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Catawba County Commissioners Approve New Opioid Program Coordinator Position

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners’ Finance & Personnel Subcommittee requested that the Board create a new Opioid/Substance Use Disorder Program Coordinator position. The commissioners approved the request by a unanimous vote Monday (August 7). The position will be paid for through opioid settlement funds and a corresponding grant project ordinance and budget amendment appropriating the funds.

Catawba County has entered into two Memoranda of Agreement (M.O.A.) with the State of North Carolina to participate in nationwide opioid settlements with manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers. The M.O.A. lays out the specific purposes for which the funds may be used, along with key monitoring and reporting requirements. The county will receive approximately $24-million by 2038, with additional funding expected as further settlements are reached. To date, approximately $2-million has been received and placed in a separate special revenue fund for future eligible expenses.

The Program Coordinator will serve as the county’s point person in understanding and organizing community response efforts surrounding opioid addiction and substance use disorder, tracking the effectiveness of new and existing programs, and making recommendations for future programs and investments. The Program Coordinator will work closely with department and county management, elected leaders, and community service providers. The Program Coordinator will be responsible for tracking and reporting on the county’s opioid settlement funding and making recommendations on how to best spend those funds.

The new Opioid/Substance Use Disorder Coordinator will be housed in the Public Health Department and will receive a total compensation package of $96,753, including benefits. At least for the first year, funding for the position will be requested annually, in keeping with terms set forth in the M.O.A.