Mid-Missouri health services to help track opioid overdoses

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COLUMBIA - The Interim City Manager will sign a letter of agreement between the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the City of Columbia on Monday.

The goal of the cooperation is to enhance the state-wide surveillance system for opioid overdoses. 

The Bureau of Reportable Disease Informatics (BRDI) within Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services received federal funding to help keep track of opioid deaths in the state.

The new initiative will involve multiple local public health agencies. The state hopes this will help leaders consider needs at the local level. 

One of the local departments involved is Columbia/Boone County Health and Human Services. Senior Planner Jason Wilcox said the department plans on working with community members in the medical field.

"We will be putting together a stakeholder meeting later on this spring," said Wilcox. "So this is bringing together stakeholders like first responders, emergency room doctors, people of that nature that sort of see the entire gamut of opioids."

According to the Columbia City Council meeting agenda, "Public Health & Human Services will receive $3,000 in exchange for providing feedback in regards to state level collection of chief complaint data when patients come to emergency rooms (syndromic surveillance), reporting and local applications, as well as by assisting BRDI in working with local area hospitals to assure project success."

The project ends on August 31, 2019. 

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