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February 2023 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Friday, February 10, 2023
  • Meeting Minutes


  •  -*Dawn Abrams, Cleveland Clinic Behavioral Health Center, Nurse Mgr
  •  -*Ron Bond, Tuscarawas Co Farm Bureau
  •  -Robert Bray- WBTC Radio
  •   Braeden Brown, Strasburg Student 
  •  -*Emma Clark, TCHD Health Educator
  •  -Lakyn Craig, TCHD Health Educator
  •  -Dick Gooding, TV School Board
  •  -Katelyn Gorius, TCHD Health Educator
  •  -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  •  -*Brian Herzog, Tusc Co Public Library
  •  -*Gail Houglan, Citizen Member
  •  -*Bill Houglan, Citizen Member
  •  -Katie Kerns, OhioGuidestone TTS
  •  -Chris Lane, Business Owner-6 area Wendy’s
  •  -Peggy Leslie, Harcatus, Civic Sector
  •  -*Connie Limbacher, Citizen Member; Coalition Secretary
  •   Jayce McCollins, Strasburg Student
  •  – Katie Maurer, OhioGuidestone Access Navigator/Hope line Tusc & Carroll Counties
  •  -Kerry Metzger, Tuscarawas County Commissioner, EPT Chairman
  •  -Carson Norris, Strasburg Student & Rep
  •  -Shawn Patterson, The 22 Redeemed 
  •  -*Miles Riley, Springvale Health Marketing
  •  -Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Dir of SUD Prevention
  •  -Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member
  •  -Sierra Schweitzer, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Veronica Spidell, ADAMHS Board
  • -*Kane Tarrance- Bright View Community Outreach Mgr.
  • -*Michaela Thomas- Newsymom
  • -*Robin Waltz, Director of United Way

(*) denotes online

Meeting Notes:

  • Meeting Summary: Meeting called to order at 9:04 AM by Kerry Metzger. 29 were present (18 physically & 11 Hybrid); (27 members & 2 Non-Members (youth)) Had introductions.
  • Approval of Minutes– Harding made a motion to accept October 14th, 2022 meeting minutes, Chris Lane seconded and all voted yes.

Committee Reports:

Executive/Steering Committee – Kerry

In January, the Steering Committee met for Strategic Planning and worked on the 2023 Calendar. They also will be using a new meeting planning document to better capture action plan and will assist in institutionalizing what is working well and create opportunities for involvement in more meaningful ways. Alcohol Committee and Suicide Prevention Meeting ran well using this format. Kerry thanked those that were involved. Bill Harding was recognized as 2022 Volunteer of the Year! Bill took ownership manning booths, handing out literature, promoting safe medication practices at most Senior events throughout Tuscarawas County!

Alcohol Committee:  Veronica reported Parents Who Host Lose the Most—Strategic action plan was set to include the passing out of banners and signs. The campaign should run from April 20th-June 9th. Updates from Addiction Task Force Meeting in January were shared and the Alcohol Campaign for Community Health Improvement Process (CHIP) goals-Alcohol Use Disorder funding being utilized to continue the Hispanic alcohol group at OhioGuidestone. About $100,000 rolling over. “Arrive Alive Don’t Drink or Drive—Struggling with Alcohol call the Hope line” Holiday campaign-use during Mardi Gras and St Patrick’s Day. Banner will be going up in the square of town around St Patrick’s Day. Also, for Memorial Day & 4th of July. Discussing some different marketing. Sending out 58,000 postcards with Hope line and Peer Support info (bilingual) into Tusc and Carroll households-including brief description of services; Prevention Action Alliance (PAA)-Alcohol Conference in March in Columbus and Jessica Hulsey-Addiction Policy Forum-March 8th 12-1pm for members only.

Faith Based CommitteeReceived another $30,000 from OhioMAS, which we did not have to apply for and have received since 2020. These funds will be used for Project Hope (silhouettes)  & HOPE Sunday. We will also be using a portion of this funding to support a recovery event on March 17th, working with Tommy Miller’s Church—Legacy.  They will be bringing in Brian Welch, from the band Korn, who is in long-term recovery and found his recovery through his faith. We will work with community agencies and organizations to set up community resources booths at the event. 

