Helping Communities Address the Opioid Crisis

Learn how our work on the opioid crisis has helped an Ohio county implement a coordinated and effective response.

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Lorain County, Ohio was struggling with a high rate of opioid overdoses. A local foundation enlisted Altarum to aid the community in creating a roadmap to guide the response and ensure efficient use of all available resources. We employed a three-phased approach of analyzing the problem, engaging the community in strategic planning, and identifying best practices and recommendations for action.

Our Approach

During Phase I, we completed an environmental scan and identified geographic gaps in the distribution of the county’s existing local treatment and recovery services. In Phase II, we conducted interviews and held focus groups with dozens of local stakeholders, including professionals in recovery service, health care, government, and faith-based and criminal justice organizations. And in Phase III, we reviewed evidence-based practices to address the opioid crisis that are relevant to the community.


We assembled this information into a roadmap that the community is now implementing. Because of our work, the county is employing effective practices informed by evidence, coordinating care more efficiently across organizations, and directing resources where the need is greatest.

Helping Communities Address the Opioid Crisis Contact

Contact Us

Jessica McDuff

Jessica McDuff  - MA

Program Director, Behavioral Health

Areas of Expertise
  • Behavioral Health
  • Evaluation Methods and Design
  • Technical Assistance and Program Improvement 

Jessica McDuff has 22 years of experience working with federal, state, and local agencies to evaluate and improve behavioral health programs and systems of care. She specializes in evaluation design and implementation with emphasis on use of equitable evaluation principles and cross sector linkages between behavioral health and primary care, maternal and child health, and family planning. Jessica holds a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan.