Congresswoman Ann Wagner Visits COMTREA

May 2, 2018

Congresswoman Ann Wagner met with COMTREA leadership to discuss the Opioid Crisis on May 2, 2018.

Nearly 64,000 deaths occur each year from opioid overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Doug Fesler from Adult Behavioral Health at COMTREA spoke on access to care for clients through the new Welcome Center. The Welcome Center offers same-day access to those seeking treatment for substance use and mental health needs. “There are, on average, between 21-29 clients per day that come to our Welcome Center,” said Fesler.

“People that will walk in one place to get the service; that is your prime target,” said Wagner.

“Most psychiatric medications are prescribed by primary care doctors,” explained David Hassis, Behavioral Health Consultant at COMTREA. “People will be more willing to go to primary care. I’m in a place where people are willing to open up. The idea of integrating everything links mental health and physical health care for individuals."

COMTREA offers three locations with comprehensive services in Primary Care, Dental Care, and Mental Health. Individuals like Hassis can better evaluate and prescribe clients, compared to primary care physicians.

“That’s the way of the future,” said Wagner.

One in four people struggle with a mental health crisis or mental illness, whether situational or ongoing,” explained Margo Pigg, Chief Behavioral Health Officer at COMTREA. “Working with you (Wagner) and Senator Roy Blunt with the Missouri Coalition for Behavioral Health will insure we have the services needed when clients need them,” said Pigg.

COMTREA leadership asked Wagner for legislative support to continue our work in the community serving individuals and families.

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