First Call Alcohol/Drug Prevention & Recovery
9091 State Line Road
Kansas City MO 64114-3251
The blue dots represent a small fraction of the 20,000 people we serve annually.

Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 361-5900
Fax 816- 361-7290
Mission Statement

It is the mission of First Call to reduce the impact of alcohol, drugs and addiction by providing quality resources to individuals, families and the community.

CEO/Executive Director Susan Whitmore
Board Chair Richard D. Rhyne
Board Chair Company Affiliation Lathrop Gage
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1958
Former Names
NCA - National Council on Alcoholism
National Council on Alcoholism
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Greater Kansas City
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer Contact Emily Hage, Vice President of Development, 816-800-8052 or 
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement

It is the mission of First Call to reduce the impact of alcohol, drugs and addiction by providing quality resources to individuals, families and the community.

Background Statement

First Call, formerly called the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, was founded in 1958 to serve the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. At that time it was the only agency of its kind in the community and the primary focus was to disseminate information on alcoholism as a disease and to help people find resources for treatment. 

For 60 years, First Call has maintained a tradition of providing assessment, treatment, prevention and referral services to help those suffering from substance use disorders. Together, these First Call programs benefit over 50,000 men, women and children in the greater Kansas City area each year.
First Call is a key catalyst for collaboration among related substance abuse, health care, behavioral health and support service providers. Regardless of ability to pay, the agency serves adults and youth seeking recovery and/or treatment as well as children and family members impacted by a loved one's substance use.
First Call is fully accredited by CARF International (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). Most people enter into service by calling First Call's 24/7 crisis call line (816-361-5900). Clinical services emphasize coordination of care, including assessment and referral for individuals, outpatient treatment and classes for family members impacted by a loved one’s substance use. Prevention services include working in the community and schools to reduce violence and prevent underage alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, the First Call Speakers Bureau, community resource library and certification classes for substance abuse professionals. 
Impact Statement
First Call, formerly called the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, was founded in 1958 to serve the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. At that time it was the only agency of its kind in the community and the primary focus was to disseminate information on alcoholism as a disease and to help people find resources for treatment.

Today, First Call provides assessment, treatment, prevention and referral services to over 50,000 people annually, including adults and youth seeking recovery and children and family members impacted by a loved one's substance use disorder.

Last year, our staff retention rate is at 90% even as First Call employees face unprecedented demand for services. Crisis Calls increased 11% in 2017 and Family Services programs increased 76%. Our biggest area of growth was in Prevention, in direct response to growing community awareness about the opioid epidemic. First Call prevention specialists are implementing high-quality, evidence-based prevention programming in 16 schools (compared to four schools just two years ago!).
2019 Goals Include:
  1. Expansion of Prevention staff to have a dedicated prevention specialist for school-based prevention on the Kansas side of the state line
  2. Launching of our federally-funded ME After Reentry program, which offers intensive substance use disorder support for people reentering their community after incarceration.  
  3. Continued expansion of the How to Care program, which is a four-hour, curriculum-based educational program that includes information about substance use disorder and how caretakers can best support impacted children in their care.
Needs Statement

First Call provides services to individuals and family members, regardless of their ability to pay.

  • $1,000 allows two parents to attend How to Cope: How to Cope is a course for adult family members impacted by a loved one's addiction. HTC’s evidence-based curriculum is recognized by the National Prevention Network and National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse Directors.
  • $500 allows two children to attend Caring for Kids: Caring for Kids targets youth and children impacted by a loved one’s addiction. Participants overcome shame and regain a healthy lifestyle by redirecting focus to oneself and making a commitment to healthy choices.
  • $300 allows one person to attend either the ME First or ME After Program offered in the jails: ME First (Motivational Enhancement First) is an outpatient treatment program for those waiting for space in a treatment center; ME After supports continued motivation for recovery after treatment.
  • $100 pays for two people to contact First Call’s 24/7 crisis call line, where individuals in crisis can speak to a counselor at any time.

