Seneca Substance Abuse Coalition honored

Health advocates from Waterloo, NY joined nearly 2,600 substance abuse prevention and treatment leaders from across the country at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) 24TH annual National Leadership Forum held Feb. 3-6 just outside of Washington, D.C. The Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition (SCSAC) is one of 87 community coalitions that were recognized at a graduation ceremony for community anti-drug coalitions who completed CADCA’s National Coalition Academy. The graduation ceremony was held at 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Also at this ceremony the Coalition received the Chairman’s Award in recognition for their “exemplary demonstration and application of core competencies and essential processes of effective community problem solving.”The Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition has been a leader in the community and among the coalitions of the NY Coalition Academy through many avenues. The Coalition led the community-wide effort to plan and implement a county-wide Social Host Liability Legislation. Working with the county Sheriff, Board of Supervisors, District Attorney and others, the coalition conducted a “textbook” policy advocacy campaign to achieve the successful policy implementation.During the three weeks of the NY Coalition Academy, Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition members mentored their fellow communities throughout the three weeks. Specifically, the coalition made special presentations to the NCA class on topics relevant to the course material – such as adoption of the Social Host legislation.Learning to ‘drill down’, ask the right questions, share information and provide support in new ways has resulted in improved relationships with diverse sectors, and greater understanding in the community about prevention based on environmental strategies. The Academy experience also provided the skills for the coalition to recognize additional opportunities and how to enhance and expand plans of the coalition.Through their close working relationship with the Prevention Resource Center (PRC) and National Guard Counter-Drug Program, the coalition trained alongside National Guard partners during the Academy, and subsequently piloted a KAIZEN event to help members measure the ability to implement essential processes of the Strategic Prevention Framework by pushing into individual responsibilities for coalition success.By working together on a shared vision and identification of measureable outcomes, the coalition has spurred integrated prevention planning with the Coalition’s Logic Models and Action Plans being included in development of the annual county work plan for the Dept. of Mental Health and in the 5-year plan for the county’s Public Health Department.The National Coalition Academy (NCA) is a comprehensive, year-long training program developed by CADCA’s National Coalition Institute. The NCA incorporates three week-long classroom sessions, a web-based distance learning component, an online workstation where participants network and share planning products and free ongoing technical assistance. To graduate, coalitions must complete a rigorous curriculum. They must participate in all components of the National Coalition Academy and complete five essential planning products that serve as the foundation of their comprehensive plan for community change.“We are so proud of our coalition for investing the time and resources to take advantage of the best community coalition training in the world. To graduate from this year-long course is no small task and the Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition is more prepared today to be an effective, sustainable coalition because of this training,” said Connie Richardson, Coalition Coordinator. She brought colleagues Diane Laws, Deb Rickerson and Elizabeth MacConnell to receive their graduation certificate, as well as students Eli Corning, Stuart Ganzon, Nathan Karlsen, and DaiQuan Kingston.CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation’s largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers. Besides the opportunity to learn the latest strategies to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. Coalition members also had the opportunity to meet and brief Senators and members of Congress from their state during CADCA’s Capitol Hill Day. For more information about CADCA’s National Leadership Forum, visit http://forum.cadca.org/.

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