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Cardinal Health Foundation Awards Over $3 Million to More Than 70 Nonprofit Organizations to Fight the Opioid Epidemic across Appalachia
Grants made through Cardinal Health's Opioid Action Program will support prevention education, best practices in pain medication use and community-wide efforts

DUBLIN, Ohio, June 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cardinal Health Foundation today announced that it has awarded over $3 million in grants to more than 70 nonprofit organizations to support local efforts to combat the opioid epidemic across Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The grants are being made through the Cardinal Health Foundation's Generation Rx program and are funded by Cardinal Health's Opioid Action Program, launched last fall.

“Thanks to a multi-million-dollar investment in the Foundation through Cardinal Health’s Opioid Action Program, we are able to support many more organizations as they work to reduce the rate of opioid misuse and addiction in their communities,” said Jessie Cannon, vice president of Community Relations at Cardinal Health.

Grants were awarded in the following categories:

  • Prevention education: To expand medication safety education for thousands of students in K-12 schools and universities, using Generation Rx educational materials.
  • Best practices in pain medication use: To support healthcare organizations as they work with prescribers to transform the way they help patients manage chronic, non-cancer pain, with fewer opioids prescribed.
  • Community-level responses: To support multi-sector collaborative work to reduce opioid addiction, overdoses and opioid-related deaths in eight communities in Ohio, home to Cardinal Health's headquarters and nearly 7,000 employees.

"Thanks to a multi-million-dollar investment in the Foundation through Cardinal Health's Opioid Action Program, we are able to support many more organizations as they work to reduce the rate of opioid misuse and addiction in their communities," said Jessie Cannon, vice president of Community Relations at Cardinal Health.

The Opioid Action Program is a multi-prong initiative to help communities in four of the nation's hardest-hit states fight the opioid epidemic. Each element of the program is cited by leading experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, as critical to reducing opioid misuse, abuse and addiction. The Opioid Action Program builds on Generation Rx, created through a partnership with the Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy to raise awareness and knowledge about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.

Grantees will participate in learning collaboratives led by subject matter experts, who will help guide their work and share best practices:

  • Faculty and staff from The Ohio State University Colleges of Pharmacy and Social Work will provide medication safety education expertise and program evaluation to prevention education grantees, and CompDrug's Youth to Youth International will provide expertise in effective youth-led prevention;
  • Pharmacists with expertise in pain management from Geisinger Health will guide those working on best practices in pain medication use; and
  • Community-level response grantees will be led by LEAD, a nonprofit organization focused on prevention and community collaboration.

"All of the organizations selected for funding share our goal of turning the tide on the opioid epidemic," Cannon stated. "Ultimately, we expect our grantees to learn from each other—and we will learn from them. As they develop best practices, our goal is to spread this work throughout the country, and foster solutions to this complex public health crisis."

Donnie Poston, Prevention Coordinator at Community Health of East Tennessee, Campbell County, Tenn., said, "We've been hit hard here: In 2015, we were third in the entire country in terms of the most opioids prescribed per person. Nearly a quarter of our population lives in poverty. There is a lot of drug misuse and addiction here; educating our kids is critical to helping the next generation avoid misuse. The Cardinal Health Foundation grant will allow us to maintain one of the few prevention education programs in the county. We will educate hundreds of students and their parents about the risks of misusing medication and about making safe choices."

Ken Wilson, MD, System Vice President for Quality and Physician Leadership Development at Norton Medical Group – Norton Healthcare, Louisville, Ky., said "We've been working on changing opioid prescribing practices throughout our health system since 2016, and have seen a steady decline in the number of prescriptions our clinicians write, as well as in the strength and number of dosages they write for. With this grant, we will take the next step: Better engaging acute and chronic pain patients across the care continuum, educating patients on pain self-management, and educating providers about complementary and alternative pain management strategies. We'll also accelerate the difficult task of helping chronic pain patients in our primary care practices convert from opioid pain management to alternative strategies."

Steven J. Martin, PharmD and Dean of the Rudolph H. Raabe College of Pharmacy at Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, said, "The community-level response grant allows us to expand our Mobile Health Clinic into a broader, medically underserved area. Through this project, we will train student healthcare professionals to provide risk assessment and intervention for individuals at risk for substance abuse, and work with multi-disciplinary teams to find alternatives to opioids. These healthcare students will go on to careers in which that training will be amplified across the state." 