Service Categories
Substance Abuse Dependency, Prevention & Treatment
Family Counseling
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

First Call Alcohol/Drug Prevention & Recovery (First Call) has moved forward to accommodate significant growth and expansion. We have relocated to an improved facility at 9091 State Line Road in Kansas City, Missouri to accommodate increased service capacity and client numbers in an environment reflective of the uplifting energy, respect and dignity our clients deserve.

First Call completed the $2 million Families First Capital Campaign at the end of 2015, one year ahead of schedule. The campaign received significant support from the community, including 100 percent board participation in the amount of $255,000 and an anonymous foundation gift of $250,000. Additional funding includes Price Family Charitable Foundation support of $233,000; Hall Family Foundation support of $200,000; Victor E. Speas Foundation/Bank of America support of $150,000; Pack Family gift of $150,000; Mabee Foundation support of $90,000; William T. Kemper Foundation support of $50,000; Sosland Foundation support of $50,000; Sunderland Foundation support of $40,000; Raymond Lamb Foundation support of $30,000, Cross Foundation support of $25,000; Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation support of $25,000; and Oppenstein Brothers Foundation support of $15,000.

First Call’s strategic focus in 2016 is aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic in the Kansas City metropolitan region by:

  1. Increasing recovery advocacy and clinical support across the continuum of care – from crisis call to assessment to treatment to reentry and sustaining recovery
  2. Increasing prevention programming in schools and communities on both sides of the state line. We do this by collaborating with an array of agencies across the metro. Each client, each family and each community has unique needs. First Call strives to meet each one with quality care, solutions and support.

First Call’s Recovery Advocates provide assessment, referral, intervention and motivational enhancement for individuals at any stage of recovery both at First Call and at a other metro-area behavioral health agencies. The agency operates a 24/7 crisis call line which is often the initial source of help for individuals and families.

Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Substance Abuse
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short-Term Success Receiving comprehensive assessment; Developing a recovery life plan; Initiating behavior and health changes necessary to implement a recovery lifestyle.
Long-Term Success Moving into and sustaining a life in recovery.
Program Success Monitored By Assessments taken using scientifically validated instruments; Reports from treatment centers on completion of treatment; Ongoing contact with clients.
Examples of Program Success
  • Assessment data
  • Client self-report
  • Observer evaluation

Caring for Kids targets youth and children impacted by a loved one’s substance use. How to Cope targets adult family members impacted by a loved one's substance use. Both psychoeducational courses offer six optional extended support sessions for graduates.

Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Substance Abuse Support Group
Population Served Families
Short-Term Success
  • Enrolling in the program and attending classes.
  • Completion of a personal, written plan of action for recovery.
Long-Term Success Individuals attend all seven educational sessions, identify enabling behaviors, construct a plan of action for change, create behavior changes and a support group to use for long-term recovery.
Program Success Monitored By The programs have pre- and post-tests, facilitator observations, and occasional focus groups to review the program. The completion of a personally written plan of action is the first major step to long-term turnaround.
Examples of Program Success
  • 82% of Caring for Kids participants report an increase in knowledge of the effects of alcohol, drugs and other drug use.
  • 100% of How to Cope participants report an increase in knowledge of the effects of alcohol, drugs and other drug use.
  • Community Prevention: With support from the Missouri Department of Mental Health, First Call provides technical assistance to 11 community coalitions working to address alcohol, other drug and tobacco use in Jackson, Cass, Lafayette and Johnson counties. 
  • School-Based Prevention: First Call offers a menu of evidence-based prevention programs at public, private and parochial schools on both sides of the state line, including Addiction and the Young Mind; Conscious Discipline; Life Skills Training; Students Invest in Success; Project Purple; Sobriety Group; Recovery Panels; Teen Baseline Training; and Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Substance Abuse Prevention
Population Served At-Risk Populations
Short-Term Success Maintain or expand number of events and programs provided through these programs; Maintain or increase number of community teams involved; Maintain or increase number of health fairs and speaking engagements delivered through prevention staff activities.
Long-Term Success Community data indicates reduction in use of alcohol and illegal drugs; Level of accurate community knowledge increases.
Program Success Monitored By Ongoing reporting of activities with evidence-based evaluations taken whenever appropriate to audience. Ongoing efforts to improve addiction environment through advocacy and youth/adult trainings and increasing capacity of community teams for social action.
Examples of Program Success
  • In 2017, 11 community coalitions held 226 events for 80,907 community members in a four-county region (Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette and Cass Counties in Missouri).  
  • Total number of schools engaged in ongoing, evidence-based, school-based prevention services grew from 4 in 2014 to 16 (and counting!) schools in 2018.


