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NKU Awarded Over $200K in Federal Grants to Promote Economic Development, Halt Recidivism

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Sept. 20, 2021 —  Northern Kentucky University has been awarded $208,999 in two separate grants to develop of Northern Kentucky’s economic region and assist with the health and livelihood of its residents.

The first grant is from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The $99,999 Rural Business Development Enterprise grant expands on the newly founded Northern Kentucky Collaborative for Economic Engagement unveiled last year. The grant will be used help Northern Kentucky address economic challenges of rural counties, helping the region thrive in the post-COVID-19 environment. Planned initiatives include supporting company acquisitions and transitions, training businesses to build capacity within their workforce and expediting product development.

“This grant will help us in our goal in helping the neglected rural areas of Northern Kentucky to become more competitive,” said Dr. Valerie Hardcastle, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Executive Director of the Institute for Health Innovation and vice president of Health Innovation. “In addition, COVID-19 had a tremendous negative impact on the region. This money will help equip our communities so that they are can recover economically from the pandemic faster and better.”

The project will focus specifically on business growth in the four Opportunity Zones in Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Owen and Pendleton counties. More information about the Kentucky Collaborative for Economic Engagement can be found on its website.

The second grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Totaling $109,000 and running for 18 months, it will allow the Institute for Health Innovation to implement a rigorous analysis of treatment services of individuals who with substance use disorder. The hypothesis to tested is that recidivism will be reduced in individuals who begin treatment while detained.

“If successful, these types of programs could become a model for the Commonwealth,” Hardcastle said, adding that Kentucky has requested approval to use Medicaid resources to assist inmates and detainees with treatment for substance use disorder.

For more information on NKU’s Institute for Health Innovation and its initiatives, visit its website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit nku.edu.

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