Who We AreWe are comprised of parents, youth, school staff, business owners, medical professionals, law enforcement, government workers, faith-based organizations, and more.
Connecting and supporting communities to build resilience and prevent youth substance misuse.
A healthy, thriving community free of substance misuse.
We are youth led, data-driven, inclusive, connected and trauma-informed.
Prevent Coalition (Prevent) is a community coalition formed in 2003 to increase collaboration, awareness, and reduce youth substance use in Southwest Washington including Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties. Prevent also implements initiatives for rural communities across Washington State. As a community mobilizer, we’re creating a culture promoting healthy choices; advocating for policies and regulations that protect, empower and nurture youth; and facilitating positive opportunities for youth to be involved and thrive.
Prevent is supported by the fiscal agent ESD 112, invaluable community volunteers and organizations across the Southwest Washington region. Prevent is funded by the Commercial Cannabis & Tobacco Prevention Program (YCCTPP) of the Washington State Department of Health, in addition to other state and federal grants, and by you – our generous donors.
In 2003, a group of passionate community members envisioned a healthy, thriving community free of the effects of substance abuse. PREVENT! Coalition formed including an acronym standing for: Prevent Reduce Educate Voice Empower Nurture Transform. The mission of PREVENT! was to increase community collaboration and awareness to prevent youth substance abuse in Clark County Washington. In 2004, PREVENT! partnered with the Mt. View High School Prevention Club. In 2006, Joyce Mailin wrote the first Drug Free Communities Grant application.
In 2007, PREVENT! received the Drug Free Communities grant for $100,00 per year for five years. This marked the beginning of capacity building for substance abuse prevention within Clark County community. Sondra Storm became the first Coalition Coordinator supporting coalition volunteers to implement the Strategic Prevention Framework. PREVENT! worked closely with the Clark County Youth Prevention Group, STASHA (Strong Teens Against Substance Hazards and Abuse).
In 2008, the first Teens Care Too youth summit was planned by STASHA youth and held at Clark College. Other activities from this year included media literacy training day, the creation of coalition subcommittees, participation in the Recovery Event Hands Across the Bridge, and collaboration with Evergreen School District and the Clark County Youth Prevention group, Strong Teens Against Substance Hazards and Abuse (STASHA).
The first Drug Take Back event was held in 2009 at one site (Clark County Fairgrounds) which collected just over 100 pounds of pills. PREVENT! built capacity within the community to reduce prescription drug abuse by increasing year round disposal options. All law enforcement agencies in the entire county established year round disposal policies. PREVENT! hosted a community training with STASHA youth for the Ads and Subtracts Campaign Project. The group created decals for store fronts displaying safe and healthy stores supporting youth in our community. PREVENT! hosted community events including Binge to Black Out and a Free Arts Northwest mentoring event with Evergreen School District and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
In 2010 PREVENT! members graduated from the CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) Academy. The Coalition and STASHA youth hosted the second Teens Care Too youth summit for Clark County Youth at Clark College. PREVENT! also hosted a store recognition program for stores who reduced the number of alcohol and tobacco advertisements in their stores. PREVENT! participated in the national drug take back event two times and collected 147 pounds of pills. PREVENT! hosted the first 5K Prevention Walk in Camas. The Coalition was selected to present at the National CADCA Forum in Washington DC regarding the Ads and Subtracts Community Project.
In 2011, Sean Chavez joined the staff team as a full time Community Prevention Specialist. In that year, PREVENT! Coalition was awarded a mentoring grant to build capacity in Battle Ground and Skamania communities. The coalition also held the Reach Out Now alcohol education for youth and hosted the second 5K Prevention Walk in Camas. PREVENT! and Mountain View Prevention Club conducted a powerful forum called Our Generation Our Choice. Local leaders including elected officials, business owners, school officials and law enforcement participated which allowed the students to share their concerns about substance abuse and to discuss their ideas for solutions. The students and community leaders challenged each other to take action to reduce substance abuse, As a result, Mt. View Prevention Club received a congratulations letter from President Bush. The coalition held two drug take back events this year and collected over 571 pounds of pills.
In 2012, Joy Lyons joined PREVENT! as a Co-Coordinator and the coalition was awarded the second round of five years of funding at $125,000 per year. In that year, the third 5K Prevention Walk in Camas was held, Let’s Draw the Line Community Assessment of Neighborhood Stores hosted, and the third Teens Care Too Summit was held at Clark College in partnership with STASHA youth. The coalition held two drug take back events this year at 2 sites, collected over 1473 pounds of pills. The Very Important Prevention Peeps celebrated over 50 committed coalition members and stakeholders who make the coalition successful and a leader in the community for substance abuse prevention.
