About the Mountain Plains Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Center

In 2022, WICHE was awarded a two-year grant From SAMHSA to establish the Mountain Plains Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Center (MP ROTAC) and support Opioid and stimulant prevention, treatment, and recovery in HHS Region 8, covering Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.  MP ROTAC develops and disseminates resources, training, and technical assistance to rural communities across the continuum of care. In partnership with our Regional Advisory Workgroup. MP ROTAC’s efforts aim to meet the needs of a wide variety of audiences that are not traditionally targeted by other training efforts.

Grant Goals

  • Address the misuse of opiates and stimulants. Identify, develop, and implement effective strategies for rural communities to address the misuse of opiates and stimulants across the behavioral health continuum of care.
  • Foster regional and national alliances. Foster regional and national alliances among culturally diverse partners in state and tribal opioid response, university extensions, and behavioral health training and technical assistance providers, practitioners, prevention specialists, policy makers, people with lived experience, and other state, regional, and national partners.
  • Provide accessible, free training and technical assistance. Ensure the availability and delivery of publicly accessible, free training and technical assistance on opioid and stimulant misuse across the continuum of care to partners, stakeholders, families, and individuals with lived experience in rural and tribal communities.

Grant Purpose

The purpose of the SAMHSA funding opportunity is to implement a Center of Excellence in each of the HHS Regions. Each center is charged with developing and disseminating training and technical assistance addressing opioid and simulant misuse affecting rural communities within each region.


Through valuable partnerships with behavioral health, education, and training partners across Region 8, MP ROTAC is working to expand access and reach to rural communities.  MP ROTAC’s Regional Advisory Workgroup is a critical component of these efforts, providing their expertise on the most pressing training and technical assistance needs in their communities, as well as guidance on training delivery and collaboration.  MP ROTAC continues to pursue additional partnerships with organizations engaged in opioid and stimulant misuse prevention, treatment and recovery.

Target Population

MP ROTAC will focus on the state-prioritized populations most impacted by behavioral health issues: Veterans, older adults, youth, adolescents and young adults, American Indian/Alaskan Native; Black/African American; Hispanic/Latino, and LGBTQIA+. The project will reach these disparate populations in rural, tribal, and frontier communities as well as any other populations of focus identified by partners. Broadly, MP ROTAC’s audience of focus is general audiences that are not targeted by partner efforts.

Primary Activities

MP ROTAC provides training and technical assistance, made publicly available and tailored to meet the needs of a wide variety of professionals, including general audiences who reside in rural communities. To identify training and educational opportunities, we:

  • Conducted a thorough needs assessment
  • Regularly convene a Regional Advisory Workgroup
  • Work with key partners at the national, state, and
    regional level
  • Provide monthly, specialized training events
  • Establish and engage a professional Community of Practice
  • Facilitate Behavioral Health Learning Collaboratives
Through these activities, MP ROTAC promotes integration of evidence-based, model, and promising practices across the substance use disorder continuum of care. These educational opportunities promote values towards positive behavioral health, trauma-informed care, behavioral health equity, and recovery as a process of change towards a self-directed life of wellness and health.

If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact Bobbi!

Ivory Tubbs

Technical Expert Lead, WICHE


Vanessa Gonzalez

Technical Assistance Associate, WICHE


Margie DeAnda

Administrative Assistant, WICHE