Pickaway Addiction Action Coalition’s (PAAC) Program Director Margaret Simmons was awarded a grant from the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services and Prevention Action Alliance to attend the CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) 33rd Annual National Leadership Forum in Washington, DC.
At this forum, PAAC was recognized for completing the National Coalition Institute’s National Coalition Academy.
To graduate from the program, PAAC staff attended three four-day training sessions in Charlotte, NC, where they had to complete a community assessment, logic model, strategic plan, evaluation plan, evaluation communication plan, and sustainability plan.
“PAAC staff was able to obtain so much information and tactics to run an effective and evidence-based drug prevention coalition,” said Simmons, “PAAC is ecstatic to use the tools we gained at the National Coalition Academy to help create a healthy and thriving Pickaway County for everyone.”
At the forum, some sessions included specific drug policies and procedures, workforce, youth-led initiatives,social media, and statewide prevention approaches across the nation. This conference had over 4,000 attendees.
“Presenters were from across the country, in urban, suburban, and rural areas, yet each presentation I saw parallels of this point, policy, or procedure that could be impactful for Pickaway County,” said Simmons.
Part of the forum was a day at Capitol Hill, where attendees were encouraged to meet with their respective state congressional leaders, including Congressman Mike Carey and Senator Sherrod Brown’s offices.
“The CADCA Forum gave us some irreplaceable experiences, and it felt good to know our leaders agree that drug prevention is necessary and important in our country,” said Simmons.
“PAAC now has more connections with other prevention coalitions across the state. We can create a stronger community for Pickaway and beyond by working together.”