In 2013, PREVENT! received a second mentoring grant to mentor a substance abuse prevention coalition in La Center. The coalition provided training, technical assistance and expertise to La Center as the community built capacity. At the Ads and Subtracts event, community members (including youth) assessed advertising in alcohol retail stores and provided toolkits about healthy store environments to the store owners. The marijuana prevention committee provided educational resources to the community regarding the new legal marijuana laws. The coalition held two drug take back events this year at 4 sites, collected over 1693 pounds of pills. A 12 Sector Leadership Retreat was held and the organizational structure and bylaws were evaluated and revised. The Mentee coalitions in Skamania and Battle Ground received their Drug Free Communities grants.
In 2014, the city of Vancouver passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale of drug paraphernalia in stores where minors can enter. PREVENT! and STASHA youth provided data, educational resources and testimony at the Vancouver City Council Public Hearing about the proposed new law. In 2014, PREVENT! secured a full sponsorship from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office to fund the Teens Care Too at Clark College. ACES club at Clark College and STASHA planned and led the fourth biennial event. The coalition held two drug take back events this year at 4 sites, collected over 2207 pounds of pills. PREVENT! collaborated with three other substance abuse prevention coalitions within the county (West Van for Youth, Battle Ground Prevent Together, Washougal United) to plan a leader event designed to educate community members about the strategic prevention framework and effective prevention strategies.
In 2015, Megan Streeter joined PREVENT! staff as the full time coordinator. PREVENT! received a grant to mentor the Evergreen community forming a new substance abuse coalition, Connect Evergreen. PREVENT! collaborated with Leadership Clark County to implement a point of purchase campaign in marijuana retail stores. PREVENT! hosted a Keeping Kids Safe Forum at the Vancouver Public Library. The coalition hosted multiple showings and conversations about Paper Tigers, a documentary about Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma informed schools. PREVENT! provided education and advocacy to the Board of Health regarding vaping in public places. Clark County adopted an ordinance to restrict the use of vaporizers in public places. The coalition held two drug take back events this year at 4 sites, collected over 3408 pounds of pills. The mentee coalitions in La Center received their Drug Free Communities Grant. In this year, PREVENT! secured a high level of in kind match from the Chair of the Marijuana Prevention Committee who championed the development of new toolkits and educational resources for the community.
In 2016, Leanne Reid joined as Co-coordinator with Megan to coordinate the newly awarded Department of Health Grant for marijuana prevention. Through the marijuana prevention grant, PREVENT! created the Youth Now Prevention Initiative, the Weed Can Wait campaign, Cannabis Conversations and Making The Connection Toolkit. PREVENT! hosted the fifth Teens Care Too youth summit at Clark College in partnership with STASHA. During 2016, PREVENT! convened regional principals for the Principals Breakfast with Jim Sporleder, a trauma informed school advocate. PREVENT! also hosted two Drug Take Back Events at four locations, collecting 3654 pounds of pills. PREVENT! received two awards this year: The Public Health Community Award and The Exemplary Coalition Award at the Youth Summit in Yakima, WA.
To celebrate 10 years of prevention work, PREVENT! updated its branding, logo, mission and name to Prevent Coalition. The coalition mission is: Supporting and Connecting Communities to Build Resilience and Prevent Youth Substance Use. The Coalition is rolling out the Making the Connection Toolkit in monthly community trainings. The Youth Now and Prevent websites will be launched in the Spring of 2017. Prevent Coalition mentored Connect Evergreen to apply for a Drug Free Communities Grant in March 2017. STASHA youth are working with Prevent Coalition to create an alcohol social media campaign. Prevent Coalition is supported in its final year of the Drug Free Communities grant by the Department of Health Youth Marijuana prevention Education grant and the STOP alcohol prevention grant. Prevent Coalition looks forward to supporting the community for many years to come!
Prevention efforts in the SW Washington Region thrive. KLASAC received DFC grant funding and hit the ground running. Central Vancouver was awarded funding to start a new CPWI coalition beginning December 2018. Kathy Deschner from Prevent Together Battle Ground received an award for Prevention Professional of Excellence during the November 2018 Prevention Summit. Three youth groups from Clark County made it to the presentation finals at the Spring Youth Forum: STASHA, Unite! Washougal and the Battle Ground DREAM Team.
