VernonReporter

Vernon County Opioid Prevention and Abatement Steering Committee announces grant awards

VIROQUA, Wis. – The Vernon County Opioid Prevention and Abatement Steering Committee is proud toannounce the award of two grants in the amount of $25,000 each. The first grant was
awarded to the Amara Rose Foundation to fund billboards in Vernon County that will
focus on substance abuse prevention and education.

The second grant was awarded to the Vernon County Health Department to purchase medication lockboxes that will be available for free to the public and will also be distributed to various health centers in the County. This grant program is funded through the National Opioid Settlement for the abatement, prevention, treatment, and recovery of opioid drug use and its various effects.

The next round of grant applications are due May 1, 2024. Vernon County non-profit organizations, businesses, schools, and local governments can apply for grant opportunities that align with the committee’s values and mission. Projects can receive from $100 up to $25,000 based on project goals and objectives.

These funds were paid to the state of Wisconsin as the result of a settlement with several pharmaceutical companies that were sued by various states including the State of Wisconsin. In Feb. of 2022, Wisconsin Department of Justice announced final approval of an agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors (Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen) and Johnson & Johnson. 

Wisconsin was scheduled to receive more than $740 million in total funding through 2038. 2021 Wisconsin Act 57 requires that the 87 local governments that participated in this litigation receive 70 percent of the funds, with the state receiving 30 percent of the funds. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, in 2021 Vernon County recorded five opioid related fatalities and in 2022, 11 people were hospitalized due to opioids. Between 2018 and 2020 the number of opioid-related deaths in Wisconsin changed went up by 46.7%.

For more information on the committee, resources to help fight the opioid epidemic and for a link to apply for grant funding you can go to the county website here.

For questions related to the committee, settlement funds, or the grant application
process, please contact Administrative Coordinator Cassandra Hanan at (608) 637-5396
or cassandra.hanan@vernoncounty.org.

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