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Press Releases

Shannon Cogdell Named Director of Penn Foundation’s BCARES and Warm Handoff Programs

(SELLERSVILLE, Pa.) – Shannon Cogdell has been named director of Penn Foundation’s BCARES and Warm Handoff programs. In this role, she will oversee the BCARES program at three Bucks County hospitals – Grand View Health, Doylestown Health, and St. Luke’s Hospital-Quakertown – and the Warm Handoff program at Abington-Lansdale Hospital.

“We are pleased that Shannon will be overseeing our BCARES and warm handoff initiatives,” said Julie Williams, vice president of Clinical Services. “There is a critical need for specialized addiction medicine and intervention as we continue to fight the opioid epidemic. To-date, Penn Foundation has served more than 600 individuals through BCARES and the Warm Handoff program. Shannon’s expertise and leadership will be tremendous assets, especially as we expand these programs to operate 24/7 later this spring.”

Cogdell joined Penn Foundation in 2015 as a Behavioral Health Technician with the inpatient drug and alcohol program. In 2017, she became a Mobile Engagement Counselor, connecting with and engaging individuals in treatment. In the fall of 2017, she also assumed the role of Warm Handoff Coordinator, reaching out to overdose survivors, engaging them in treatment, and providing education to their families. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Progress Political Science from Temple University and is currently enrolled in a dual Master’s of Public Health and Social Work program at Temple. She resides in Boyertown.

“Penn Foundation continues to think creatively about its drug and alcohol treatment services and has adapted and enhanced its programs to address the special needs of the opioid use population,” says Theresa Benonis, MS, Penn Foundation’s director of Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Services. “These programs allow us to foster immediate access to treatment for overdose survivors and provide them with a holistic approach to treatment that addresses their distinctive biological, behavioral, social, and spiritual needs. It also allows us to connect with families and support them on their journey to help their loved one.”

According to a 2018 report by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the University of Pittsburgh, there were over 5,450 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2017, nearly double the national average. Bucks and Montgomery Counties continue to see the devastation of the opioid epidemic. From 2015 – 2017, the change in rate of drug-related overdoses in Bucks County was 118% and 60% in Montgomery County.

About BCARES/Warm Handoff Program
BCARES, which stands for Bucks County – Connect, Assess, Refer, Engage, Support, is a collaborative partnership that brings together Bucks County’s six hospitals and local treatment providers whose Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) can respond to the emergency departments when individuals arrive after surviving an overdose. CRSes work to connect individuals who have experienced an overdose directly to treatment, provide support for the families, and educate medical personnel on drug and alcohol resources. In Montgomery County, this same program is known as the Warm Handoff Program.

About Penn Foundation
Founded in 1955, Penn Foundation is a non-profit organization providing innovative services to address the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of individuals in our community. With headquarters in Sellersville, Bucks County, and satellite offices in Colmar, Souderton, and Pottstown, Penn Foundation employs 440 compassionate professionals that serve more than 19,000 children, adolescents, and adults each year with integrated, holistic care designed to meet the unique needs of each person. Penn Foundation believes strongly in the resiliency of the human spirit and is committed to instilling hope, inspiring change, and building community. For more information, visit www.PennFoundation.org.

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