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EPICC Referral Line: 

The EPICC program by CommCARE, is one of the first programs of its kind in the state of Missouri to fight the Opioid Crisis.  EPICC is an acronym for Engaging Patients In Care Coordination. Based upon successful implementation of the state's first EPICC program in St. Louis, EPICC by CommCARE promotes a ‘Medication First’ model through transitions of care.

CommCARE is collaborating with six community mental health centers and six Kansas City-area hospitals to ensure patients are connected to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Substance Use and Mental Health treatment, and community resources as a way to enhance the recovery process.

According to CommCARE CEO Terry Trafton, “Kansas City health professionals have banned together to save lives that are facing the most severe challenges. The EPICC program treats overdose victims at emergency rooms with a medication that minimizes opioids without the resulting high. It offers a peer recovery coach to help individuals recover from addiction.”

The CommCARE press conference for the launch of the EPICC program was hosted by Terry Trafton, President/CEO, CommCARE, which also operates The event featured remarks from:

  • Shawn Billings, Director of Substance Use Programming, Missouri Hospital Association

  • Dr. Doug Burgess, Addictions Psychiatrist and Medically Assisted Treatment Provider, Truman Medical Centers

  • Jennifer Craig, CEO and President of ReDiscover, which also operates the Kansas City Assessment and Triage Center

  • Tim Rudder, LMSW,  State Opioid Coordinator, Missouri Department of Mental Health


Trafton stated, "EPICC is an innovative collaborative effort between six local hospitals, six community mental health centers with substance use programs, the Missouri Hospital Association, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health."

Citing harrowing statistics from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Trafton said, “Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids; in Missouri, that equates to 2.6 deaths every day or 952 deaths for the year 2017. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.  In Kansas City, we are launching one of the first programs in the state to save local lives and expedite access to the road for recovery.”

Dr. Doug Burgess, Addictions Psychiatrist and Medically Assisted Treatment Provider at Truman Medical Centers, said. “The opioid epidemic is the most severe substance-use-related epidemic in the history of the United States. Traditional approaches to treatment have been ineffective, and deaths continue to accumulate. Communities that have expanded access to effective treatments by extending services to standard medical settings have demonstrated a remarkable reduction in mortality rates. It is imperative that our medical community reduce unnecessary barriers and obstacles to accessing lifesaving medication.”

Watch the entire Press Conference below:

EPICC by CommCARE is a hospital-referred program for patients in opioid crisis.  

All EPICC patients must be referred by a licensed health care worker or clinician.

EPICC Program Manager Jonathan Boese said, "EPICC by CommCARE follows a person-centered, medication-first model. EPICC provides Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution. This landmark program is so compelling because it is spearheaded by certified peer specialists who serve as EPICC Recovery Coaches, providing on-going peer support that starts in the Emergency Department and continues after hospital discharge."

  • EPICC serves Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Ray counties in the state of Missouri. 

  • EPICC will help any hospital-referred patient with an overdose stemming from opioids who is 16 years or older.

  • EPICC will visit any floor of the hospital, not just the Emergency Department. 

  • EPICC helps in interventions for individuals who are identified as High Risk for Opioid overdose, such as those with severe Opioid Use Disorder including IV Opioid users and pregnant women.

Meet the peer specialists who serve as Recovery Coaches for EPICC by CommCARE.

For more information or to schedule a meeting, please contact us at

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