Marijuana CommitteeKerry & Jodi reported on the status of Senate Bill 9 (to expand Ohio’s Medical Marijuana program), and how it mirrors last year’s SB 261, which died during lame duck. Chris & Dick explained that they would be able to use social media without getting prior approval. Carson commented on the youth view of how the increase THC and advertising will be perceived by youth. Kerry commented that it would increase THC levels to 90%, allow sublingual use (under the tongue) to provide an immediate high and, WHY?

SB 26—Discussed this new bill that would change laws for operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana

Media Committee Robert thanked Michaela for staying on the committee to handle the press releases & social media. Discussed having a video on what Empower Tusc is that will help those who speak at various agencies. Kerry has suggested that we develop a pamphlet to use a.) hand out at presentations & 2.) encourage more volunteers to participate and contacting several TV stations to do PSA’s. Robert has been interviewed on WBTC after attending CADCA and Jodi added it to Facebook, please go to Facebook and like and share.

Prescription Drug Committee Jeff was not present but the committee has not been able to meet because of conflicting dates. The next Drug Take Back day is the 4th Sat in April (22nd) & One Pill Can Kill is the current campaign which there is a toolkit for it.  Jeff has been working with the Pharmacy Tech program at Buckeye Career Center, as well.

Youth SectorSierra talked about the “Advocacy Thru Art Projects: Youth to Youth (Y2Y) groups from Claymont, Strasburg, and TCC are all creating physical art pieces advocating against vaping. This project is through the health department and the schools will be judged on March 20th. Nordonia: 6 students will be attending with her along with other Y2Y schools from all over Ohio.  This is a yearly retreat in Chagrin Falls at the end of February. CADCA Forum: Carson attended from TCC last week and reported on his experience as amazing. He got a lot of useful information to bring back and spoke about how it opened his eyes and can better relate to others through this experience. Youth Advisory Board: Sierra is setting up a meeting with students from the 3 schools to bring back this group, as well as reaching out to other area schools to talk about potentially bringing back Y2Y groups to their schools. Many schools Y2Y programs were lost during Covid.

Suicide Prevention Committee- Empower Tusc will be hosting a training for Strategic Planning on February 278th from 9-1.  All those interested, please try to attend.  

Tobacco/Vaping  Committee Katelyn reported that Advocacy Through Art Project Update: Y2Y school programs are participating and they are training and assisting each school with completing their project. They were to create 1-2 art pieces that advocate against vaping and against Big Tobacco to be displayed at the “Don’t Be Fooled by Big Tobacco” event on April 1st and community members who attend the event will be able to vote for the “People’s Choice” winner. A panel of judges will choose a winner and the winning school will receive a plague/trophy & art piece will be displayed in the community; Leadership Tusc Project with Newcomerstown High School Teen Leadership will be putting on an anti-vaping Spirit Week called “Dude Save Your Lungs on March 27-31st. Students will develop videos, facts and themes for each day to promote their messages and the adults will work to put on a community event on Saturday April 1st from 8-10am in downtown New Phila. The event will be called “Don’t Be Fooled by Big Tobacco” due to being on April Fools Day. It will feature a litter clean up around downtown, resource tables, displaying and voting on the Advocacy Through Art projects and light refreshments. Lunch & Learn-The Truth Behind the Nicotine Cloud: guest speaker from Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes and will have opportunity for ACT Trainings for Schools and Organizations. Ohio House Bill 513 was explained and how the veto on January 5th by Gov DeWine affected us.

Old Business – no update

New Business/Upcoming Coalition Events 

  • Jodi discussed the Leadership Tusc project, which is to determine if there is a need to create a sports closet in the county, to assist families who cannot afford for their children to participate in youth sports. Decreasing the financial barrier that might permit some youth from engaging in youth sports, has the potential to increase positive childhood experiences, which can reduce youth use of substances. 

Public Speaks/Organization Share

  • 1st & 3rd Mondays @ 6:30PM at Nazarene Church, 233 Fair Ave New Phila—Shawn Patterson
  • March 30th—Destiny Library—Tusc Co Public Library—3E Virtual Program that will take you thru an 18-19 yr old pregnant woman; 90 min from Noon-1:30PM
  • Katelyn shared that TCMH is bringing back the Teen Rodeo

Adjourn– Robert made a motion to Adjourn and Shawn seconded.  All voted yes at 10:34 A.M

Next Board Meeting – Visitor & Convention Bureau (hybrid option will be available)
124 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia- Friday, March 10, 2023

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