KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Governor Lee visited Knoxville Wednesday to help announce the expansion of opioid treatment in East Tennessee.

The expansion is through a partnership between Helen Ross McNabb and UT Medical Center. 

United Healthcare awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to help Helen Ross McNabb offer peer support specialists in UT's emergency department.

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The added resources will give people addicted to opioids a chance to receive treatment before they ever leave the building.

Governer Lee said Wednesday this is a necessary step to combat the opioid crisis and he hopes to see similar models all across the state.

"And so it's important to me because if it's important to that many Tennesseans, it's certainly something that we need to be addressing. It's personal for so many Tennesseans and it's critically important that our state leads the country in addressing this epidemic," Gov. Lee said.

UT Medical Center hopes to have the treatment program up and running in the ER within the next 30 days.