Mental Health and Addiction Services–Strengthening the Continuum of Care in Athens, Hocking and Vinton Counties

July 2017 Request for Proposals                    
Photo by: Belén Marco Crespo

Funding Partnership

The Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville and the 317 Board are launching a new collaborative funding partnership to strengthen mental health and addiction services through infrastructure enhancements, provider training and promotion of systems collaboration in Athens, Hocking and Vinton counties.

The 317 Board is responsible for designing policies, evaluating programs, accessing funds and monitoring alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services in Athens, Hocking and Vinton counties. The 317 Board receives primary funding from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and local tax levies. Currently, the 317 Board contracts with twelve local agencies to provide a comprehensive offering of mental health, drug and alcohol addiction services throughout the three counties.

The Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville (OHFN) advances programs and services designed to improve health and quality of life in southeast Ohio, including obesity, oral health and targeted community support. The Foundation pursues partnerships and opportunities to advance innovative solutions that demonstrate long-term impact for vulnerable populations, measurable outcomes and sustainability.


The 317 Board and OHFN partnership began in 2012 with a multi-year commitment to collaboratively support innovative and effective strategies designed to improve the health and quality of life for vulnerable individuals and their families affected by addiction and mental health issues.  The initial co-investment, totaling $767,500over three (3) years, was designed to improve both the behavioral and physical health outcomes of individuals with mental health and substance abuse disorders through integrated care projects.  This funding concluded June 30, 2017 and has been successful in forming new partnerships among primary and behavioral health providers in southeast Ohio, increasing screening and treatment of more people with behavioral health needs in primary care settings and improving chronic disease management for individuals with both behavioral and physical health conditions.

Building on these successes, the funding partnership will expand its focus to strengthen the overall mental health and addiction services continuum of care in Athens, Hocking and Vinton counties, in response to the continued unmet needs for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness and communities negatively impacted by the opiate epidemic.  

To inform this investment, OHFN and the 317 Board invited community providers to the Lodge at Hocking College on April 4, 2017 for a planning session to explore opportunities for strengthening the continuum of behavioral health care and addiction services, especially for vulnerable populations in southeast Ohio.   The following themes were identified: 

  • The need for a strong continuum of care with both traditional and innovative services
  • The need for ways to access services and to have an adequate workforce
  • The need to have connections with community and for system collaboration
  • The need for adequate and sustainable funding

1 Includes funding award made by OHFN directly to Woodland Centers, Inc.

Purpose and Availability of Funds

In response to these needs, the partners are issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) with the goal of strengthening the mental health and addiction services continuum of care in Athens, Hocking and Vinton counties. As part of this effort, the funding partners will support one-time investments for projects reflective of the following priorities:

  1. Infrastructure enhancements to property or equipment that directly impacts and improves consumer services/experiences
  2. Provider training opportunities that expand, enhance or enable innovative and effective service delivery models
  3. Cross-system collaborations to expand or create new capacity to coordinate consumer-focused services 

Successful proposals will demonstrate results that are sustainable after the investment period and one or more of the following outcomes:

  1. Increased number of people receiving services
  2. Enhanced quality of care such that clients achieve enhanced benefits in functioning, well-being and/or level of independence 
  3. Improved service coordination
  4. Process efficiencies
  5. Leveraged other resources
  6. Reduced costs

Through a 1:1 funding match, the 317 Board and OHFN will each allocate $300,000, for a total of up to $600,000, in support of this effort. Funding through the partnership may be considered match support to leverage additional funding from other entities or to provide start-up funds that will leverage additional support to create or expand sustainable service capacity. 

Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to make a proposal through this initiative:

  1. The following 317 Board Panel of Providers and affiliated organizations:  Athens Mental Health, Inc., Athens Photographic Project, Health Recovery Services, Hopewell Health Centers, Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, John W. Clem Recovery House, My Sister’s Place, NAMI Athens, Scenic Hills Senior Center, Sojourners, Southeast Regional Jail, TASC of Southeast Ohio, Vinton County Senior Citizens and Women for Recovery. 
  2. Other nonprofit or governmental agencies, for example, County Children Services or Health Departments serving Athens, Hocking or Vinton counties, which have a commitment from one of the above providers for a new, collaborative effort.

Application and Review Process

Submission Requirements

Applicants must submit one signed, original paper application and one electronic application.  The electronic application and required attachments should be submitted to Diane Pfaff at the 317 Board, via email, at The signed, original paper application should be submitted to the 317 Board, 7990 Dairy Lane, Athens, Ohio 45701. The 317 Board must receive both copies no later than 4:00 p.m. on September 29, 2017. No fax copies accepted. 

Application forms can be downloaded here or can be requested at the 317 Board office by contacting Beth Mohammed at

Pre-Application Session & Technical Assistance

An optional, pre-application informational session will be held at the 317 Board office on August 2, 2017 from 3:00-4:30 pm, to explain the application process and funding priorities. Interested applicants must RSVP their intention to attend by July 31, 2017 to Beth Mohammed at or 740-593-3177.  Following the pre-application session, requests for technical assistance may be directed to Earl Cecil, Executive Director.

Review Process 

The 317 Board and OHFN will review each submitted application for completeness and accuracy, requesting clarification or revision if necessary from the applicant organization, including the possibility of site visits. The 317 Board is working toward a Recovery Oriented System of Care that builds partnerships to improve treatment outcomes. Utilization of this approach should be reflected in the application.  Applications should also provide clear answers to the following questions:

  • What is the problem or issue the proposed project will address?
  • How will the project solve the problem or address the need? 
  • Is the program essential to the system of care and evidence-based?
  • How will funds be used?
  • What are the outcomes the project will measure?
  • How will outcomes be verified?
  • How will the project be sustained after the proposed grant period?

In addition, successful applicants will demonstrate a track record of results along with the following:

  • Address documented unmet needs of individuals with behavioral health issues
  • Deliver effective, sustainable programs or services promoting behavioral health wellness
  • Include a  well-defined implementation plan, which  aligns with the funding outcomes
  • Provision of services to Athens, Hocking and Vinton county residents exclusively
  • Leverage other funding sources 
  • Collaboration among 317 Board-supported agencies or cross-system partnerships  

Funding is limited and the funding partners reserve the right to decline any and all proposals if requests exceed available funding resources or in the event the evaluation process determines a funding award would not meet the goals of the partners.

Organizations funded through the initiative are required to document outcomes and may occasionally be asked to participate in meetings at the request or invitation of the funding partners.

The logos of the funding partners (317 Board and OHFN) should be included on all printed materials specific to the program activities supported through the partnership.