Friday, October 20, 2017

STEPS JOINED COMMUNITY LEADERS AT NATIONAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION CONFERENCE

Washington, D.C. – Health advocates from Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS) joined 2,800 substance abuse prevention and treatment leaders from across the country at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's (CADCA) 21st annual National Leadership Forum. This one-of-a-kind conference was held just outside of Washington, D.C. Feb. 7-10. During the four days, community leaders representing community coalitions from around the world connected with their peers and learned new community problem-solving skills.

Washington, D.C. – Health advocates from Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS) joined 2,800 substance abuse prevention and treatment leaders from across the country at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's (CADCA) 21st annual National Leadership Forum. This one-of-a-kind conference was held just outside of Washington, D.C. Feb. 7-10. During the four days, community leaders representing community coalitions from around the world connected with their peers and learned new community problem-solving skills.

 Besides learning the latest strategies to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, the coalition heard inspiring words from a number of national leaders, such as Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Howard Koh MD, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, and Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA Chairman and CEO.

 “It was so exciting to be able to spend a week in our nation’s Capitol, learning and honing our prevention skills so our community can be a better place, one that doesn’t suffer from the harms of drug and alcohol abuse,” said Kelly Berkmoes, STEPS Coordinator. “We’ve come back reenergized with new strategies under our belt to tackle drug use in Southington.”

 Also at the Forum, STEPS representatives, Susan Saucier and Kelly Berkmoes graduated from the CADCA Academy (see picture), which is a three-week course they completed in 2010 in Fort Indiantown Gap, PA.  “The academy was a requirement for the Drug Free Communities Grant.  It was a wonderful experience and we gained so many tools to bring back home,” Berkmoes said.

 CADCA's National Leadership Forum is the nation's largest training forsubstance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, featuring more than 100 training courses to help community and state leaders prevent and reduce substance abuse and its related problems. CADCA is the national membership organization representing more than 5,000 coalitions and affiliates working to make America’s communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCA's mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences, and special events. Learn more at: www.cadca.org.

 For more information about CADCA’s National Leadership Forum, visit http://www.cadca.org/events/forum21.