HCA Healthcare collects 15,566 pounds of medication during 2021 “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back events

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We’re proud to announce that HCA Healthcare collected a record-breaking 15,566 pounds of unused and expired medications, exceeding last year’s record of 13,523 pounds, during our third annual “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back events on October 23, 2021. A total of 96 HCA Healthcare facilities at 98 separate locations across 17 states held events that were aimed at educating communities on the dangers of opioid misuse and the importance of safe and proper disposal of expired and unused prescription medications.

The events collectively disposed of an estimated 10.7 million doses of medication, eliminating the adverse possibility of potential misuse.

Joanne Pulles (second from left), vice president of community engagement and president of the HCA Healthcare Foundation, joined colleagues at HCA Healthcare’s TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center in Tennessee at a October 23, 2021 “Crush the Crisis” event.

“We are delighted at the continued success of our ‘Crush the Crisis’ events that help get medications out of homes where they can more easily end up in the wrong hands,” said Dr. Randy Fagin, chief medical officer of HCA Healthcare’s National Group. “We are thankful to everyone that joined us to make a difference in our common fight against the opioid epidemic.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. has seen an increase in opioid usage with all 50 states reporting a spike or increase in overdose deaths since the pandemic began. HCA Healthcare’s “Crush the Crisis” events were held in alignment with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which collected 744,082 pounds of medication.

HCA Healthcare facility events with the greatest amount of medication collected this year include:

HCA Healthcare’s Blake Medical Center in Florida encouraged community members to safely dispose of unused and expired medication as part of HCA Healthcare’s “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day events on October 23, 2021.

As a learning health system, HCA Healthcare uses data from approximately 32 million annual patient encounters to help continuously improve care. Our organization uses the science of “big data” to reduce opioid misuse and transform pain management, with initiatives in surgical, emergency and other care settings, including:

  • Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR): a multi-modal approach to pain management that has demonstrated significant improvements in surgical recovery and a reduction in the use of opioids. HCA Healthcare data from more than 86,000 joint replacement, gynecologic oncology, colorectal and bariatric surgeries using ESR in 2020 revealed an up to 26% reduction in opioid usage compared to those surgeries without the use of ESR. As of August 2021, ESR is live at 168 HCA Healthcare facilities, with the goal to make ESR the standard of care for all service lines.
  • Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS): aims to stem increasing rates of opioid-related addiction, misuse diversion and death by making it more difficult for medication-seekers to doctor-shop and alter prescriptions. EPCS allows physicians to have access to aggregated electronic health records which can provide data that will help them to prescribe opioids judiciously.

For more information on “Crush the Crisis,” visit

Hospital and sheriff's office colleagues stand in front of "Crush the Crisis" banner
HCA Healthcare’s Memorial Hospital in Florida teamed up with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for their 2021 “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day event.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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