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KDHE Receives Funding to Fight Overdoses
Kansas Ag Connection - 10/15/2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announced its Bureau of Health Promotion was awarded $3.1 million as part of its second year of the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) Cooperative Agreement through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This award will support prevention and surveillance efforts surrounding the opioid and drug use, misuse and overdose crisis in Kansas. The award will bring in $3.1 million per year through 2022.

In 2019, there were more than 393 drug-poisoning deaths in Kansas, and approximately 177 of those involved a prescription or an illicit opioid, and 153 involved psychostimulants, such as methamphetamine. The OD2A Cooperative Agreement addresses drug overdose prevention through a collaborative, multifaceted approach including working with units of state and local government, health systems, public safety, academia, local health departments, community coalitions and non-profit organizations.

"Approaching the opioid and drug crisis from both the state level and local level through this collaboration will generate better reach and outcomes for Kansans," said Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary.

Some of the specific strategies under OD2A include:

- Statewide analysis and interpretation of emergency department overdose data.

- Implementing innovative surveillance projects and using the data generated to inform prevention activities.

- Providing technical enhancements to Kansas' prescription drug monitoring program, K-TRACS, to promote universal use among prescribers, pharmacists and their delegates.

- Funding 12 local health departments, community coalitions and non-profit organizations to implement locally-driven overdose prevention initiatives. Those funded include:

o Clay Counts Coalition

o Coffey Health System

o Finney County Community Health Coalition

o Grant County Community Foundation

o Harvey County Health Department

o Safe Streets Wichita

o Saline County Health Department

o Prevention and Recovery Services (PARS), Shawnee County

o Reno County Health Department

o Sedgwick County Health Department

o Wyandotte County Health Department

o Johnson County Department of Health and Environment

- Connecting at-risk individuals to services through outreach by community health workers and peer navigators.

- Coordinating educational opportunities and quality improvement initiatives for Kansas healthcare providers, to improve access to alternative therapies for pain management, recognize and treat addiction and facilitate referral to services.

- Implementing public awareness campaigns to increase awareness of prevention, treatment and recovery resources.

For additional information on Kansas' efforts to prevent overdose, as well as further statistics, please visit www.preventoverdoseks.org.


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