Amistades, Inc. seeks to expand and increase access to MAT services for opioid use disorder to address medically underserved Latino communities; ensure timely treatment engagement for those with dual-diagnosis, and support individuals with OUD re-entering the community following incarceration, through an existing consortium of health/behavioral health providers in Pinal County, Arizona (Pinal County Latino Opioid Consortium). Illegal drug trafficking through Mexico is a serious and persistent problem and Pinal and surrounding counties remain the busiest drug and human trafficking corridors in the state (Arizona Republic 3-22-19). Pinal County (5,400 sq. miles) sits in the center of the state – fed primarily by traffic on Interstates 10 and 8 moving from Mexico to California. Home to four Native American tribes and a population that is 37% Latino, the primary cities in this region – Florence, Casa Grande, Eloy and Coolidge – are challenged to serve extremely rural communities struggling with poverty, migration and acculturative stress. Six of the County's 12 geo-statistical areas are designated Primary Care HPSAs; 10 are Mental Health HPSAs and four (4) are designated High Need HPSAs. Providers report that MAT service accessibility has not kept pace with rising rates of OUD - particularly underserved parts of the county and with special populations. There are currently only two (2) MAT facilities located in Florence and Casa Grande.
Project partners will expand current outreach strategies to focus on reaching Latinos and special populations currently underserved and/or at risk for OUD and to more intensively engage providers in culturally-responsive service provision. Partners include: Pinal Hispanic Council and Sun Life Family Health. PCLOC membership includes Arizona Complete Health (the RBHA); law enforcement and emergency response; behavioral health; primary care; social services; education; faith-based communities and community recovery organizations. Providers will only use grant funds for services to individuals not covered by public or commercial health insurance; individuals for whom coverage has been formally determined to be unaffordable, or for services not sufficiently covered by an individual’s health insurance plan.
PCLOC goals include: 1) increasing culturally responsive, accessible and comprehensive MAT services for Latinos and other special populations in Pinal County 2) decrease rates of illicit opioid use/misuse by clients in MAT + counseling treatment at six month follow up 3) data will drive decision making around MAT provision in Pinal County. The project will serve 300 unduplicated individuals over the five year grant period. Amistades will be applying for $525,000 per year.