging priorities from HHS/HRSA and/or the field. Post award, the proposed pilot projects will be defined collaboratively between the Centers and HRSA. This process may include additional input from HRSA on possible alternative proposals and/or suggested proposal modifications, depending on the needs and priorities at that time. Proposed projects can be local or regional in scope, but should aim to produce findings/results with a high likelihood of being replicable and translatable in other rural communities across the country. Additionally, Centers are encouraged to collaborate with diverse sectors and stakeholders when implementing
their projects. All pilot projects must exclusively occur in HRSA-designated rural areas.
In years 2-5, activities are intended to maintain, expand on, replicate, analyze, and/or evaluate the interventions begun in Year 1. The Centers should propose detailed evaluation and dissemination plans for each project to ensure that they are monitoring the effectiveness and translatability of the interventions and sharing outcomes and lessons learned with rural communities and other stakeholders. At a minimum, the Centers are expected to develop and regularly contribute to a joint Clearinghouse to identify predictors of substance use disorder treatment response.
If additional capacity and resources exist, Centers may propose additional activities in alignment with the program goal of building the evidence base for what prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions are most effective and sustainable in rural communities. However, these activities should not exceed 20 percent of each annual budget during the five-year period of performance.
While the core focus of the cooperative agreement is on addressing the opioid crisis, in recognition of the fact that many individuals with OUD engage in polysubstance use, award recipients may use RCORP-COE funds to address other substances, including psychostimulants, alcohol and tobacco. Applicants are encouraged to consider in their project proposals populations that have historically suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities, and other inequities as compared to the rest of the population. Examples of these populations include, but are not limited to: racial and ethnic minorities, people who are pregnant, adolescents and youth, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, etc.
For more details, see Program Requirements and Expectations.
In FY 2023, HRSA received an additional appropriation to continue funding for the three existing RCORP-COEs (HRSA-19-108). Eligible applicants include current RCORP-RCOE award recipients:
• University of Vermont – RCORP-Rural Center of Excellence on SUD Treatment
• University of Rochester – RCORP-Rural Center of Excellence on SUD Prevention
• The Fletcher Group – RCORP- Rural Center of Excellence on SUD Recovery