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NYS OASAS announces award of more than $300,000 in scholarships to support development and education of addiction workforce in state

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Fri, Jan 31st 2020 05:10 pm

Funding awarded as part of Addiction Professionals Scholarship Program

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports announced the award of approximately $311,000 in scholarship funding under the Addiction Professionals Scholarship Program. This money supports employees at OASAS-certified organizations that are enrolled or accepted into approved masters or professional certification programs.

“We are continuing to invest in our aggressive efforts to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, co-chair of the state Heroin and Opioid Task Force. “This funding for scholarships will support the education and training of addiction professionals to help ensure we have the most highly educated, highly skilled and highly trained workforce with the skills they need to care for and treat individuals struggling with addiction and to help save lives.”

“A well-educated workforce is important to supporting the strong system of addiction care we have in New York state,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “These awards will assist dedicated addiction care workers across the state in learning the skills they need to help those affected by addiction on their recovery journey.”

The goal of the Addiction Professionals Scholarship Program is to assist OASAS-certified providers with professional development, and workforce retention. To receive funding, OASAS providers were required to submit the applications on behalf of their employee. All eligible applicants who applied for this funding received awards.

Master’s Scholarship Awards

Awards of up to $30,000 were available under this initiative for people accepted into, or currently enrolled in a master of social work or master of mental health practitioner program. Each of the following local providers received one award.

Western New York

  • Horizon Health Services Inc.: $6,400
  • Horizon Village Inc.: $30,000

Professional Certifications

One-time awards of up to $5,000 were available for individuals accepted into, or currently enrolled in certified prevention professional (CPP), certified alcoholism and substance abuse counselor (CASAC), credentialed prevention specialist (CPS), or gambling specialty designation educational programs. Each of the following providers received one award on behalf of eligible individuals.

Western New York

  • Horizon Health Services Inc.: $5,000
  • Horizon Village Inc.: $2,900

“I am proud to have been able to fund this terrific program in the 2019 budget, in collaboration with my Senate colleagues, Gov. Cuomo and our incredible partners at OASAS,” said State Sen. Pete Harckham, chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. “The Addiction Professionals Scholarship Program offers critical resources and support to those willing to step up or who are already making a difference in the lives of fellow New Yorkers with substance use disorder. This new funding initiative will certainly increase participation in certification and educational training programs, and serve as another important step toward ensuring better health outcomes for all.”

Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said, “The people who work in addiction services are among the most dedicated human services professionals statewide. The work is physically and emotional grueling, the hours are long and the pay is low. We must attract and maintain the best and the brightest people to work in the addiction services field, and these scholarships are a good step in that direction. This funding, coupled with cost of living increases and other benefits, will go a long way to shoring up our human services workforce so they are equipped to hold their ground on the front lines of the addiction crisis.”

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).  Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS treatment availability dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website.

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