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August 2023 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Friday, August 11, 2023
  • Meeting Minutes


  • -Robert Bray- WBTC Radio
  • -Emma Clark, Tusc Co Health Dept 
  • -Katelyn Gorius, Tusc Co Health Dept
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  • -*Brian Herzog, Tusc Co Public Library
  • -*Gail Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -*Bill Houglan, Citizen Member
  • *Brian Hudzik, VA Summits
  • -*Elke King, COAD
  • -*Rebecca LeMasters, Citizen Member 
  • -Peggy Leslie, Harcatus, Civic Sector
  •  -Connie Limbacher, Citizen Member; Coalition Secretary
  • -Katie Maurer, OhioGuidestone Access Navigator/Hope line Tusc & Carroll Counties
  • -Kerry Metzger, Coalition Chairman
  • Danielle Mason, Eastern Regional Attorney General
  • -Jeff Neidig, Pharmacist/Owner Mediwise Pharmacy
  • -Shawn Patterson, The Redeemed 22
  • -*Beverly Pearch, Big Brothers, Big Sisters Dir
  • Kimberly Ray, Amberwood Manor
  • -*Miles Riley, Springvale
  • -Jason Rissler, Pastor
  • -Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Dir of SUD Prevention
  • -Sierra Schweitzer, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -*Diana Smith, Springvale
  • -Scott Snyder, Retired Pastor
  • -Caitlin Stalder, Aultman
  • -Kayla Stover, COMPASS
  • Joe Svancara, Pastor
  • Angela Toth, Carroll Co Coalition

(-) Members
(*) Present Virtually


Meeting Summary: Meeting called to order at 9:07 AM by Kerry Metzger. 29 were present (20 physically & 9 Hybrid); (25 members & 4 Non-Members) Introductions made. Approval of Minutes– Bill Harding made a motion to accept June 9, 2023 meeting minutes.  Shawn Patterson seconded and all voted yes. Robert Bray made a motion to amend the agenda to include under Executive Committee: Community Champions; Drug Free Communities Grant Update & Attorney General’s Report. Peggy Leslie seconded and all voted yes.


Committee Reports


Executive/Steering Committee –Project Hope (silhouettes)-Jodi reported that this campaign will kick off on Wednesday, August 30th on the Court House steps. Erik Frederickson will be the guest speaker. The silhouettes will be placed throughout Tusc County. The decrease of deaths are believed to be the result of Naloxone being distributed. There were 82 Tuscarawas County Overdoses confirmed through 911.  Katie Maurer reported that personal hygiene bags will be distributed. These were able to be put together with $15,000 funds that were received through the ADAMHS Board. Mobile “Hidden In Plain Sight” Trailer- a 14’ x 7’ trailer has been purchased with grant funds. We hope to start using it after September 1st. It is being stored at the Sheriff’s office and they will transport, as well. Community Champions for Awareness Events: We are working with others that are able to set up a table/booth at area events since so many are happening.  They will receive training and everything they need to represent us.  Anyone knowing of someone or able to help, please let us know. Drug Free Community Grant: Jodi has received unofficial word that we will get the grant again for years 6-10. This is $125,000/year and currently includes her wages. Kerry mentioned that after year 10—we really have to be self-sustaining and have other funding sources. Danielle Mason-Attorney General’s Office:  Kerry introduced Danielle -Eastern Regional Director. Along with drug initiatives the other main issue we would be interested in is Human Trafficking. Our area funding will come from Cambridge and looks like it will start in first quarter of 2024. Kerry told her that Empower Tusc is more than willing to partner with Yost. It is important that we get voter out and educate earlier. “Addiction for profit” seems to be a bad goal for many.


Alcohol Prevention Committee:  “Talk They Hear You”. Jodi updated on this campaign. The next Alcohol meeting will be virtual on August 21 at 1:00PM. 


