Kane County Coroner’s office gets two grants for opioid overdose prevention and death investigations

Kane County is the recipient of two substantial grants aimed at tackling opioid overdoses and enhancing the internal operations in the Kane County Coroner’s Office.

• Opioid Overdose Prevention Project ($30,000)

This grant, facilitated by the Kane County Health Department, will allow the Kane County Coroner to hire a community liaison to connect residents with the County’s opioid reduction efforts.

A key aspect of their work will be organizing public outreach events to offer support to caregivers and addiction counselors throughout Kane County.

“There is a lot of money spent to help the people who are battling substance abuse, but few programs to provide support for the caregivers who are at the forefront of an addiction,” said Kane County Coroner Rob Russell.

Russell says his office also will begin monthly reporting of confirmed drugs from toxicology screens to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration National Forensic Laboratory Information System. These efforts are part of the Overdose Fatality Review and seek to enhance data gathering and intervention strategies.

• Strengthening Death Investigation Operations ($101,459)

This three-year federal grant from the U.S. Justice Department will fund a part-time morgue assistant to improve medicolegal death investigations. This position will alleviate the excessive workload currently covered by deputy coroners.

It will improve operations by enabling deputy coroners to focus on investigative and case-related duties, including the issuance of death certificates.

The grant also will provide funding to update policies, procedures, and practices to meet accreditation standards, ensuring the office’s readiness for re-accreditation in 2025.

By implementing these projects, the Kane County Coroner will to strengthen the county’s response to opioid-related crises and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of death investigations.

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