Western Michigan University has picked up a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help increase the training and staffing of health care professionals, to stem the flood of highly addictive opioid drugs.

This following a letter from local Representative Fred Upton recommending the grant of the "Opioid Workforce Expansion Program". In it he said,

“We have all seen the horrendous impact caused by the opioid epidemic. No family is immune and all too many of us have experienced the devastation and loss firsthand. We can all be encouraged that Western Michigan University is showing commitment to address this epidemic and that they will be given more resources to do so.....The opioid crisis cuts through all demographics, races and socioeconomic statuses and we’re continuing to fight it every day.” - Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph)

WMU College of Health and Human Services Dean Ron Cisler said

“it is a critical time to address the opioid epidemic in communities throughout Michigan. This grant presents WMU with an opportunity to make far-reaching impacts through health care workforce expansion in the state. Our students will participate in hands-on educational experiences that will guide them throughout their professional lives, while also meeting an immediate, crucial need for families in our region.” WMU Vice President for Research Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy added, “The work of Dr. Jennifer Harrison and the MY-PROUD team builds on existing relationships with community partners and the faculty expertise at WMU to create experiential training to help address critical issues in opioid abuse. WMU strives to have a public-impact focus to our research and training, and this new HRSA grant exemplifies and recognizes that mission.”