Teesha Miller Named PDMP Director

Teesha Miller will be taking on the position of director of the county’s new Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

The program will create an electronic database on opioid and other controlled substance prescriptions dispensed within a given jurisdiction. PDMPs help prevent a person from receiving multiple prescriptions for the same opioids or controlled substances, making it more difficult for these drugs to be abused. PDMPs can also improve coordination of patient care among various health care providers with the goal of better pain management and reduced deaths associated with abuse and accidental overdose due to confusion about drug interactions.

County Executive Frank White, Jr., said, “We know that prescription drug monitoring programs are vital to help combat the opioid epidemic. Jackson County is doing everything we can to help fight prescription drug abuse in our area, and we will continue until the state establishes its own program.”

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In late 2016, the Jackson County Legislature approved the creation of a PDMP for the county in partnership with St. Louis County. A formal signing of the partnership agreement occurred on Jan. 24, 2017.

I'm excited to take over a program like this in Jackson County. Research shows from 2012 to 2015 overdose deaths due to heroin use more than quadrupled on the Missouri side of the greater Kansas City area. Opiates were a contributing factor to some of those deaths. I view this position and program as a proactive step in preventing, reducing, and/or reversing opioid abuse relative to prescribed medications,” Miller said.

Prior to joining Jackson County, Miller served as program manager for the Parent to Parent program and as March of Dimes NICU Family Support Coordinator at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She earned her master’s degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s degree in management from Park University. She is also pursuing a certificate in pediatric bioethics.

As Director of the Jackson County PDMP, Miller will work closely with the county’s counterparts in St. Louis to launch and manage the program. She will support efforts to coordinate regulatory and policy efforts with representatives from federal, state and local entities. She will also serve as liaison to area health departments and community partners to advance strategic initiatives, develop policies and procedures and manage program data.

Miller will spend a significant amount of time communicating with providers and dispensers about the function and benefits of the program. She will also offer community education through formal and informal presentations to individuals and organizations who would like to learn more about the prevalence of opioid abuse.

Miller stressed, “The ultimate goal is to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of Jackson County. The prescription drug monitoring program is one mechanism that, if implemented well, will serve as a positive repository to assist providers and dispensaries in the safe management of pharmaceuticals. I want to provide information and education. An informed and educated public is a step in becoming a safer public.”

Recently, the Kansas City Health Department estimated that up to 26,000 people in Jackson County may be addicted to some form of prescription drugs.

The Missouri legislature has considered PDMP legislation for the last 12 years, but has failed to pass it. Missouri is the only state in the country without such a program.