Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

June 29, 2018

Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement to Support the Rural Opioid Response Program

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will provide up to $3,000,000 per year over a four-year project period to support one technical assistance (TA) center to assist rural communities engaging in activities to combat opioid use disorder (OUD) through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP).

The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Technical Assistance (RCORP-TA) is part of a multi-year, $130 million opioid-focused effort by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The awardee of this cooperative agreement will be an entity with the ability to provide TA on a national scale and with extensive knowledge of OUD, and OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts, in rural communities.

The RCORP-TA award recipient will provide in-depth technical assistance to HRSA’s RCORP award recipients, who will be multi-sector consortiums engaged in the planning and implementation of OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives. The TA provider’s support will promote strategies for capacity-building and sustainability, and will cultivate methodologies to assist RCORP award recipients as they address prevention, treatment, and recovery services in rural communities.

Eligible applicants include domestic public, private, and non-profit entities. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply.

Note: The purpose of this funding opportunity is not for the receipt of TA, but to solicit an entity(s) to provide resources and expertise in support of the execution RCORP activities. 

HRSA will hold an hour-long technical assistance webinar for applicants of the RCORP-TA on Tuesday, July 10 at 3:30 pm ET.

For further details on how to access this webinar, please see page (ii) in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity is available on  Applications are due August 10, 2018, with a program start date of September 30, 2018.  Please contact Michael McNeely at with any questions.

HRSA would also like to provide some additional clarifying Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) associated with HRSA-18-116, the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program- Planning competition. This competition is open until July 30, 2018 and if the following responses do not completely address your issue please email

Can I use RCORP-Planning grant funds to purchase syringes?

This guidance supersedes the information HRSA provided on the RCORP-Planning technical assistance webinar for applicants held on June 28, 2018.

Please refer to HRSA’s SF424 Application Guide for guidance around syringe purchases using grant funds: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no funds appropriated in this Act shall be used to purchase sterile needles or syringes for the hypodermic injection of any illegal drug: Provided, That such limitation does not apply to the use of funds for elements of a program other than making such purchases if the relevant State or local health department, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, determines that the State or local jurisdiction, as applicable, is experiencing, or is at risk for, a significant increase in hepatitis infections or an HIV outbreak due to injection drug use, and such program is operating in accordance with State and local law.”

What is the FTE requirement for the Project Director?

The notice of funding opportunity does not specify an FTE requirement for project directors and other key program staff.  That said, Project Directors cannot bill more than 1.0 FTE across federal grants.  Additionally, per the review criteria (pg. 24), applicants will need to demonstrate the extent to which the staffing plan has a direct link to the activities proposed in the work plan; the Project Director will serve as the point person on the award, make staffing, financial, or other adjustments to align project activities with the project outcomes, and facilitate collaborative input across consortium members to fulfill the proposed project activities in the work plan and HRSA-required reporting requirements; and the resumes and biographical sketches detail the qualifications and relevant experience for each proposed staff member.

With regards to Attachment 10, my organization has received numerous HRSA grants over the past 5 years and listing them all, with the abstracts, would fill several pages.  Can I just provide the HRSA grant numbers, titles, and project period dates (and not the abstracts)?

Yes, this would be acceptable.

The applicant organization/consortium member/target population is located in a county that is partially rural.  How should my organization address this in the application?

1. Applicant organizations and consortium members can determine whether their physical street address is located in a HRSA-designated rural area by visiting here:  

2. Applicants must confirm that the target population is located exclusively in the portions of the county that are considered rural:    

My organization has its headquarters in an urban area, but has several rural offices that serve rural populations.  Is my organization considered rural?

If an applicant organization or consortium member’s headquarters are located in an urban area, but they have rural satellite offices or clinics that have the same employment identification number (EIN) as the headquarters, they are considered urban for the purposes of the grant. 

My county is not one of the 220 listed in Appendix A.  Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes—all high risk rural communities are eligible to apply for this funding opportunity.  It is up to the applicant to provide data and information in the Need section of the Project Narrative (pp. 9-11), including opioid mortality rates, provider information, key demographic data, and other data points that demonstrate their proposed service area/population’s level of need and risk.

I am having difficulty accessing the System for Award Management (SAM) to register or update my account.  How do you recommend I proceed?

Applicants should request an application package from the DGP waivers mailbox at;

  1. Applicants should submit their application by email to the DGP waivers mailbox by the NOFO application due date;
  2. The application will proceed through the rest of the process normally (as if the applicant submitted through