Crawfordsville’s mobile integrated healthcare program, or community paramedicine program, will begin a new pilot program targeting opioid addiction and recovery with funding from the state. 

The Crawfordsville Board of Public Works and Safety approved a contract between the city and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, in which the Crawfordsville Fire Department will receive $139,602 to help overdose victims reach successful recovery.

“It’s really crucial to getting people into long-term recovery,” said Paul Miller, division chief of EMS for the Crawfordsville Fire Department. “It centers the care and it brings the care to the patient instead of the patient, at their most vulnerable time, having to seek out and navigate this all on their own.”

Medication-assisted therapy will be used from the time overdose victims reach the emergency room and will bridge the gap with services until a patient can meet with a behavioral health clinic therapist, which Miller said can take two to three weeks sometimes.

It’s a partnership between the fire department, Franciscan Health Crawfordsville, the Montgomery County Health Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Crawfordsville Police Department.

“This is a real huge opportunity for our department,” Miller said. “We’ll go into the home with the assistance from our ER, provide medication-assisted therapy in the home and connect them with services until they can get in with a therapist.”

The medication victims receive helps curb the withdrawal symptoms of opioid and alcohol.

“So it allows them the time to think and process things rationally (while seeking treatment),” Miller said.

The state funding also will go toward a new software program that will differentiate metrics and measures of the effectiveness of the program, Miller said.

On Tuesday, the program also received $3,000 from the Montgomery County Council on Aging to assist with the mobile integrated healthcare program’s senior services for falls intervention and chronic disease. Miller said they may use the funding to provide seniors with things such as air conditioners, fans and other items to help with extreme weather.

“It’s to fill the gaps,” Miller said. “This is huge because we never had any money for that. This is more important than getting the state grants, I think. A lot of the state grants are a big ticket item, but this (donation) is from our own community so I know that we’re making an impact.

In other business, the board: 

• Approved two requests from Code Enforcement Officer Barry Lewis for mowing 812 S. Washington St. and the front portion of a lot on Dubois Avenue. 

• Approved a lease agreement between the city and the Crawfordsville-Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce at Fusion 54.

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