  • 24/7 Crisis Call Line: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, counselors are available to help anyone who is in crisis due to substance use.
  • Web Site: offers information, self-evaluation tests, a treatment provider directory, video library and other prevention and recovery resources. The In Search Of... directory lists over 200 metro-area treatment providers and related service providers.
  • Professional Development: First Call offers a series of continuing education and certification classes designed for substance abuse professionals.
  • The Speas Resource Center: The Speas Resource Center is the largest multi-media library in the metro area dedicated to substance use disorders and recovery.
  • Speakers Bureau: The Speakers Bureau provides presentations to raise awareness and increase understanding of how substance use impacts individuals, families and the community.


Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Substance Abuse
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short-Term Success Annual increases in program numbers; improve community statistics regarding drugs and alcohol abuse and addiction and prevention; greater access to agency resources.
Long-Term Success Increased community knowledge of facts of alcohol and illegal drug use; Greater use of the website and crisis calls line for help; More participation in all programming.
Program Success Monitored By
  • Measure use of services
  • Track evaluations where appropriate
Examples of Program Success
  • Increasing use of crisis calls line, website and general services.
  • Selection as one of five pilot cities by the Partnership for a Drug Free America for its Hope, Help, Healing media campaign.
CEO Comments
First Call Family Services, Recovery Advocacy and School-based Prevention programming all continue to expand to meet growing community need.
Family Services
  • First Call Family Services programs are truly unique offerings for families impacted by a loved one’s substance misuse or substance use disorder. In 2017, Family Services added additional services and sites for families in need. How to Cope is offered at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood and on site at First Call; Caring for Kids is presented at First Call as well as schools and behavioral health agencies on both sides of the state line such as Amethyst Place, Foster Adopt Connect , Cornerstones of Care - Ozanam Campus, Ozanam Day School, Cornerstones of Care - Spofford Campus , Hope House, Preferred Family Healthcare, and Rushton Elementary.
  • How to Care is a four-hour, curriculum-based educational program that includes information about substance use disorder and how caretakers can best support impacted children in their care. The How to Care program fosters the social emotional competence of children, as well as knowledge of parenting and the impact of trauma on child development. By bolstering both of these protective factors, How to Care strengthens the resilience of both child and caretaker. How to Care was piloted at FosterAdoptConnect for the first time in 2018.

Recovery Advocacy
  • First Call’s Recovery Advocates fill a critical gap as the community grapples with the opioid epidemic. In 2017 alone, First Call’s recovery advocacy workforce has doubled, growing from two to four advocates to meet increased demand for services. These clinicians play a critical role in coordinating care not only for opioid addicts, but for anyone suffering from a substance use disorder by working in collaboration with over 40 partner agencies.

School-based Prevention
  • Since 2014, on the Kansas side alone, this programming has grown immensely from 626 students served in 2014, to 910 in 2015, to 1,500 by the end of 2016. These numbers include evidence-based programming in the classroom as well as larger group assemblies for students, parents and teachers.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Susan Whitmore
Term Start Jan 2016

Susan Whitmore, First Call President & CEO, has 20 years of experience in nonprofit development and executive administration. Prior to her placement as President & CEO of First Call in January 2016, she served for six years as the agency’s Vice President of Development. Susan Whitmore has also been Executive Director of The Writers Place and Vice President of Development at Newhouse. Formerly she was adjunct professor of English at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. 

