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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Bilirakis Helps Secure $285,000 to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment in Pasco

September 21, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC:  The office of Congressman Gus Bilirakis is proud to announce that Premier Community Health Center in Pasco County will receive $285,000 to expand its scope of service and offer integrated substance use disorder and mental health services treatment, thanks in part to his advocacy efforts.  Of these funds, $110,000 will be used to hire personnel and $175,000 will be allocated for renovation of facilities at its Zephyrhills substance abuse/mental health treatment center.  Patients from throughout Pasco will be able to access substance use and mental health services at this location. This grant was funded through the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending bill.  As a champion for Community Health Centers and the primary author of legislation to reauthorize funding for Community Health Centers (which also was signed into law as part of the same spending bill) Congressman Bilirakis was actively involved in securing the funds for this grant program.  He also advocated directly to the Health Resources and Services Administration on behalf of Pasco’s application.  This newest award is part of the $4 billion Congress authorized nationwide to fight opioid addiction and expand access to treatment. Just this week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Florida will receive another $49 million in federal funding to fight addiction.  These new funds are in addition to the $54 million Bilirakis helped usher to Florida for the same purpose during the past year.  Additionally he recently helped secure $125,000 for the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention to coordinate Pasco County’s response to addiction.  “Pasco, like all communities, works hard to address the complex issues of substance abuse and mental illness.  Congressman Bilirakis is a strong leader working to find lasting positive solutions,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco upon learning of this newest round of federal funding.

Congressman Bilirakis will be joining state and local leaders to discuss how this newest funding aligns with the community’s targeted approach to solving this crisis on Monday, September 24, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the Pasco County Emergency Operations Center Media Room, 8744 Government Drive, Bldg. A, New Port Richey, FL 34654. The press is encouraged to attend. 

As we examine where the gaps in combatting addiction exist within our community during this national Recovery Month, access to treatment continues to be a primary and persistent problem.  We have great providers offering services within our community, and the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention serving as the federally-funded entity to coordinate efforts to address this crisis in our community.  Community health centers, which offer high quality primary, mental health and dental services to patients on a sliding scale basis, are a natural fit to help augment the work of existing providers.  This problem requires an all hands-on deck approach, which is why I am working with stakeholders at the state and local levels to tackle the issue,” said Congressman Bilirakis.