Bloomberg Philanthropies gives Pa. $10 million to reduce overdose deaths

Written by Nina Feldman/WHYY | Jul 9, 2019 5:11 AM

Daliah Heller and her colleagues at Vital Strategies, the nonprofit public health arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies, knew that. They knew that, relative to the many millions of dollars that federal agencies like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had already committed to fighting the opioid crisis, this was just a drop in the bucket. So the question became: How could their organization support what a state is already doing — what’s already working — to help prevent overdose deaths?

“We see it as: The train has left the station, and it’s a train that we want to see get to the place it’s going,” said Heller, director of Drug Use Initiatives at Vital Strategies.

In November, Bloomberg Philanthropies, headed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced a $50 million effort to combat the opioid epidemic across the country. Tuesday marks the launch of the first initiatives funded by this effort, all of them in Pennsylvania.

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