Former CEOs
Molly O'NeillOct 2008 - Jan
Jean Roth JacobsOct 2001 - Dec 2008
Senior Staff
Title Vice President of Development
Experience/Biography Emily Hage is the Vice President of Development at First Call. After being hired in 2010, Emily has worked in many areas of the agency, including Prevention, IT Project Management, and now Development. Through her schooling and her work with First Call, Emily has developed an interest in policy-level change in the field of addiction and she enjoys the opportunities to work on projects that explore various facets of treatment and recovery from addiction.
Paid Full-Time Staff 22
Paid Contractors 3
Volunteers 78
Retention Rate 90%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 12
Male 10
Not Specified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes

First Call’s focus is to improve collaborative care between providers of mental health, substance abuse and wrap-around services and, in doing so, to eliminate barriers to service. The agency works in collaboration with community prevention coalitions to reduce violence and underage alcohol, tobacco and other drug use:

  1. Kansas City Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (KCROSC) initiated in 2010 with HCF support, is a collaborative project among 18 community mental health, substance abuse, family service and support service agencies.
  2. COMBAT Connections: Since 2010, First Call’s Community CareLink (CCL) electronic behavioral health record application has been introduced to 24 agencies funded by COMBAT. 
First Call is the Prevention Resource Center for a system of community based prevention coalitions established to mobilize communities to reduce violence and underage alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use. Prevention teams teams include a variety of people and organizations within the community, including, police, parents, schools, the faith community, businesses, youth, grandparents, health care agencies, social service agencies, the media, local government and civic groups.
External Assessment and Accreditations
Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) - Accreditation2005
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) - Behavioral Health - 3 Year Accreditation2012
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2012
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) - Behavioral Health - 3 Year Accreditation0
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2015
National Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and PoliciesThe National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD)2008
Prevention & Education Meritorious AwardNational Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.2009
One of 4 Finalists in Commercial Office Cornerstone AwardEconomic Development Corporation (EDC) of Kansas City2015
Vernon Johnson Award for Individuals in RecoveryFaces & Voices of Recovery2015
The Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat awarded to First Call Board Chair Hugh O'DonnellThe Kansas City Royals2015
Kelly's Shillelagh "I Tried" Award for the Worst Score awarded to the First Call team.The Welcome House2015
Best in Show Philly Award for "#StoptheShame" campaign with VMLNonprofit Connect2017
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
CEO Comments

Since 1958, First Call has been Kansas City’s go-to resource for alcohol and other drug recovery and prevention services. Last year, over 50,000 individuals sought First Call’s help through our family- and community-based services.

Recently, First Call has been engaged in a new conversation with our community partners about how we can better help people impacted by addiction in our service area. This conversation is spurred on by the recently released Surgeon General’s report on alcohol, drugs and health, Facing Addiction in America ( I liken this report to the Surgeon General’s seminal 1964 report on tobacco, Smoking and Health, which changed the way people thought about smoking. A comprehensive body of research on substance use disorders and treatment modalities clearly reveals that addiction is not a moral issue but a chronic and progressive neurobiological disease.

This year, requests for First Call services via our Crisis Call Hotline have doubled; family services participation numbers have doubled; school-based prevention programs at parochial, private and public schools have also doubled. First Call is doubling down on service delivery - with the same resources - at no cost to those who receive services. This increase in service numbers is, in part, a result of the national opioid epidemic, a trend that is just now hitting the Midwest. Overdose deaths due to prescription opiates and heroin in the Kansas City metro region have quadrupled in the last five years.

But I also think that we are making headway in our battle with stigma and that more and more families are willing to ask for help, which is very good news. If you haven’t seen our VML-powered social media campaign yet, check out #StopTheShame at

Your support and advocacy help us save lives every day.

