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Please see the attachment below.

MSO meetings

You are invited to attend a stakeholder engagement meeting regarding substance use disorder services in your community. As part of Senate Bill 16-202, each regional managed service organization (MSO) is working on assessing the sufficiency and effective substance use disorder services in each region of the state. There are a series of stakeholder meetings that will be held across Colorado for community members, such as yourself, to provide feedback on gaps in services, what works well, and what doesn’t work well. The goal of the meeting is to better understand substance use disorder services in your community.

Your voice is more important than ever in ensuring that we identify the gaps and opportunities. The information will be used by each MSO to prepare a community action plan to address the most critical service gaps for substance use disorder services in their regions.

We sincerely hope that you will participate in this important effort.

RSVP Stakeholder Meetings

Please indicate your availability in participating in this effort by RSVPing to a meeting in your region as soon as possible. Register Here. On the RSVP page, you will find more detailed information for the date, time, and location of the meetings. You will receive a confirmation email confirming your RSVP and a reminder notification closer to the time and date of the meeting.

Please contact Lorez Meinhold at or 970-513-5805 with any thoughts or questions you may have to best ensure this effort is helpful in raising and discussing the issues of greatest importance from your perspective.

Please pass this information on to anyone who might be interested Link to register and more information: More information

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By: Jakob Rogers

September 27, 2016

Bolstering education about the dangers opioid painkillers pose and improving the ways to get addiction treatment are needed to curtail opioid-related overdoses in the Pikes Peak region, a newly formed coalition said Tuesday.

The recommendations signaled the next step in a monthslong effort by health care providers, addiction treatment specialists and law enforcement to reduce overdoses from narcotic painkillers – such as morphine and oxycodone – as well as heroin.

Led by the nonprofit Community Health Partnership, the coalition was formed in March amid a rise in opioid-related overdoses across the Pikes Peak region, Colorado and the nation. From 2012 through 2014, for example, more than 50 people in El Paso County died of heroin-related overdoses, state health records show.

The coalition plans to conduct a community readiness assessment, which will evaluate how ready El Paso County is to implement some of its suggested changes.

“This is an all hands-on-deck approach that we have to take,” said Mary Steiner, the nonprofit’s community pilots and projects manager.

At a forum Tuesday, the coalition listed treatment barriers that people in the Pikes Peak region face as well as some ways to help curtail the epidemic. Often, those recommendations called for better prescription drug monitoring programs, improved community awareness campaigns and better policing practices.

Over and over, the coalition’s leaders said more public education is needed to highlight how best to use opioids prescribed for pain, as well as where to find addiction treatment.

The biggest barrier to treatment often involves finding a ride to therapy, coalition members said. Public transportation is cumbersome, and current programs that shuttle people to treatment require too much advance notice.

More education also is needed throughout the community on the state’s Good Samaritan law, which offers immunity to anyone who reports, in good faith, a drug or alcohol overdose, Colorado Springs police Lt. Mark Comte said.

And officers need more training in how to handle overdose cases – including how to help parents of overdose victims find treatment help for their children, he said.

“We cannot arrest our way out of problems,” Comte said.

Anyone interested in joining the coalition can contact Community Health Partnership at 632-5094.

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Coalition aims to combat opioid-related overdoses in Pikes Peak region

By: Jakob Rodgers

March 29, 2016

A newly-formed coalition took its first step Tuesday to combat an epidemic of opioid-related overdoses gripping the Pikes Peak region.

The group, comprised of physicians, addiction treatment specialists and elected officials, held its first meeting under the direction of Community Health Partnership, a health-based nonprofit, to address the issue.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark helped kick off the initiative. They framed it as an issue facing the entire community – especially people prescribed narcotic painkillers, which include Vicodin, fentanyl and oxycodone.

“The key to this whole thing is not getting them addicted to prescription opioids in the first place,” Suthers said.

The initiative mirrors a similar one a few years ago to shore up gaps in the Pikes Peak region’s mental health care system. That work laid the foundation for several new programs, including a 24-hour facility managed by AspenPointe that has acted like an emergency room for mental health patients.

It comes as the federal government pumps an increasing amount of money into programs combating the epidemic.

The issue has garnered increasing urgency in recent years.

Across the nation, 28,647 people died in opioid-related overdoses in 2014 – quadruple the number since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Colorado, heroin-related deaths tripled from 2010 through 2014, leaving 151 people dead in 2014.

Working under the direction of Community Health Partnership, the group plans to spend the next several months further identifying factors contributing to the rise in addictions, as well as ways to slow or reverse that trend.

They plan to host another community meeting in six months, after which they’ll begin seeking funding to implement their plan.

“It really is an issue for all of us,” said Carol Bruce-Fritz, Community Health Partnership’s chief executive.

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Carol Bruce-Fritz participated in the National Health Policy Forum’s Learning from Leading-Edge States in Washington, DC in December, 2015. She took part in a discussion featuring other Accountable Care Organization (ACO) authorities from across the country.

Session topics included Community Care of Central Colorado’s RCCO initiatives and program design and how ACOs facilitate collaboration between health care providers, public health and social services to coordinate care and improve the health of the populations they serve.

To learn more about he National Health Policy Forum, you can visit their website here.