For the second time in three years, Millionaire Grant Lady has won a $1.5 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help a Texas-based organization respond to the opioid crisis. Only 14 grants were awarded during this cycle of funding, which will be awarded over a three-year period in $500,000 increments by SAMHSA’s Emergency Department Alternatives to Opioids program, which exists to develop and implement alternatives to opioids for pain management in hospitals and emergency department (ED) settings.

The grantee is Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI), the dedicated research and development arm of the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas. As with the first grant won by Millionaire Grant Lady, BSWRI will work in partnership with Integrative Emergency Services (IES) for program implementation and development. The project will empower the BSW health system to implement alternatives to opioids in multiple emergency departments in North Texas and to provide crucial “bridge” treatment for people with pain and opioid use disorder. The project will evaluate if an opioid alternatives program can be scaled across a large health system with multiple emergency departments.

Three years ago, Millionaire Grant Lady won the same type of grant from SAMHSA for JPS Health Network, also in partnership with IES. These federal grants are transformative for the organizations that receive them, allowing them to implement their full programs and plan confidently over the three-year period. Federal grants are also the most competitive, complex, and difficult to receive. They require extensive research, strategic planning, and painstaking attention to program detail. They must also be compelling to read. Reviewers are people, too, and they get tired, going through proposal after proposal, sometimes up to 20 per person. For these reasons, any organization who manages to secure a federal grant of this magnitude should be proud.

On multiple occasions now, Millionaire Grant Lady has won an organization’s first federal grant, an even more difficult task for an unproven success. The work being undertaken by BSWRI and IES is crucial to transforming the lives of North Texans who have been snared by opioid crisis already and to preventing further addiction and suffering moving forward. Developing alternatives to the addictive substances that have taken countless lives is paramount to providing sustainable medical care moving forward. This grant provides both short-term and long-term benefits for the people of North Texas.