Collaboration Saving Lives

Collaboration Saving Lives

Saturday, June 1, 2019

In August of 2017, Cookeville became the second city in nation to outfit police department vehicles with EpiPen kits thanks to a collaborative EpiPen Program with the Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation.

The Foundation provides EpiPen kits for Upper Cumberland law enforcement agencies, school systems, and civic groups in an effort to prepare them to respond appropriately to anaphylactic shock.

Anaphylactic shock, or anaphylaxis, is an extreme, life threatening allergic reaction. It may occur after an insect sting, consuming food, or being exposed to chemicals, toxins, or environmental antigens. Nearly two percent of Americans are at risk of anaphylaxis.

In early May of this year, Cookeville Police Department officers responded to a distress call at a local residence. The resident was having trouble breathing. When they arrived they found the resident on the floor of the home, struggling to breathe. An EpiPen auto injector was used and the resident was revived.

Dr. Chuck Womack, who is a champion of the program, said “This program works. Although anaphylactic shock is rare, this incident reinforces the idea that our community needs to be prepared for allergic-reactions and that this program is a wonderful success already.”

The EpiPen Program is made possible by donations to the Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation’s Community Health Fund.

“The Foundation is committed to building healthier communities throughout the Upper Cumberland,” said John Bell, Foundation Director. “When donors support programs like this, they are giving our community tools and training which literally are saving lives.”

The estimated cost of expanding EpiPen services to additional Upper Cumberland counties is $750 per county.  More information about the Foundation and the EpiPen Program may be found at