2018 grant recipients

Prescription drug misuse prevention education for youth

  • ASAP of Anderson, Clinton, TN
  • Awake to a Safe and Healthy Community, Whitehouse, OH
  • Bellaire Local Schools/Student Services, Bellaire, OH ­
  • Bellefaire JCB, Shaker Heights, OH
  • Bloom-Vernon Elementary PTO, South Webster, OH
  • Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
  • Cabell County Schools, Huntington, WV
  • Centerstone Kentucky, Louisville, KY
  • Children, Inc., Covington, KY
  • Coalition for a Drug Free Clermont County - Clermont Recovery Center, Inc., a division of Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health, Batavia, OH
  • Community Action for Capable Youth of Mansfield, Ohio, Inc., Mansfield, OH
  • Community Awareness and Prevention Association (CAPA), Brecksville, OH
  • Community Connections, Inc., Princeton, WV
  • Community for New Direction, Inc., Columbus, OH
  • Community Health of East Tennessee, LaFollette, TN
  • Community United Methodist Hospital Inc. (Henderson County Schools), Henderson, KY
  • Dayspring Family Health Center, Jellico, TN
  • The Dublin City Schools Substance Abuse Prevention Program, Dublin, OH
  • East Cleveland Neighborhood Center, Inc., East Cleveland, OH
  • Family and Youth Initiatives, New Carlisle, OH
  • Family Recovery Center, Lisbon, OH
  • Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN
  • Goodwill Easter Seals of Miami Valley, Dayton, OH
  • Great Schools Partnership Charitable Trust, Knoxville, TN
  • Juniper Health, Inc. Beattyville, KY
  • King's Daughters Medical Center, Ashland, KY
  • MountainHeart Community Services, Inc. Oceana, WV
  • New River Health Association Inc, Scarbro, WV
  • Northeast Kentucky Area Health Education Center, Morehead, KY
  • LifeTown Columbus, New Albany, OH
  • The Ohio State University Cuyahoga County Extension Office, Cleveland, OH
  • The Ohio State University Lake County Extension Office, Painesville, OH
  • The Ohio State University Scioto and Lawrence County Extension Offices, Portsmouth, OH
  • OhioGuidestone, Berea, OH
  • OneEighty, Inc, Wooster, OH
  • The Pike County Recovery Council, Inc., Waverly, OH
  • Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition, Kingston, TN
  • Southern Kentucky Area Health Education Center, Mt. Vernon, KY
  • STARS Nashville, Nashville, TN
  • Summit County Community Partnership, Akron, OH
  • United Way of Union County, Marysville, OH
  • University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Charleston, WV
  • University of Toledo College of Nursing and College of Health and Human Services, Toledo, OH
  • Wings of Hope Recovery Services, Inc., Portsmouth, OH
  • Youth Health Service, Inc., Elkins, WV

Prevention education grantees will receive technical assistance from:

    • The Ohio State University Colleges of Pharmacy and Social Work, Columbus, OH
    • CompDrug's Youth to Youth International, Columbus, OH

Best practices in pain medication use and patient engagement

  • ASAP of Anderson, Clinton, TN
  • CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, Charleston, WV
  • Cedarville University School of Pharmacy, Cedarville, OH
  • CHI Memorial Foundation, Chattanooga, TN
  • Hope Family Health, Westmoreland, TN
  • Mercy Health Partners, Cincinnati, OH
  • MetroHealth Foundation Inc., Cleveland, OH
  • Norton Healthcare Foundation, Inc., Louisville, KY
  • PrimaryOne Health, Columbus, OH
  • Promedica Health System, Inc, Toledo, OH
  • Saint Thomas Health Foundations, Nashville, TN
  • Southwest General Health Center, Middleburg, OH
  • University of Findlay, Findlay, OH
  • University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, TN
  • West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, Inc., Jackson, TN

Best practices in pain medication use grantees will receive technical assistance from Geisinger Health, Danville, PA

Community-level response to the opioid crisis (Ohio only)

  • Berger Health Foundation, Circleville, OH
  • Coalition for a Drug-Free Mahoning County, Boardman, OH
  • Columbus Urban League, Columbus, OH
  • Community Action Commission of Fayette County, Washington Courthouse, OH
  • Family Health Services of Darke County, Greenville, OH
  • McKinley Health, Inc., Springfield, OH
  • Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH
  • Summit County Combined General Health District, Akron, OH

Community-level response grantees will receive technical assistance from LEAD, Lake Forest, IL

About the Cardinal Health Foundation
The Cardinal Health Foundation supports local, national and international programs that improve health care efficiency, effectiveness and excellence and the overall wellness of the communities where Cardinal Health, Inc.'s (NYSE: CAH) approximately 50,000 employees live and work. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage community service among its employees and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster; because Cardinal Health, Inc. is #AllInForGood. To learn more, visit

About Generation Rx
Generation Rx works to end prescription drug misuse through prevention education, drug take back, best practices in pain management and community collaborations. The program was created through a partnership with the Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. Since 2009, more than one million people across the country have been reached with Generation Rx messages, and pharmacists in 40 states have been honored with the Generation Rx Champions Award. To learn more, visit

About Cardinal Health's Opioid Action Program
In 2017, Cardinal Health launched the Opioid Action Program, a pilot program aimed at helping communities across the Appalachian region, including in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, four of the nation's hardest-hit states. The program delivers much needed front-line tools to help prevent opioid abuse and support communities, schools and first responders. The Opioid Action Program builds on Generation Rx. Learn more at

About Cardinal Health
Cardinal Health, Inc. is a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, providing customized solutions for hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices worldwide. The company provides clinically proven medical products, pharmaceuticals and cost-effective solutions that enhance supply chain efficiency from hospital to home. Cardinal Health connects patients, providers, payers, pharmacists and manufacturers for integrated care coordination and better patient management. To help combat prescription drug abuse, the company and its education partners created Generation Rx, a national drug education and awareness program. Backed by nearly 100 years of experience, with approximately 50,000 employees in nearly 60 countries, Cardinal Health ranks #14 on the Fortune 500. For more information, visit, follow @CardinalHealth on Twitter, @cardinalhealthwings on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn at company/cardinal-health.


SOURCE Cardinal Health Foundation

For further information: Media: Ellen Barry, (614) 553-3858,; Investors: Lisa Capodici, (614) 757-5035,
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