Board Chair
Board Chair Richard Rhyne
Company Affiliation Lathrop Gage
Term Jan 2019 to Dec 2020
Board Members
Ms. Nicole EsquibelAvila University
Mrs. Karen GersonCommunity Volunteer
Mr. Kurt HadermannCohen Financial
Ms. Trisha HokansonJ.E. Dunn Construction Company
Mr. Jeffrey KuntzWagstaff & Cartmell LLP
Mr. George LopezJames B. Nutter
Mr. Dee PackCargo Largo
Mr. DJ PierreSpencerFane
Ms. Kirby RandolphKansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Mr. Richard D. RhyneLathrop & Gage LLP
Mr. Chris RosbergGrapevine Designs
Mr. Ralph "Lon" SwitzerSwitzer and Associates Painting Co.
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 3
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 73%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments

First Call is committed to developing an organization that is built around a set of administrative, clinical and interpersonal skills that allow individuals to increase their understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and similarities within, among and between groups. This requires a willingness and ability to draw on community based values, traditions, and customs and to work with knowledgeable persons of and from the community in developing focused interventions, communications and other supports.

The overall cultural competence of the organization depends upon developing cultural diversity, sensitivity and appropriateness in all interactions with clients and within the First Call community. First Call’s equal employment opportunity policy and prohibitions against harrassments are included in the attached Cultural Competency Policies and Procedures (attached). The CEO is the responsible agent in the full implementation of First Call’s policies of equal opportunity, non-discrimination and non-harassment. First Call requires all staff to attend eight hours of cultural competency training with a certified professional once a year.

We recognize the disparity in board/client representation with respect to ethnicity. The First Call 2016-2018 Strategic Plan includes a strategic goal to “Ensure the Board of Directors reflects the cultural and demographic makeup of First Call clientele;” the Governance Committee is actively in the process of identifying gaps and new board member candidates.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $2,155,889
Projected Expenses $2,021,751
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$665,244$702,840$516,756
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$2,131$1,707$1,531
Membership Dues----$0
Special Events$103,245$50,316$64,660
Revenue In-Kind----$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$1,480,895$1,394,471$1,477,912
Administration Expense$134,426$172,856$87,691
Fundraising Expense$89,728$62,658$129,780
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.060.881.36
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%86%87%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$2,016,051$1,931,967$2,157,356
Current Assets$523,166$613,315$1,299,340
Long-Term Liabilities$498,058$530,831$566,112
Current Liabilities$57,017$45,933$46,249
Total Net Assets$1,460,976$1,355,203$1,544,995
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities9.1813.3528.09
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets25%27%26%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountState of Missouri Dept. of Mental Health $320,189 -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSunderland Foundation $250,000 -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCity of Kansas City, Missouri (Municipal Drug Court) $164,762 -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments

First Call’s 2019 operating budget is $1,994,727. Revenue is comprised of: Foundations/ Corporations (28%); Individual Contributions (2%); Government contracts (47%) Earned Income (15%); and Special Events (8%).

First Call is funded by a combination of public and private funding, including contracts with State of Missouri Department of Mental Health; COMBAT (Jackson County Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax); Jackson County Children’s Communiy Services Fund, Johnson County Alcohol Tax Fund; and United Way which are all renewed on an annual basis.

On December 31, 2015, First Call completed a $2 million capital campaign to provide for program expansion with the purchase of the agency’s new home at 9091 State Line Road.

Other Documents
First Call Annual Report2018View
First Call Annual Report2017View
First Call Annual Report2016View
First Call Annual Report2015View
First Call Annual Report2014View
First Call Annual Report2013View
First Call Annual Report2012View
Organization Name First Call Alcohol/Drug Prevention & Recovery
Address 9091 State Line Road
Kansas City, MO 641143251
Primary Phone (816) 361-5900
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Susan Whitmore
Board Chair Richard D. Rhyne
Board Chair Company Affiliation Lathrop Gage
Year of Incorporation 1958
Former Names
NCA - National Council on Alcoholism
National Council on Alcoholism
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Greater Kansas City