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STLCC Receives Federal Grant for Addictions Study Program

September 27, 2016

St. Louis Community College has received a federal grant to expand its Addictions Study certificate program. STLCC is one of 34 new recipients of this grant.

Angela Roffle, associate professor and chair of the Human Services Department at STLCC-Forest Park and program coordinator at the Meramec campus, recently received this $70,904 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through its Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program.

The grant, which will cover nearly 70 percent of program tuition costs to students, is designed to help increase and diversify the workforce needed in the St. Louis metropolitan area to treat children, adolescents and transitional-age youth who are at risk for substance use disorder.

With the HRSA funding, the college will more than double the number of seats available to students in the Addictions Study program; infuse the curriculum with content relevant to the behavioral health needs of children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth; and educate a more diverse student population.

“For decades, Missouri has attempted to turn around the effects of an aging addictions workforce that lacks sufficient racial, gender and age diversity,” Roffle said. “In the wake of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act, there is greater opportunity for adults and adolescents with substance use disorder to receive treatment, thereby increasing the need for addictions specialists. Only a small percentage of youth who need treatment is receiving it across the state. This grant will help St. Louis Community College do its part in helping to bolster the workforce.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, these grants are an important step toward ensuring that Americans of all ages have access to quality substance abuse and mental health services by creating an educational pipeline for future behavioral health providers. Grant recipients will help strengthen the next generation of behavioral health workforce providers so they can work more effectively in a variety of 21st century health care settings.

STLCC offers a 27-credit hour Addictions Study Certificate of Specialization  that can be completed in two semesters at its Forest Park, Florissant Valley and Meramec campuses. The program provides academic preparation for persons working or preparing to work in the field of alcohol and other drug abuse treatment.

The ultimate impact of the grant, coupled with other initiatives in the metropolitan area, is to create a region that is better equipped to meet the workforce needs for younger more racially diverse substance use prevention and addictions treatment professionals and paraprofessionals. It will also help lead to an increased opportunity for children, adolescents and transitional-age youth to receive the services that they need.