With a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) Paraprofessionals program, SI PPS will train 240 behavioral health-related peer paraprofessionals during the three-year grant period

Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) was selected through a highly competitive grant process to receive $654,554 over three years from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to impact the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) Paraprofessionals program.

The purpose of the grant is to enhance community-based experiential training for students preparing to become peer support specialists and other types of behavioral health-related paraprofessionals with a focus on Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and other Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Award recipients will impact the behavioral health workforce by increasing the number of behavioral health-related paraprofessionals and transforming integrated and interprofessional teams to effectively prevent and treat OUD and other SUDs in community-based practices.

SI PPS will use the grant to train and employ 240 Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPA) and Community Health Workers (CHW) through 33 partner training sites. These CRPAs and CHWs will support the provision of OUD and other SUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services on Staten Island.

“Staten Island was the first community in New York to truly integrate CRPAs into the full spectrum of a multipronged effort to battle addiction and overdose,” said Joseph Conte, Executive Director of SI PPS. “The funding will expand our capacity to support training for our partners in the Substance Use Disorder Consortium in New York and across the country.”

“This HRSA grant supports our overall workforce transformation efforts on Staten Island by training and providing job opportunities to address the opioid crisis,” said William Myhre, Senior Director of Workforce Transformation/HR.