East HIA

The High Impact Program in the East Region is directly partnered in projects with Metro Drug Coalition, ASAP of Anderson, correctional and justice partners, Helen Ross McNabb Center, Choice Health Network, Covenant Health Hospitals, and Local Health Departments in the East Region. and East TN Regional Health Office (ETRO). These projects include:

Overdose Monitoring and Response Plan

The East Region has developed Overdose Monitoring and Response Plans for the HIA so we can respond quickly and appropriately during overdose spikes in the community.

Establish anti-drug coalitions

The East Region is actively working towards establishing anti-drug coalitions in all HIA counties. Community partners assist in establishing new coalitions in HIA counties that do not currently have one.

Corrections Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Community partners have implemented an MAT and navigation program in the Jefferson County Detention Center. The program provides universal screening for SUD, comprehensive assessment and Medication Assisted Treatment for eligible inmates as well as connection to treatment and care in the community prior to release.

Expand Syringe Services Programs (SSP)

In collaboration with Choice Health Network (CHN), the HIA program expanded SSP services to Cocke County, TN.  There are also SSP programs in the counties of  Knox, Campbell and Claiborne in East TN.

Emergency Department Overdose Protocols

The HIA is  working with hospital partners to create overdose protocols to assist people who use drugs and their families after a nonfatal overdose. This program includes a Clinical Nurse Educator who provides guidance on harm reduction services, MAT, and other resources. Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRS) are contracted to work in emergency departments to assist individuals after a nonfatal overdose and provide connection to treatment and care.

Linkage to care in the East Region

East TN Regional Health Department has hired program staff to receive referrals of persons at high risk for overdose from EMS to provide education, brief intervention, and linkage to care services. We have harm reduction navigators in Sevier, Cocke, and Roane County Health Departments.


East Region Substance Misuse Program Coordinator
Kayleigh Clark, MAASJ
Kayleigh.Clark@tn.gov, 865-549-5331

Harm Reduction Navigator
Audra Epperson- Sevier and Cocke County
audra.epperson@tn.gov, 865-453-1032

Knox County received a CDC Overdose Data to Action local grant in 2023 and is no longer funded by the Tennessee Department of Health. For more information, contact:

Johnathan Johnson, MA
Harm Reduction Program Manager
Knoxville County Health Department