On Thursday, May 1st members of the St Johnsbury and Newport Regional Prevention Partnerships received Prevention Champion Awards from Prevention Works! at the Vermont State House.
Below please find remarks from Sunny Naughton and Cheryl Chandler and a slide show of photos from the event!
Northeast Kingdom Regional Prevention Partnerships (RPP)
My name is Cheryl Chandler, the Regional Prevention Partnerships Coordinator at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury.
Thank you to Prevention Works VT for this award and congratulations to our colleagues who have also received awards. We are accepting this award on behalf of all with whom we collaborate in the Northeast Kingdom – covering Orleans, Essex and Caledonia counties and the Newport and St. Johnsbury Health Department Districts.
We represent the Regional Prevention Partnerships, otherwise known as the RPP of Newport and St. Johnsbury. In St. Johnsbury, the RPP grant is held by Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH), a community not-for-profit acute care critical access hospital. In Newport, it is held by Northeast Kingdom Learning Services (NEKLS). NEKLS inspires and empowers learners from birth and beyond.
I would like to introduce the other members of our Northeast Kingdom RPP Team:
- Sunny Naughton, Regional Prevention Partnerships Coordinator – Newport/NEKLS
- Tennyson Marceau, Prevention Specialist – NVRH
- Allyson Howell, Prevention Specialist – NEKLS
We want to offer a thank you to Governor Scott for all he does for Vermonters. You will be happy to hear, Governor Scott, that not only are we here today to represent prevention, we represent four Vermonters who either moved back or relocated to the Green Mountain State in the past five years and have been fortunate enough to have found work in human services.
Also, Sunny and I have been welcomed with open arms to the Opioid Coordination Council Prevention Committee to represent the NEK by Jolinda LeClair, Rose Gowdy, and Dr. Mark Levine.
We are so thrilled to be here with you all today. In addition, we would like to acknowledge our legislators and the representatives for Senator Sanders and Senator Leahy. We depend on you to help keep our youth safe and substance free.
We also work closely with our local offices of the Vermont Department of Health.
The RPP grant aims to reduce adolescent and young adult substance abuse while increasing the capacity of the state and local communities to provide prevention services. This work is close to our hearts, as members of our team and coalitions represent lived experiences in this arena.
Both NVRH and NEKLS hold a Tobacco Prevention Grant. This grant aligns with the Regional Prevention Partnerships Grants and aims to educate all on the risks of tobacco/e-cigarette use and advocate for policies to decrease tobacco initiation, secondhand smoke, and tobacco marketing exposure. Ally and Tennyson offer vaping and tobacco awareness presentations to our communities, including area schools, and work tirelessly to effect policy change in our communities. They have found certain communities to be especially ready for change, including The Village of North Troy, Lyndonville, St Johnsbury, and Danville.
In the Northeast Kingdom, we share many of the same services, so it seemed natural that we should combine our efforts to insure that there is no duplication of services and that we are covering our entire service areas.
We would love to share some examples of our collaborations and recognize our community partners.
We have built strong community coalitions. Community coalitions are known to be effective in building a community’s capacity to bring about population-level change. Their success is dependent on all sectors of the community becoming involved. Sectors include parents, students, schools, civic and volunteer organizations, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement, government, business, faith organizations, health organizations, media, and other organizations that address substance use/abuse.
Ask Coalition members to come and stand with us.
The PITR Collaborative, which stands for Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery, came together when members of the Newport Police Department, led by Chief Seth DiSantos, who is the PITR Chair, met with NEKLS, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, and the RPP, and realized we needed a combined community response. We looked to Project Vision’s Matt Prouty for guidance and DART in St. Jay to align services.
Northeast Prevention Coalition is a subcommittee of DART or the Drug Abuse Resistance Team in St. Johnsbury, and has been meeting since 2017. It represents Northeast Kingdom communities in support of healthy choices, and using a variety of strategic interventions, is dedicated to preventing substance use, misuse, and abuse for all ages.
