DHHR awards funding for transportation to care for opioid use disorder

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Behavioral Health has partnered with the West Virginia Public Transit Association (WVPTA) to offer transportation to treatment and recovery care services for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) at no cost.

Transportation will be provided through a statewide shared ride collaborative. WVPTA consists of 18 public transit agencies serving 32 counties located throughout West Virginia. WVPTA drivers are trained in connecting people with health care services, including acute and trauma care.

Beginning March 2, 2020, WVPTA will provide both urgent and non-urgent transportation for individuals with OUD seeking treatment and recovery care services, including evidence-based Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), within 24-72 hours of the request for transportation. After-hours transportation will be available by request, and expanded routes outside of traditional public routes will be offered.

The transportation to care initiative is part of West Virginia’s State Opioid Response (SOR) grant from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Through SOR grant funding, DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health and WVPTA will increase access to MAT services by extending transportation to treatment and recovery programs throughout the state for qualifying individuals. The initiative will also decrease unmet OUD treatment needs and decrease opioid-related overdose deaths.

“Transportation to care in our rural state can be difficult,” said Christina Mullins, Commissioner for DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health. “We believe this initiative will improve access to treatment and recovery resources to ultimately create healthier individuals, families and communities across West Virginia.”

Individuals with OUD seeking transportation to care are encouraged to call 1-888-696-6195 or visit https://wvtransit.com/wva-transit-systems/ for information about eligibility, shared ride transit locations, and scheduling.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can Follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com