Shared Use and Community Kitchens Webinar

On September 24, 2018, the Communities That Care Coalition hosted a workshop for advocates of community use of space for food production and organizations interested in producing food products for sale or donation. For those unable to attend, the content of the  workshop was captured in a webinar available here.

Teen Resource Card

Get your pocket-sized card here. It’s loaded with resources for jobs, health, housing, counseling, and more. These are valuable resources. We strongly recommend printing them and having them available in your home, school, town, community center, and more.

What Schools Can Do: a report on local school policies and practices related to substance use

What Schools Can Do: Creative Ways Franklin County and North Quabbin Schools are Implementing DESE Guidance on Substance Use Prevention. 

This report shares findings from meetings at all of the area districts, including information on local trends in school policies and practices, program highlights, current challenges, and ideas for next steps to enhance existing practices. It outlines how districts across Franklin County and the North Quabbin have created policies and practices that are in line with recent guidance from The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and that respond to the needs of their local communities.  Local survey data is incorporated to provide further context.

In response to local interest, a special section on increasing equity in discipline includes research, best practices and local examples about how to respond to violations.

Throughout the report, clickable links to the Program Descriptions, an appendix and external websites provide an opportunity to learn more about specific programs.

Many thanks to everyone who met with us or provided information for this project!

National Academy of Medicine publishes paper on collaboration between CTC and Baystate Franklin Medical Center

Jeanette Voas, Kat Allen and Ruth Potee co-authored an article entitled “The Communities That Care Coalition Model for Improving Community Health through Clinical–Community Partnerships: A Population Health Case Report” that was published online by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) in 2016. The article traces the history of the coalition and describes how CTC works with the hospital to achieve common goals. 

In rural western Massachusetts, a coalition with members from many sectors of the community has been working for more than a decade to support youth well-being and reduce youth substance abuse. In that time, youth drinking, cigarette smoking, and marijuana use have declined substantially, as have targeted risk factors underlying problem behaviors.

 Jeanette Voas, Katherine Allen, and Ruth Potee

The piece covers important topics like health equity, barriers, the use of data, and more. CTC was able to provide an example of how a collaboration involving health care and community partners can successfully create measurable, positive changes in community health.

Community Voices: needs assessment on local youth substance use

In 2015-2016, CTC conducted a set of interviews and focus groups as a part of a community assessment on the topic of youth substance use. Coordinating Council members sought out interviews with school personnel, service providers, and law enforcement officials who work directly with youth who use, and held focus groups with parents and youth who are familiar with or embedded in local youth culture, including a high-risk segment of that culture. 

Community members gathered to review findings from the community assessment and to share their own perspectives. Participants in this “Community Voices” session also viewed short videos created by area youth to share their experiences and knowledge about youth substance use. The assessment report is available here.

Communities That Care Coalition Co-Chair Kat Allen Presents at Summit at White House

In 2014, Kat Allen represented the Communities That Care Coalition as one of several panelists presenting successful approaches in preventing substance abuse and promoting academic success in a day-long Policy Forum co-sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the federal Department of Education.

“It is such an honor to be able to represent the Communities That Care Coalition and the amazing work that all of you do! And so exciting to be able to bring this work to the attention of national-level decision-makers with the hopes that we can influence national policy!”

Allen of the invitation

The Coalition received high praise for its efforts and outcomes from the country’s current acting Drug Czar, Michael Botticelli, as well as from the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Services, Fran Harding (pictured on Allen’s right, above). As a follow-up to the event, Allen (representing the Communities That Care Coalition) was invited to present at the Trust for America’s Health’s first-ever National Forum on Hospitals, Health Systems & Population Health.

Communities That Care Coalition’s Massachusetts “Healthy Communities” Award

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Health and the MassPartnership for Healthy Communities recognized the work of the Communities That Care Coalition with a “Healthy Communities” Award for exceptional commitment to the Healthy Communities principle of “building capacity using local assets and resources”.  

The purpose of these awards is to highlight creative and useful best practices developed by communities as they implement the Healthy Communities Principles in their work in order to better promote their use throughout the Commonwealth.