Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) intends to use Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) funds for its Compassionate Opioid Resources & Enhanced Services (CORES) project to continue to address the disproportionate impact opioids and methamphetamine has on our rural (village based) beneficiaries. CORES will increase 1) prevention and awareness education focused on our rural population, 2) access to crucial harm reduction resources to empower local communities with limited services, and 3) access to MOUD treatments through rural induction and telehealth including contingency management techniques to improve engagement.
The service region of TCC is 235,000 square miles, an area equal to about 37 percent of the state of Alaska, and just slightly smaller than the state of Texas. The total population of the region is estimated at just under 100,000 of which approximately 17,000 are Native. Approximately 40-45% of Alaska Natives in the region live in villages. There are 40 distinct villages within the rural interior ranging in population size from 1,289 to 20 (average being approximately 150). More than 70% of the rural villages are not on a main road system. TCC is the primary provider of health, behavioral health, and social services within the rural interior and operates a comprehensive behavioral health system based out of Fairbanks (including telehealth and itinerant providers).
With our previous TOR cycles, we have made considerable headway in infrastructure including policies, protocols, interdepartmental working relationships, and implementation of evidenced-based curriculum within our Behavioral Health Treatment. With this funding, our overarching goal is to increase the participation and engagement of persons living in TCC’s rural communities in services within TCCs opioid continuum by 50%. The people served annually by service will include 17 in substance abuse counseling, 21 in MOUD, 100 in harm reduction, and 300 in prevention. We estimate our overall reach annually will be approximately 450 unique persons (as some will participate in multiple services) and throughout the life of the project 750 unique persons. This level of engagement would represent 10% of the population in our rural communities directly, with the understanding and expectation that they will also indirectly influence others in their communities thereby further expanding the reach of the project. Our additional measurable objectives include: 1) increasing village-based community members educated in accessing opioid resources, including overdose prevention and treatment and recovery availability, 2) increase in village-based access to harm reduction resources such as doTerra, Narcan, and fentanyl testing strips, and 3) improved recovery through evidence-based practices that will improve treatment engagement and effectiveness.