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The following are special CRF funding initiatives to strategically advance the State’s ability to confront the presence of COVID-19 in Oklahoma:
Long Term Care Infection Disease Program
To complement the Stitt administration’s reopening plan of long-term care facilities and nursing homes, $35 million in CRF has been designated towards helping each facility increase infectious disease protocols as well as provide financial support for the purchasing of PPE, additional cleaning supplies, and telehealth medicine.
With these funds, each facility will be eligible for up to $15,000 specifically for contracting or employing a trained infection preventionist to craft a plan unique to each facility to minimize the presence of COVID-19 and to monitor for potential outbreaks. Additional grant funds are available for use on further testing or sanitization support. Details of the grant program are available here.
Mobile Testing Units
With $4.2 million in CRF, OSDH is purchasing mobile health units that will allow OSDH and county departments to make testing and screening of COVID-19 more accessible. The funding will purchase 9 trailers and 18 vans that are retrofitted to deliver core public health services, to include GPS and Wifi to be connected into TeleHealth systems to advance the delivery of quality health care in rural parts of the State. Each OSDH regional director will propose a plan for the placement of these mobile health devices. These plans will involve developing local partnerships with the education sector, private sector, and local community leaders on how best to deliver rapid, free COVID-19 services while the Oklahoma awaits a vaccine or treatment.
Advanced Testing and Contact Tracing
With $50 million in CRF funds, OSDH is focused on three core components
- Enhancing access to testing through increasing testing options,
- Modernizing data reporting systems, and
- Expanding contact tracing and case investigation.
Roughly $35 million will go towards expanding the public’s access to testing by increasing testing options throughout the state, implementing long term supports to ensure continued availability and investing in continued partnerships with in-state labs to increase lab testing capacity. At this funding level, OSDH will be able to independently sustain the State’s current goal of testing 100,000 individuals a month.
The remaining $15 million will allow OSDH to digitize and modernize data entry systems in the State health department and across county offices. It will also support OSDH’s efforts to make contact tracing services more efficient through enhanced technology platforms that have state-of-the-art security to protect individual’s personal information.
Technology Expansion Grants for Health Providers
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, primary care physicians, pediatricians, and school-based service providers continue to be “first-point-of-contact” individuals. Under normal daily circumstances, these providers encounter persons who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and situational stress. Because of the pandemic, a large number of Oklahomans are experiencing additional personal crises such as financial instability, isolation from support systems and loved ones, disruptions to daily routines, and extreme conditions of change which exacerbate existing behavioral health issues.
Utilizing $1 million in CRF, the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) will distribute grants to support front-line healthcare workers with training on evidence-based screenings leveraging technology and to make consultation services more easily available for identifying behavioral health treatments or referrals. Please click here for additional information.
Mental Health Support & Training for First Responders, Law Enforcement
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews appropriate supports. Utilizing $500,000 in CRF, the ODMHSAS will launch distance learning programs and related support resources for dissemination to first responders, faith-based institutions, schools and institutions of higher education, employers, health/behavioral healthcare providers, and parents/caregivers. Please click here for additional information.
An additional $1.2 million in CRF has been allocated for local treatment agencies to develop and implement a mental health treatment and education model that uses mobile technology for real time support services for over 7,500 Oklahoma law enforcement officers.
Support for Mental Health COVID-19 Services
Just like physical health, prioritizing mental health is important when it comes to responding to COVID-19. In light of the increased need for mental health services across the state, this program allocates $5 million in CRF to allow mental health and addiction providers to attribute any annual increase in client load to COVID-19 under ODMHSAS-developed criteria. Treatment for these individuals, when no other payer source exists, can be billed to an emergency treatment fund.
Tele Health for Mental Health Support:
With the advent of the COVID pandemic, it has been crucial to deliver mental health services in more modern and creative ways in order to prevent the spread of the virus, and to keep recipients of services physically and psychologically safe. Utilizing $2.6 million in CRF, the ODMHSAS is providing mobile devices, data and licenses to Community Mental Health Centers and Comprehensive Community Addiction Recovery Centers across the state. These resources are then distributed to at-risk service recipients so they can access real-time mental health support and addiction treatment virtually when face-to-face treatment is not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wear a Mask Public Service Announcement
In order to promote precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, $75,000 of CRF was allocated to create a statewide Public Service Announcement campaign encouraging Oklahomans to wear a mask. The PSA features Governor Kevin Stitt, First Lady Sarah Stitt, Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Integris Health Dr. Julie Watson, and City of Tulsa Communications Officer Gitzel Puente.