Faith Efforts Pastor’s Briefing—a good attendance was received of approximately 30 pastors/lay people on June 27th from 9-10:30AM at the Monarch Center. Pastor Joe Svancara shared that he liked the different prospective and Pastor Scott Snyder got a lot of information that he was able to share. Unfortunately it was agreed that misinformation won and that that the “NO” side spent twice as much money as the “YES”. It was mentioned that the YES signs had too much info on them and too small to read and education needs done before absentee voting begins. Also mentioned that it was heard that many didn’t vote as they didn’t understand the Issue and how it was worded. HOPE Sunday will be held on Sept 24th and Jodi reported that the video should be done next week. It will open with Erik standing on the same bridge he did in the first video saying “……………………………….”. Our theme will focus on Recovery. Connie reported that Pastors have received the email on “Save the Date” and volunteers are needed to start calling, stuffing the bags and distributing them. This hopes to be done the second week of September, before the fair starts. Any non profits wanting to put stuff in the bags should have a minimum of their things to Jodi’s office by September 6th. We are asking churches when we call them if they have a Recovery Support Group and if so, the contact person and if for only their church or for anyone. Anyone wishing to help are asked to either stay afterwards and talk with Connie or let her know so she can contact them next week.


Marijuana Committee – The committee has acquired a speaker-Laura Stack to speak on October 9th at the PAC. It will be for area High School students that we bus in as previously. She is contracted for two speaking engagements, so one will be at 9:00AM for the students and then depending on the amount of students that schools are allowing to come, there will be another one for students in the afternoon or one in the evening for adults. Because she did cost $8,000, we would like to thank Provia for donating $4,000 and we obtained another grant for $2,500. This will be a month before the November election, so timing was great!

Media Committee –Community Awareness & Involvement: reported that the committee is working on a speaker list and new volunteer packets. Katie Maurer will be on the morning show on WBTC, talking about the Hope Line. August 12th will be the customer appreciation for 60 yrs. Will have blood mobile and food trucks. Any non-profits that want to set up a booth can come. It is also a car show.


Prescription Drug Committee – School Nurses Meeting-Jeff reported that they are reaching out to the school nurses on the safe use/safe storage of medications including OTC (Over-the-Counter). Y2Y Generation RX presentations-Buckeye Career Center youth will be presenting the Gen RX program like they did last year. Also, adults can share this program with other civic groups, schools, etc. Anyone interested in presenting or know of a group wanting to here this, just needs to let him know! October Drug Take Back-will still be held at Union Hospital Cleveland Clinic. We are trying to coordinate another time and place to do the one in Uhrichsville. Our stats have always looked at the poundage but we would like to start collecting the stat of amount of people dropping off. The time for the Prescription Drug Committee Meetings has been changed to the 4th Monday at 9:30 AM so since we already had an August meeting, the next meeting will be held virtually on Monday, September 25th at 9:30AM. 


Suicide Prevention Committee- Environmental Scan– Jodi explained that the SPS is continuing to research the best template or environmental scan process. Many models exist for environmental scans, but we are working to find one specific to suicide prevention. We are also asking for committee members to join an environmental scan team to help in the process. Emma Clark report for Lakyn:  Stark Co Suicide Prevention Coalition: A Walk for Suicide Awareness– The Stark County SPC is hosting a Walk for Suicide Awareness on August 27th, 2023 at Petros Lake Park. Opening Remarks begin at 10am. This is a great opportunity for our members to attend to support Stark’s SPC and get ideas for if we would host an awareness walk. Leadership Tusc– The SPC has submitted an application to have a project completed with Leadership Tusc. The project proposes the development and implementation of a suicide prevention messaging campaign specifically targeting men 50+in Tuscarawas County. The objective is to create messaging and an implementation plan that will resonate with the target population. The project will raise awareness, reduce stigma and direct men to resources that will assist them in coping with mental health challenges and normalize seeking support during times of distress. School Magnets– The Media Committee designed magnets to go in school lockers for the 2023-2024 school year. The magnets have Crisis line information on them for students.