The Coalition, 302 Cares is a group of individuals/organizations who agree to work together for the common goal of reducing substance use, misuse and abuse among youth and adults. In November of 2016, a town meeting was held in Wells River to address the concerns of area residents as they relate to substance use, misuse and abuse. This led to the formation of our coalition which is a subcommittee of the Wells River Action Program.
And coalitions do not exist without people, so we want to take a moment to highlight those from our communities that joined us here today:
- Kelsey Root Winchester, Parent and School Board Member
- Deputy Ken Schaefer, Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Law Enforcement Against Drugs Instructor
- Michael Brandli, Substance Abuse Recovery and Trauma Coordinator from Little Rivers Health Care
- Michelle Tarryk, PITR Treasurer and NEKLS Executive Director
- Lisa Daigle Farney, NEKLS Director of Community Education and Outreach
- Suzanne Legere Belcher, our NEK AHS Field Director
- Sierra Ruth, Youth Empowerment Specialist and BBBS of Vermont Orleans and Northern Essex Coordinator along with Kimberly Diamond and the BBBS of Vermont Team
- Tom Howell, PITR Steering Committee Member and Director of Safety and Risk Management at Jay Peak
- An example of collaboration is the RPP’s work in bringing together BBBS of Vermont and Jay Peak. Jay Peak has come onboard as a founding partner for our local chapter and we want to extend a thank you not only to providing opportunities to the youth in our community, but also for recognizing how mentorship can be fulfilling for their staff members. Thanks to Tom Howell and Steve Wright.
Another example of collaborations is Mental Health First Aid. This is an evidence-based, in-person training program with proven ability to teach individuals how to recognize and respond to the warning signs of mental illness and substance use disorders and link people with appropriate treatment and support. We have partnered with Northeast Kingdom Human Services and Vermont Care Partners to train teachers, youth service workers, camp counselors, law enforcement, and 4-H leaders to name a few.
Prevention Week. Last year during National Prevention Week, we delivered the same prevention messaging throughout the Northeast Kingdom. National Prevention Week will take place this year from May 12 through May 18.
We have only touched on a few of our prevention initiatives. We plan to be here for the entire day, so please stop any one of us if you are interested in any of the other work that we do.
Thank you to the Vermont Department of Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, and the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for providing the funding that allows us to do our work.
It’s incredible to look around this room and see all of our colleagues and friends and to think about the amazing amount of collaboration that has taken place in less than three years. We have a strong foundation in the Kingdom, and if you have not already done so, we invite others to take part in our efforts. Thank you again.
Free Write (stream of consciousness) or Writing to a Prompt are useful journaling strategies. During a workshop, I usually use one of these methods as a starting point.
What comes next is intended to produce a deeper dive into self-exploration and awareness.
On April 13th, we started with what I call Iceberg Write (stream of consciousness writing to find what is on the surface of our awareness). This moved us to finding a theme to our writing and produced a word to use for the Key Word exercise, (a technique that can reveal hidden thoughts and emotions). From that we were able to write with more focus.
We then used colored pens to create a self-portrait drawing (not of our physical selves), followed by writing to ourselves from a third person perspective. Wrap-up was about each person thinking of a word to describe “a moment in time” during the workshop and writing about that.
The techniques are simple. The validation generated through writing together and sharing insights and perceptions (only when individuals are comfortable doing so) is what can make the experience of a journaling workshop more powerful than when we journal in private.
On May 11th, the theme of “Relationship with Self” continues. The workshop is appropriate for people who attended the April workshop as well as those and who did not. Visualization and mindfulness will be included to inspire our writing and, the power of doodling and dialogue will support our journey of self-discovery.
Check out a slide show of the event below!
We are pleased to announce that the Regional Prevention Partnerships (RPP) of the Northeast Kingdom have been selected to be recognized as one of the 2019 Vermont Prevention Champions!
