The Fulton County Healthy Choices Caring Communities (HC3) coalition was one of 16 community coalitions across the nation honored during a graduation ceremony at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) 30th Annual National Leadership Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 4, just outside of Washington, D.C.
The coalitions received a graduation certificate for completing CADCA’s Graduate Coalition Academy, a rigorous training program designed to increase the effectiveness of community substance use and misuse prevention leaders.
“We were humbled and proud to represent HC3, the Fulton County Health Department and the Fulton County community as graduates of CADCA’s first Graduate Coalition Academy,” said Beth Thomas, HC3 program director. “We are blessed by the opportunities we have been given, by the tremendous support of our communities, and the passion of our coalition members.”
CADCA’s Graduate Coalition Academy completed its inaugural year and was designed to take coalitions to the next step of tracking implementation and reporting the long, intermediate and short-term outcomes of their efforts. Participants of the GCA were taught and mentored to enhance their effect in the community by improving their community assessment and logic models, developing comprehensive strategies targeting local conditions and monitoring and tracking coalition and community implementation efforts to achieve coalition objectives.
As a result of the coalition’s participation in this training, HC3 has been able to strengthen its understanding of local conditions around prescription misuse to develop strategies to better address the issues as a community.HC3 data reflects a 50% decrease in the number of youth reporting misuse of prescription drugs from 2012 to 2018. Additionally, HC3 has demonstrated an increase of 9.5% in reported perception of harm of misuse of prescription drugs among middle school youth, and a 27% decrease in youth report of easy availability of prescription drugs for misuse in the community.
HC3 was also selected by CADCA as one of 18 coalitions nationally, to participate in the Non-Opioid Choices Project. Over the next 18 months, the coalition will work with the Fulton County community in developing a strategic action plan to educate the community on non-opioid pain management options following surgical procedures.
Marissa Dopp, Fulton County Health Department, and Beth Thomas, HC3 staff member, engaged in the training prior to their participation in CADCA’s National Leadership Forum in early February. HC3 will focus on using CADCA’s Seven Strategies for Community Change to develop a strategic plan to raise awareness for alternative postsurgical options, spread messaging about the need for alternative options and partner with health care providers and lawmakers to receive support for these alternatives.
“This opportunity will allow us to strengthen the conversation in our communities about existing alternatives for pain management following surgery and how we as a community can work to support our health care organizations in providing the best care for our families,” said Dopp, FCHD director of nursing.
For more information about HC3, contact Beth Thomas at 419 337 0915 or by email at HC3Partnership@gmail.com.