Attorney General Tim Griffin awards $50M opioid funds to Children’s Hospital

Griffin: ‘NCOR will be a game changer … The establishment of this center represents a significant investment in prevention, care and research that will benefit all Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – After making an announcement alongside Arkansas Children’s President and CEO Marcy Doderer, FACHE, and Arkansas Children’s Chief Clinical Officer Rick Barr, MD, this morning, Attorney General Tim Griffin issued the following statement:

“Today we are making history in the fight against opioid abuse in America. I am granting $50 million of the state’s opioid settlement funds to help establish the National Center for Opioid Research & Clinical Effectiveness (NCOR, pronounced ‘encore’) at Arkansas Children’s. NCOR will be a game changer for our children. This research center will be the first of its kind not just in Arkansas, but in the entire country. It will put our state on the front line of saving future generations from the scourge of opioid addiction and on the map as the center for pediatric opioid research in the United States.

“NCOR will be led by Dr. Pete Mourani, who has a strong track record of NIH funding. He is the site principal investigator and steering committee member for the prestigious eight-site National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) supported Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network (CPCCRN), which performs impactful clinical research in the field of pediatric critical illness and injury. He will work closely with Dr. William Steinbach, who for the past 20 years has led a National Institute of Health-funded multidisciplinary clinical care and research programs. The two will lead a national effort to identify NCOR’s inaugural director.

“NCOR’s work will lead to a better understanding of the impacts of the opioid crisis on unborn babies, newborns and developing children. It will also contribute to the development of evidence-based treatments, which will greatly improve health outcomes and help shape state and national policy. Establishing NCOR is an effective use of Arkansas’s opioid settlement funds because it is a long-term investment in work that will continue for decades to come—long after opioid settlement funds are gone. Also, it is a potent use of funds because the center’s work will be directly focused on multiple Core Strategies for opioid remediation as outlined in the national opioid settlement agreements.

“Arkansas Children’s is a nationally renowned leader in pediatric health care, and as such is an ideal partner in the effort to reduce and eliminate the devastation that opioid abuse has caused in our state and across our country. The establishment of this center represents a significant investment in prevention, care and research that will benefit all Arkansans regardless of their address. Specifically, the research and training from NCOR will be shared and applied at all Arkansas Children’s regional locations and instate nursery alliance partners and shared outside our borders with the world.”


  • Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock
  • Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Springdale
  • ACH Jonesboro Clinic
  • ACH West Little Rock Clinic
  • ACH Southwest Little Rock Clinic
  • ACH Pine Bluff Clinic
  • Harvey Pediatrics, Rogers


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