As for Prevent Coalition we now coordinate regional prevention efforts, grants for preventing youth tobacco, alcohol, opioid and cannabis use while supporting multiple community coalitions in the SW Regional Network. Prevent leadership attending CADCA academy in February 2018 to meet with National decision makers regarding prevention issues. We spent much of 2018 partnering with UW and C+C marketing to develop an opioid prevention campaign called Locks Save Lives. Locks Save Lives encourages adults to secure their medications. This campaign pilot launches in April 2019. Additionally, we supported three young people to facilitate our annual and regional Youth Advocacy Training. Peer education proves one of the most effective strategy for educating youth on laws, potential harms of youth use and how they can use their voices to create lasting change. We’re optimistic for the future of healthy, thriving youth and excited for what is to come.
Grants were awarded. West Van for Youth and Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance were awarded DFC grants. New CPWI coalitions were formed in Longview and Klickitat. Prevent was awarded funding to implement vape education and joined the Washington Youth Marijuana Prevention Collaborative. The SW region attended CADCA 3-week academy. Prevent welcomes a Tobacco Prevention Specialist to the team.
Legislation was passed. Tobacco 21 was signed and the region celebrated five years of advocacy. The region advocated on marijuana packaging/labeling and retail licensing. ESD 112 worked with schools to promote alternatives to suspension and review school discipline policies.
Toolkits were published. After vapor-related lung illness woke the nation to the potential harms of vaping, ESD 112 developed a vape toolkit for schools. Coalitions partnered with cannabis retailers to launch the Secure Your Cannabis point of purchase campaign and Prevent released a Making the Connection toolkit online facilitator training video allowing instant access to the materials. The Dover Youth Empowerment Toolkit was shared in the region and was used to kick off the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).
Awards were delivered. Prevent & STASHA member Madison Langer was awarded Tobacco Free Kids Youth Advocate of the Year and a Washington Prevention Excellence Award. The region honored Rep. Paul Harris with an achievement award for getting youth engaged in policy change.
Prevent went virtual. The global COVID-19 pandemic mobilized Prevent to become a fully virtual coalition. Trainings, meetings and ceremonies were held online, reaching more volunteers and engaging audiences in new ways.
Campaigns took new life. The Back to School Vaping Toolkit went digital, the Secure Your Cannabis campaign participated in a statewide evaluation, and the Find Your Good campaign became a community-connector with new partners. Prevent developed record-breaking media buys for tobacco cessation and opioid prevention. The Locks Save Lives campaign partnered with housing builders to install locking cabinets in homes.
Rural communities mobilized. Prevent hired new staff after received a Department of Health grant to develop a statewide coalition, the Rural Network. The team implemented a public health assessment of rural communities and began developing an online toolkit for rural professionals.
Innovation saved the day. Prevent created an online map of coalitions across the state, discovered tools for recognizing volunteers through video greetings, testified at the legislature through Zoom, and participated in national training academies online.
Communities connected. ESD 112 became the fiscal agent for West Van for Youth and the Unite! Washougal coalitions. With new grants awarded to coalitions across the region, seven new Coalition Coordinators were hired and the Southwest Region connected them as a virtual network of practitioners.
Coalitions trained. KLASAC, La Center, Central Vancouver, and One Prevention Alliance graduated from the CADCA National Coalition Academy. Prevent graduated from the Graduate Coalition Academy and was also awarded CADCA’s Got Outcomes Coalition of Excellence and Blue Ribbon recognition. Coalitions in the region also attended Mid-Year Institute, Forum, the Prevention Summit, Marijuana & Public Health Summit, and Coalition Leadership Institute.
Communities grew. The Kelso Hilander HOPE coalition was formed and Unite! Washougal received their year 6-10 DFC grant.
Equity prioritized. The Cannabis Conversations and Making the Connection toolkits were translated to Spanish. Prevent hosted a Summer Equity Webinar Series on tobacco and public health, and ESD 112 coordinated an equity series, Speaking of Race. The Starts with One campaign provided the Rural Network with a customized rural package of campaign contents, increasing accessibility to this audience. The Rural Network hosted a breakout training at the Prevention Summit on Rural Equity.
Campaigns published. Locks Save Lives Home was developed, along with new strategies for home builders. The Rural Toolkit published a stock photo library and collection of success stories for rural communities online. Prevent published a podcast for Coalition Coordinators, found on Apple Podcasts or Podbean.
Policies protected. Prevent served on the statewide Prevention Voices Steering Committee, met with several legislators before, during, and after legislative session, and trained the SW Region and the Rural Network on effective policy engagement. The Youth Advocacy Training was held and facilitated youth leaders from Clark County STASHA. Coalitions in the region testified online, submit stories to legislators, and mobilized for prevention advocacy.