On Friday, September 13, 2019, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL) took great pride in awarding eleven schools grant funding for the Partners in Prevention initiative. The initiative, totaling over $2.8 million, will be spread over three years to implement an evidence-based curriculum to help develop, identify, implement and sustain substance use prevention programs. The programs will impact more than 13,000 LaPorte County students and will help foster positive relationships and social competencies, address addictive behavior, bullying and violence, all while increasing school attendance, self-esteem and more.
In response to the recommendation from the La Porte County Opioid Study, HFL identified the community’s need for providing adequate prevention, treatment, and long-term recovery services. In addition, research shows that implementing prevention programs in schools combats the opioid epidemic as a long-term strategy to stop substance misuse and save lives.
The funding supplied to the participating eleven La Porte County schools affords them the opportunity to equip students with the life skills and support systems to not only help them avoid drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances, as well as help to improve their academic achievement, classroom behavior, attendance, and social and emotional well-being. The program gives each student a solid foundation to make educated choices and allows insight into the potential consequences of choosing a life of substance misuse and addiction.
The Healthcare Foundation awarded the following eleven schools with Planning and Implementation grants to provide these proven programs to La Porte County students:
La Lumiere La Porte Community School Corporation Michigan City Area Schools MSD of New Durham New Prairie United School Corporation Notre Dame Catholic School Queen of All Saints Renaissance Academy Saint John’s Lutheran School South Central Community School Corporation Tri-Township Community School Corporation
Among those who attended the Partners in Prevention launch were State Senator Mike Bohacek, State Representative Jim Pressel, and La Porte Mayor Mark Krentz, as well as members of the La Porte EMT and Fire Department, who have witnessed the devastating effects of substance abuse and misuse firsthand.
Jim McClelland, Indiana Executive Director for Drug Prevention, was the guest speaker for the event. When discussing the importance of prevention programs, he said, “I consider [Partners in Prevention] pioneers. You are leading in this arena, and I commend you for that. You are making substantial commitments to prevent substance abuse in young people.”
Maria Fruth, the President and CEO of the HFL, said, “The schools, along with HFL board of directors, city officials, and others, celebrated the beginning of a three-year endeavor to make our children healthier. It is so important to ensure our children have the tools to survive and make good decisions, and that is what Partners in Prevention intend to do.”
The schools participating in the Partners in Prevention initiative will connect with prevention experts from the Educational Development Center (EDC) to offer schools technical assistance and RTI International for the evaluation of the three-year initiative. Each school’s assigned technical assistance provider will provide implementation guidance and targeted support to ensure outcomes are achieved. The outside evaluation team will assist in determining the impact of these programs and if they are being implemented with fidelity. The support will extend through the three-year grant period to get the programming established and running and to collect essential data to evaluate the overall impact of the programs.