OLYMPIA – For their work to promote mental health and wellness and prevent substance use disorder, the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) recently honored several individuals and organizations at the 35th annual Washington State Prevention Summit, held Nov. 5 and 6 in Yakima.
This year’s honorees:
This year’s event was hosted by HCA's Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. Conference sponsors include the Washington State Department of Health, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and Triumph Treatment Services. The Prevention Summit draws more than 600 young people, volunteers, and professionals from around the state.
- Madison Langer, Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence – Youth Leadership (individual). Madison has been a member of the Washington Association for Substance Use and Violence Prevention for the last four and a half years. Madison has worked as a peer educator to help youth recover from substance use, while also training more than 70 youth to become effective tobacco control advocates. She has been instrumental in getting the Tobacco 21 bill passed in the Washington State Legislature. She developed a youth-specific advocacy training for middle school and high school students in high-need areas of southwest Washington. She also provides informal sessions at Triple Point, a program of Children’s Home Society, that provide a safe haven support group for LGBTQ+ youth.
- Cinthia Santiago-Villanueva, Sunnyside United-Unidos – Youth Leadership (individual). Cinthia has been a leader in substance use disorder prevention and mental health promotion for the last three years. She has become an advocate and speaks on behalf of the issues to key stakeholders in her community at a local, state, and national level. She has participated in “Walk Away from Drugs” community walks, handed out prescription lock boxes, and set up for Key Leader events. She has served as a youth representative and reported to the coalition on Prevention Club activities. She has helped increase membership and awareness of her coalition by strengthening and creating new partnerships through Prevention Bingo Night.
- Rock Solid, San Juan Island Prevention Coalition – Youth Leadership (High School Group/Club). The Prevention Coalition brings together community organizations and members to promote and support awareness of drug and alcohol problems. The Coalition supports schools and other island groups in their efforts to educate parents and youth, provide healthy activities for youth, and encourage good decision making.
- Kevin Haggerty, Ph.D., University of Washington – Prevention Professional. Dr. Haggerty is the Director of the Social Development Research Group and Endowed Professor of Prevention at the University Of Washington School of Social Work. He is principal investigator of the Utah Communities That Care training program, Staying Connected with Your Teen, Families Facing the Future (formerly Focus on Families), and of a study testing the adaptation of an evidence-based family intervention for foster caregivers and their teens called Connecting. For more than 30 years, Dr. Haggerty has focused on developing innovative ways to organize the scientific knowledge base for prevention so that parents, communities, and schools can better identify, assess, and prioritize customized approaches that meet their needs.
- Renee Hunter, TOGETHER! For Youth – Lifetime Achievement. Renee Hunter has served as executive director of Chelan-Douglas TOGETHER! for Youth since its inception in 1992. In that time she has established 11 community coalitions and mobilized hundreds of volunteers to implement evidence-based strategies. She mentored numerous youth and supervised the implementation of youth-led prevention initiatives throughout her career. In 2001, she received the Governor’s Award for Collaboration in recognition of her leadership in community-based prevention efforts.
- Richard J. Catalano, Ph.D., University of Washington – Lifetime Achievement. Dr. Catalano is a professor in the University of Washington School of Social Work and the co-founder of the Social Development Research Group. He is past-president of the Society for Prevention Research, and a steering committee member of the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health. He also served as the co-chair of the state’s Prevention Research Subcommittee. For more than 35 years, he has led research and program development to promote positive youth development and prevent problem behaviors. His work has focused on discovering risk and protective factors for behavioral health problems, designing and evaluating programs to address these factors, and using this knowledge to understand and improve prevention service systems in states and communities.
The 2019 Prevention Summit provided an enriching and culturally appropriate training and networking opportunity for youth, volunteers and professionals who are working to prevent substance use disorder, violence and other problem behaviors. The Summit addressed the integration of prevention efforts with primary health care and mental health promotion. The goal is to reach not only highly experienced youth and adults in the field of prevention but also those who are new to prevention, and to continue to build on our foundation of success in Washington State.
“It is an opportunity to reflect on the impact our work has had on Washington youth, families, and communities. Our work continues to advance and adapt to address today’s substance use disorder prevention and mental health promotion priorities,” said Keri Waterland, assistant director for HCA’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. “It is also time to reflect and strategize on the behavioral health challenges still impacting our state’s youth, families, and communities."
Visit www.preventionsummit.org and www.theathenaforum.org to learn more.
Annual Prevention Summit honors community leaders dedicated to promoting health and wellness in Washington
FYSPRT Coordinator, Colleen Bradley