This includes the RPP of St. Johnsbury, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) and the RPP of Newport, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services (NEKLS). Together, these RPPs serve Orleans, Caledonia, and Essex counties. The RPP grants are a customized regional response to reduce alcohol and drug use among adolescents, teens, and young adults in collaboration with the State of Vermont, Department of Health and local community partners. NVRH Prevention Services and NEKLS Prevention Services also hold a Tobacco Prevention Grant, which has been aligned with their respective RPP grants and aims to educate all on the risks of tobacco/e-cigarette use and advocate for policies to decrease tobacco initiation, secondhand smoke, and tobacco marketing exposure.
Prevention Day will begin with a news conference with Governor Scott and the Prevention Champion Award ceremony recognizing St. Johnsbury and Newport RPPs on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at 9:00 am in the Cedar Creek Room at the State House. \
We are recognizing the NEK RPP because of how quickly and effectively you created capacity to do prevention in your region. You went from 0 to 60 with your strategies and organizing. Prior to the RPP there was no established coalition in the region (although many had tried) and you have established 3 new coalitions, did lots of policy work, have such a strong partnership with NVRH hospital, and much more that I am not aware of. Congratulations again and I am thrilled to be able to recognize your contributions to the prevention field and the health and safety of Vermonters.
– Lori Augustyniak, Coordinator, Prevention Works VT
Photo Courtesy NEK YPN: (L-R) Ally Howell, Sunny Naughton, Patrick Sodums, Michael Hamiltonshire at Burke Mountain for the NEK YPN March Mixer after presenting at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Conference on Young Professional Engagement in Communities
Northeast Kingdom: Fresh off a bustling March with committee meetings, networking events and conference presentations, the Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals (NEK YPN) welcomes further engagement from those young, and young at heart, looking for a professional network in the Northeast Kingdom in April as the snow melts and the sun comes out.
On Tuesday April 23, the NEK YPN will hold its monthly executive committee meeting including breakout time for subcommittee work regarding programming and development at the Barton Memorial Building. To join the meeting, please email email@example.com for details.
On Thursday, April 25th the NEK YPN will collaborate with The Warehouse in downtown Newport for a night of networking and fun from 5:30PM to 8PM. The Warehouse has a full bar and food menu along with billiards and darts for those that want to test their skills. Come out to meet and network along with seeing friendly and familiar faces.
For information about the NEK YPN or to inquire about having members present about the network at your business or meeting, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Newport: Sunshine Silver Lining Vision Consulting exclusively announces their premiere workshop series Tea and Tales. This series of writing and reading workshops will highlight both Vermont writers and authors as well as a variety of writing styles from journalling to memoir, poetry and screenwriting.
This spring, Tea and Tales will kick off with several workshops at The Work Commons in Newport facilitated by Northeast Kingdom Native Ilene Elliott of ie facilitation.
Private journaling is powerful and worthwhile. The added dynamic and energy of writing in a group can provide validation, encouragement, support, and new insight. Participants of ilene’s workshops and retreats are introduced to handwritten journaling strategies and techniques that can be incorporated into their daily lives.
Join us for one or several workshops on Saturday, April 13, 2019 10AM to 12PM, Saturday, May 11, 2019 10AM to 12PM and Saturday, June 8, 2019 10AM to 12PM all at The Work Commons in Newport. Sessions include facilitation and refreshments. Please bring a journal and open mind!
Additionally, ie facilitation is hosting a three day journaling retreat at Jackson’s Lodge Friday May 17 to Sunday May 19. Please inquire for more details. Sliding Scale from $175 to $350 includes two nights of accommodation including 5 meals, facilitation and outdoor activities on Lake Wallace in Canaan, Vermont.
A life-long Vermonter, Ilene was born, raised, and lived most of her life in the Northeast Kingdom. In 2016 she relocated to central Vermont. For almost 30 years she has nurtured her own journaling practice while facilitating journaling workshops and retreats for others. Ilene describes journaling as a tool for self-awareness and self-discovery, a way to grow in relationship with self and stir the pot of creativity.
Pricing for Tea and Tales is a Sliding Scale from $15 to $30 a session and can be paid by cash, check or in person with a credit or debit card. We do ask that you pre-register by contacting email@example.com or calling or texting 917.945.6250 as space is limited.