Wednesday, September 20, 2017
New Jackson County COMBAT Director Appointed Amid Cont'd Kansas City Drug War
Courthouse personnel switcheroo for this controversial program that continues to earn taxpayer support despite the explosion in the availability and crimes related to drug use in the Kansas City area.
Here's the word . . .
Jackson County Executive appoints new COMBAT Director
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. is pleased to announce that Teesha Miller has been appointed the new Director of Jackson County COMBAT, effective September 27. Miller succeeds Dr. Stacey Daniels-Young, who retired last month after serving eight years as COMBAT’s Director.
Approved in 1989, COMBAT uses the multi-pronged approach of prevention, treatment and criminal justice to reduce drug use and crime in the community. The program provides annual funding to a variety of community-based assistance initiatives to accomplish its goal.
“COMBAT is a program that is vital to the health and safety of our community. I know that is why Jackson County citizens have continuously supported it for nearly 30 years,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “Teesha’s leadership, compassion and vision will build on COMBAT’s success, as it continues to serve as a leader on the front lines of saving lives.”
Miller says her first priority will be to listen. She plans to meet with all of the program’s stakeholders — legislators, prosecutor, courts, law enforcement, drug commission, neighborhood groups and current grantees — throughout Jackson County.
“We cannot arrest our way out of drug and violence issues. We must mount a coordinated effort with all of the agencies connected to the issues,” Miller said. “I look forward to building on the relationships I’ve started as the PDMP Director.”
Miller joined Jackson County in February to develop and manage the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), overseeing communications and coordinating local and regional efforts to fight the growing epidemic of opioid abuse. Her leadership has proved successful as the number of participating jurisdictions has more than tripled.
Shared goals of PDMP and COMBAT have allowed Miller the opportunity to work closely with COMBAT staff. She attended COMBAT staff meetings and collaborated with staff on events, such as neighborhood clean-ups and prescription drug takebacks, in an effort to increase community awareness.
“I look forward to meeting with my team and hearing what they see as key gains and establishing our future priorities,” Miller said. “Not only do we have active and productive work groups cultivated by a rich network of stakeholders, but there is a palpable and exciting energy of change in Jackson County communities.”
Miller’s experience also includes 12 years directing programs and business systems with organizations throughout the Kansas City region, including Children’s Mercy Hospital and Saint Luke’s Health System. The Kansas City native has earned her master’s degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s degree in management from Park University.
The search for a new PDMP Director begins immediately.
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