Needle Exchange Program In Humboldt County, Calif., Forced To End; Officials Hoping For Federal Help
Health officials in Humboldt County, Calif., "will be watching closely" the debate expected to ensue over legislation introduced last week containing "a provision that would scrap the federal funding ban on needle exchange programs that has been in place for years," the Eureka Times-Standard reports. According to the Times-Standard, "This month, Open Door Community Health Centers' clinics in Arcata and Eureka quietly stopped administering the needle exchange program they have operated for almost a decade." Open Door Community Health Centers Chief Operating Officer Cheyenne Spetzler, said, "The footprint of the program just kept getting bigger." In addition, grant funding was often limited to covering the costs of the needles and not the costs of administering the programs, Spetzler said. County Department of Health and Human Services Programs Director Barbara LaHaie said the county is currently seeking alternatives to continue the program. However, "Without a reliable funding stream, that may prove difficult," the article states (Greenson, 7/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.