Provided by Board Chair Ann Wheeler’s Office
Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton has secured funding for two George Mason University health projects that will have an impact well beyond the George Mason Science and Technology campus located in PWC. The almost $2 million in total federal funding for both projects came as part of the federal omnibus appropriations bill that President Biden recently signed into law to fund the government through Fiscal Year 2023.
Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
The federal investment of $1,037,519 will help establish the future Empowered Communities Partnership Center that will leverage public and private partnerships in addressing abuse among high-risk individuals experiencing substance and opioid abuse disorder.
The center will work to prevent overdose opioid use and limit the burden to the state healthcare system by coordinating care across systems of support and developing new models of community care.
According to the Virginia Department of Health:
- In 2021 opioids led to more than 10,800 overdose emergency room visits.
- Fentanyl (prescription, illicit, and/or analogs) caused or contributed to death in 76.4% of all fatal overdoses in 2021.
Combating Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses
The federal investment of $820,000 will go to establishing The Center for Advanced Testing: Tick-Borne Disease Diagnostic Clinic to help combat the rising number of tick-borne illnesses throughout Virginia. Mason scientists have developed a technology for patient sample self-collection that does not require refrigerated shipment or storage and can detect all the major known tick-borne pathogens. Results are obtained within 24 hours versus the conventional serology test for Lyme disease which usually takes about 6 to 12 days.
You can learn more about ticks and tick-borne disease in PWC, as well as the proper method to remove ticks here.