The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will award up to $6.7 million in three-year grants to six organizations to expand use of technologies to better meet the needs of underserved regions.

The technologies include use of chat lines and Web cams, among other mechanisms, to increase the frequency of contact between providers and clients. SAMHSA is a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The maximum grant award is $400,000 annually for three years but the second and third years are contingent on availability of funds and performance of the grantees. First-year awards went to:

* Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska, $400,000;

* Preferred Family Healthcare in Kirksville, Mo., $282,834;

* Gateway Community Services in Jacksonville, Fla., $400,000;

* Ohio Department of Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services in Columbus, $400,000;

* Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System in Chattanooga, Tenn., $398,444; and

* The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, $400,000.

--Joseph Goedert


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