CommCARE Launches EPICC Program

KC Health Leaders Band Together to Fight Local Opioid Crisis

CommCARE President/CEO Terry Trafton is pleased to announce the official debut of the new opioid crisis treatment program that launches in selected Emergency Rooms across Kansas City on Tuesday April 23, 2019. Spearheaded by CommCARE, EPICC, which stands for Engaging Patients in Care Coordination, 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 says, “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.”


According to 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 also offers a peer recovery coach to help individuals recover from addiction.”


Dr. Doug Burgess, EPICC Addictions Psychiatrist and Medically Assisted Treatment Provider at Truman Medical Centers, says. “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.”


The press conference features remarks from:


Terry Trafton, President/CEO, CommCARE, which also operates FirstStepForHelp.com


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


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


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

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