Tobacco/Vaping CommitteeCommunity Readiness Assessment – The purpose of this survey is to help determine how ready our community is for change and improvement. Scores are determined on a scale of 1-9 with 1 being community members having no awareness of the issue and 9 being community members have a high level of community ownership to take on the issue. Katelyn thanked everyone present that completed the survey. We had 20 community members complete the survey. Our scores were a 5.85 for efforts to limit and stop youth access and availability to nicotine products and a 5.62 for efforts to address the problem of youth vaping. A score of a 5 means we are in the preparation stage and our community offers modest support for our efforts on both of these issues. Annual Community Survey on Tobacco for 2023 – TCHD has launched the annual Community Survey on Tobacco for 2023 and the survey will run till at least August 31st. We are encouraging all community members to complete the survey to help their knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes towards topics related to tobacco/nicotine product use. The results of this survey are used to drive educational efforts in the coming year. A link to the survey can be found below on the TCHD Facebook page, and paper copies of the survey are available at TCHD. Respondents can enter into a drawling for one of five $50 gas cards. 2023 Annual Community Survey on Tobacco: ; Health Equity Initiatives – Over the next year, the committee will be helping Jodi and Katelyn with the implementation of the strategic plan initiatives for the “Increasing Tobacco Prevention and Cessation in Southern Tuscarawas County: A Five-Year Strategic Plan”. Southern Tuscarawas County is being primarily defined as the Newcomerstown, Indian Vally, and Claymont school district area. If you are interest in helping implement this strategic plan, please contact Katelyn Gorius. Advocacy Through Art Table Tents – Katelyn passed around the table tents that will be displayed at all local Wendy’s locations in Tuscarawas County for the group to see. These table tents show the work that three local youth-to-youth group created for this past years Advocacy Through Art: Anti-Vaping Art Contest. We currently have 4 additional sets of table tents that can be distributed to local businesses. Katie Maurer shared that she would be interested in helping get them displayed at the mall.

Youth SectorA Youth Recruitment Event will be held at NewPointe Community Church on August 20th from 2-5PM. All youth grades 6-12 are welcome. There will be food, games, merchandise, and a youth to youth speaker.  There will be flyers at local libraries and the YMCA. Robert has put it on the radio station and it will be published in the Times Reporter and Bargain Hunter. Any other suggestions on where to put it out to the community would be great!


Old Business – no update


New Business/Upcoming Coalition Events 


  • Back to school booth events
    • August 25th, 4:00-6:00 Tusky Valley

                      *     August 12- Literacy Kid’s Connection, 9:00-11:00- Dennison Gazebo

August 12-WBTC The Tusk Cruise-In, 10-5PM at WBTC in Uhrichsville

  • August 20- Y2Y recruitment event, 2:00-5:00- New Pointe Community Church
  • August 30- Overdose Awareness Memorial event, 6:30-8:00pm Tuscarawas County Court House steps
  • September 2023- National Recovery Month & Suicide Prevention Awareness month-Project Hope (Silhouettes)
  • September 18-24 – Tuscarawas County Fair—Thanks to Sheriff’s Dept for paying & sharing our booth under the grandstand.
  • HOPE Sunday – September 24th in churches; released to public at noon


Miles shared that Springvale has a Hep-C Treatment Program:  Here is also the link to their upcoming fundraiser on Sept. 30th: . He shared that they have a new doctor on staff—OBGYN that is accepting new patients. More info to follow.

Connie shared with group that in doing Jodi’s grant stats (August 1, 2022-July 31, 2023) There is currently 135 members, 40 Inactive, 200+ volunteers with 4,500 volunteer hours in that time frame accounted for. A special thanks to those who turned in their volunteer hours! You make the job easier!!


Adjourn– Robert made a motion to Adjourn at 10:48 A.M. Jeff seconded and all voted yes.


Next Board Meeting – Visitor & Convention Bureau (hybrid option will be available)

124 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia- Friday, September 8th, 2023

 (Note: Parking is available in the back & then ring the back doorbell.)

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