Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Van Buren County SAFE Coalition Receives National Award- Coalition of the Year

CADCA’s Got Outcomes! Award recognizes coalitions that achieve measurable success in community-level substance abuse-related outcomes by implementing a comprehensive and feasible plan guided by local data. This year, a panel of coalition experts at the federal, state and local levels named Van Buren County SAFE Coalition in Keosauqua, Iowa as the Coalition of the Year.

Coalition members Heidi Bainbridge, Tonja Jirak, Abby Rider, and Lydia Heald attended the National Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. on February 10th to receive the award. They accepted the award on behalf of the entire coalition.

“The professional growth over the past five years among AOD prevention coalitions has been phenomenal. Many coalitions across the country are achieving prevention outcomes and contributing to community-wide change. Each year the expectations for the Got Outcomes! Candidates increase significantly. The communities that the Got Outcomes! Winners work with are the true winners,” said Michael Browning, consultant and review panel member.

“Coalitions receive this award for demonstrating strong local data collection and data-driven planning and implementation of a comprehensive set of evidence-based programs, practices and policies” said Dr. Evelyn Yang, Deputy Director of Evaluation and Research at CADCA.

The Coalition of the Year award recognizes an advanced coalition for successfully implementing comprehensive and collective strategies to achieve one or more targeted community-level reductions (long-term outcomes) for multiple substances. After gathering and analyzing key local assessment data, the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition prioritized their focus on alcohol and tobacco availability and acceptability. They implemented a variety of strategic, data-driven community-level strategies including supporting compliance check operations, drafting and enhancing school and community policies, disseminating information and increasing awareness of the problems. The coalition has good trend data to support their contribution to a number of reductions in alcohol and tobacco use among teens. For example, among 11th grade students, past 30 day alcohol use decreased from 51 percent in 1999 to 34 percent in 2008 and past 30 day tobacco use decreased from 42 percent in 1999 to 19 percent in 2008.

“These organizations are true leaders in the field of substance abuse prevention, exemplifying the excellent work that coalitions are doing around the country to prevent and reduce drug use,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA’s chairman and CEO. “By using sound and strategic data-driven practices, CADCA’s Got Outcomes! Winners are challenging community social norms and perceptions related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Congratulations to our winners for contributing to reductions in substance abuse and associated problems at the local level.”

Congratulations to all members of the SAFE Coalition for their dedication to make Van Buren County a SAFE place to live. The continued hard work of coalition members is what makes a difference in the lives of the youth of the county. For more information on the award or The SAFE Coalition please visit their website at www.vbsafecoalition.com or check them out on Facebook.

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