County Technical Assistance
While the Office of Prevention Science and Recovery (OPSR) was established by the Rutherford Opioid Board, the Office serves as a resource to other counties in Tennessee. Specifically, by specializing in assisting counties with implementing data-driven, evidence based approaches to utilize Opioid Abatement County Funding.
As stated in the Johns Hopkins 5 Principles for the Use of Funds from the Opioid Litigation, local jurisdictions should "use evidence to guide spending" and also "develop a fair and transparent process for deciding where to spend the funding." Technical assistance provided by OPSR seeks to do just that across counties in Tennessee.
Assistance Provided to Counties Include:
Creating Applications to Receive Community Proposals
OPSR leverages extensive experience in writing for and managing local, state, and federal grants for a variety of health related issues through oversight from the MTSU Center for Health and Human Services. Therefore, OPSR offers assistance to counties in creating a unique grant application specific to their county's priorities and constructed strategically with metrics that will measure success. Community organizations can complete this application to be reviewed by local officials to award funding directly to community organizations.
Constructing Systems of Review to Score Community Proposals
When having a comprehensive grant application that collects specific information from community organizations, it is imperative that review of this information is objective and is accompanied by a quantitative score. Because of this, OPSR provides assistance to counties in constructing an objective scoring rubric that can be used to evaluate proposals from the community requesting to utilize county abatement funds. This prioritizes awarding to funding proposals that are rooted in data and removes bias in evaluation that could result from solely receiving proposals through in-person presentations.
Measuring Success of Funding Utilization
Because Counties are expecting to receive abatement funding from 2021-2038, it is crucial that counties have developed systems in place to measure success of uses with abatement funds. To assist in this process, OPSR provides assistance to counties in measuring success of funding utilization and measuring the impact of abatement funded activities on the community through oversight from the MTSU Data Science Institute. This is beneficial not only to inform the public on successful projects funded by the County, but also to identify what changes could be made to maximize the impact of County funded projects.