“One of the most important functions of the Alliance is to serve as a convener that helps other agencies by building regional, cross-sector alliances,” said Jim Baxter, Alliance coordinator. Helping to build multi-partner collaborations is an important Alliance contribution. Not only are granting agencies increasingly asking for collaborations, but the time frame to prepare many grants has been getting shorter. The Alliance’s access to community data and its understanding of the role of potential collaborators have been serving as assets.  


(Jim talking with an Oaklawn Certified Recovery Specialist at The Upper Room)

 The innovative support provided by the Alliance for a grant from the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction provides a fresh view the role the Alliance can play in helping member groups attract funding. The Alliance supported the application for the $150,000 two-year grant and enlisted member collaborators, including PEPSA (Partnership for Education and Prevention of Substance Abuse), Oaklawn and the Upper Room Recovery Communities.  This grant enabled Oaklawn to hire two full time Recovery Coaches who are stationed at the Upper Room’s new Recovery Hub in downtown South Bend. The Alliance, as a partner serves as the “change agent” with $12,000 of the funding set aside to support the two-year term of the grant.

The Alliance has also partnered with the Michiana Opioid Task Force, Beacon Health System, the St. Joseph County Health Department and Oaklawn secure more than $800,000 in funding for a Mobile Opioid Response Unit. The unit is available to be deployed to potential overdose “hot spots” and provide services, including transportation, to those in need. The Mobile Opioid Response Unit is also equipped to bring education and support about the crisis to rural and “left behind” communities that are most affected.

Other collaborative funding includes support from Beacon Health System, to enable the Alliance to build its new website, complete with a data dashboard, community calendar and member contact information.

The Alliance is funded by a two-year grant from the Indiana Association of United Ways and support from Community Health Partnerships (CHeP), of Indiana CTSI (Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute) in part to fill the coordinator position. This position is critical as the Alliance convenes partners and communicates amongst the group of 200+ members and assists with work groups and subcommittees, including the Executive Leadership Council, Operations, Marketing and Communication and Data, Analytics and Development.          

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