University of Wyoming

A student walks into the University of Wyoming Union building during winter break in Laramie.

File, Star-Tribune

A University of Wyoming-backed clinic received a $175,700 grant to help expand access to substance abuse and mental health services related to the opioid crisis, the college announced Friday.

The Albany Community Health Clinic, which opened in April and is operated by UW’s College of Health Sciences, received the grant from an agency under the umbrella of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. A major aim of the grant is to combat the abuse of prescription drugs, according to a university press release.

“The goal is to focus on treatment, prevention and awareness of opioid abuse and its integration into primary care,” according to the release.

The grant money will be used to increase train mental health personnel, program director Katy Hartman said in the release. It will also help improve health information technology.

“The mind and the body cannot be unlinked,” she said. “In order to best treat the body, mental health issues must be addressed, and good physical health, in turn, supports good mental health. Integration of mental and physical health services will allow us to better treat each client as a whole person.”

The clinic is funded by another grant, received in late 2016, that also came from the Department of Health and Human Services. It provides “comprehensive health care services to Albany County residents, regardless of ability to pay,” according to the release. Patients between 100 and 200 percent of the poverty line are billed on a sliding fee scale.

The $175,700 award isn’t the first grant a university affiliate has received related to health care this year. In July, an assistant nursing professor at UW received a nearly million dollar grant to develop an “integrated behavioral health primary care initiative,” also from the national health department.

Follow education reporter Seth Klamann on Twitter @SethKlamann

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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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