Heidi Bainbridge, from the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition, was named the 2015 Advocate of the Year & Outstanding Academy Instructor by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization representing over 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions across the country. Bainbridge received her awards February 5th during CADCA’s 25th annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, MD.
The Advocate of the Year award recognizes substance abuse prevention leaders who are exceptional advocates for the drug prevention field, forging relationships and educating their elected officials throughout the year about key substance abuse-related issues and helping to ensure that Members of Congress understand the importance of community coalitions. Heidi is one of two coalition leaders in the United States who received CADCA’s Advocate of the Year Award.
The Outstanding Academy Instructor Award recognizes the commitment of the trainer to the innovative delivery of academy materials and exceptional technical assistance services to CADCA Academy students.
Heidi is the Coalition Coordinator and Drug Free Communities Project Director for the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition. Coalition successes include items such as a keg registration in the county prior to the state making this a law and a smoking ban in local parks. The coalition has worked closely with local law enforcement to implement semi-annual compliance checks and a policy that guides the process for these checks, along with a training program for merchants. Most recently, the coalition worked with a school district in Van Buren County to revise their conduct policy and hold a mandatory parent/student team meeting to address substance abuse and health concerns with all parents and students involved in extracurricular activities.
“Heidi truly exemplifies the meaning of these awards. She is a tireless advocate for the substance abuse prevention field and understands the importance of educating lawmakers and other coalition leaders about effective ways to reduce teen drug use,” said CADCA Chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean. “We are honored to be able to call attention to some of her work.”
CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation's largest and premier training event for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, featuring more than 70 courses to help participants learn effective strategies to address drug-related problems in their communities.