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February 2024 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Friday, February 9, 2024
  • Meeting Minutes


  • -*Ron Bon, Tusc Co Farm Bureau
  • -Robert Bray, WBTC Radio
  •  Mary Burkhart, Pastor
  • -*Kevin Cochenour, HSES Mgr, Kraton Pine Chemicals
  • -Lakyn Craig, Tusc Co Health Dept 
  • -Shannon Fox, Tusc Co. Health Dept.
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  • -Brian Herzog, Tusc Co Public Library
  • -Heather Hill, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Bill Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -Gail Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -Jennifer James, Tusc Co EMA
  •  Nick Javis, Dir of Beneath the Shades
  • -Rebecca LeMasters, Ex Dir Client Services, Nonprofit Consulting Agency
  • -Peggy Leslie, Harcatus—RSVP Director
  • -*Katie Maurer, OhioGuidestone, Addiction Line-Access Navigator
  • -Kerry Metzger, Coalition Chairman
  • -Terry Miller, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Jeff Neidig, Owner/Pharmacist Mediwise Pharmacy
  • -Shawn Patterson, The Redeemed 22
  • -*Beverly Pearch, Dir of Big Brother Big Sister
  • -Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Dir of SUD Prevention
  • -Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member
  • -*Caitlin Stalder, Aultman Tusc Reg Health Center-Practice Mgr
  • -Joe Svancara, Pastor
  •  Angela Toth, Carroll Co Coalition Coordinator

(-) Members
(*) Present Virtually


Meeting Summary: Meeting called to order at 9:01 AM by Kerry Metzger. 26 were present (21 Present & 5 Virtual); (23 members & 3 Non-Member) Introductions made. Approval of Minutes– Bill Harding made a motion to accept November 17th, 2023 meeting minutes.  Peggy Leslie seconded and all voted yes. 


Committee Reports


Executive/Steering Committee –Kerry reported that we received the second of the 5-year DFC grant which is $125,000 each year. We need to start planning in November so in January we can hit the road running. The By-Laws need to be redone. The last revision was February 2022 with our name change. Gambling Committee needs removed with attendance as events come up. Discussed changing Inactive members to Supporting Members. Currently the guidelines are listed in the DFC grant. Guidelines need set up for the HIPS Trailer. Jodi has asked that all volunteers take a training and that at least 2 volunteers are present when the trailer is out. Jeff asked about a HIPS brochure and we do have SAMHSA brochures and the HIPS trailer video on our website. We would like to find a grant or donations for an awning and air conditioning. Also discussed School Vape Detectors & having a permanent Medication drop box in Dover.


Alcohol Prevention Committee: Veronica has stepped down as Chairman. Discussed the New Philadelphia Council looking into the DORA (Designated Alcohol Refreshment Areas) possibility on February 12th and what this mean to the area.


Faith Efforts Funds- Jodi shared that two lump sums from the state of $30,000 each were received. This will help fund Lifeway Event—HOPE 4 Recovery; Legacy Recovery Conference, Southern part of the county (Claymont, Newcomerstown & Port Washington) events. Markus Mcfolling will be speaking at Tusky Valley—the ADAMHS Board will provide the counseling support; Ministerials in our area have planned events through the summer for school events (speakers, music, and etc.); OhioMHAS (Ohio Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Services) needs a description of the coalitions services.


Media CommitteeRobert reported that he is here for support and all committees need to get information to him to make public.


Prescription Drug CommitteeJeff reported that the committee has finalized their action plan. National Drug Take-Back Day is on April 27th.  Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital will also hold a blood drive. Dennison Rotary will do the Drug Take-Back on their Rotary Days in April on the 13th & 20th if Law Enforcement can attend—(5:15am-10:30am) and possibly with the HIPS Trailer. Law Enforcement has to actually take the meds. We are NOT permitted to collect the medications without them.  Pharmacy Drug Bags are currently being updated for April with the addition of the HopeLine.


Suicide Prevention Committee–Terri discussed that they are working on 2-year plan. It was suggested that we use Life Side Events and possibly focus on phases, as well such as grief. More trainings will be coming up.


Tobacco/Vaping Committee Shannon reported that local ordinances need created and/or revised. A lot of youth projects are available with anti-vaping videos and PSA’s; signs are being sent out to update those outdated. Press releases need to be put out along with looking into a lot of free resources. Bill brought up that when one smoke shop closes that two seem to open. Jodi & Kerry will work on an Environmental scan.


Youth SectorSierra was not present. No report given.


Marijuana Committee – Kerry reported that on the passage of Issue #2 on December 7th, 2023 that nothing has been agreed upon yet. The First Priority Is having cities pass ordinances to prevent growers or to limit the number of them. Second focusing on marijuana use during pregnancy including smoking and edibles; Third priority is that prevention is needed at Kent Tusc Campus; Jodi shared that Hemp Growers language that both Ron Bond & Jerry Lahmers developed language about Delta 8 & 10 be put in the Farm Bureau Policy and then sent to American Farm Bureau was pushed back from Iowa. Kerry thanked them for all their hard work.


Old Business – No Report


New Business/Upcoming Coalition Events–Kerry recognized Jodi receiving the CADCA’s 34th Annual Legislative Advocate of the Year Award on January 31st in Washington DC where there were 4300 attendees from 50 states & 30+ Countries present. Many things were discussed on what and where the coalition needs to go that would follow our Mission Statement:

  • Youth 30-day use, peer perception, parent perception & perception of harm
  • Data from 2021 needs to be updated with a new survey in the fall; Update Oh YES surveys; how do we enforce schools that won’t participate in data surveys yet want services; Currently Dover & New Phila
  • Focus groups with kids & with parents
  • Identify the disconnect
  • Why Here &/or Why Now
  • CADCA focus will be children use on marijuana
  • Alcohol-our #1 area of us
  • Southern District is more supportive in testing
  • Vaping/tobacco/marijuana
  • Focus on one substance at a time
  • Places to use—Buckeye a good one
  • Shannon is getting school data for what drugs/incidents are happening
  • Possibly targeting QDA 
  • Use the seven strategies & explore ECOC strategies; need levels explained
  • Are those caught first timers or habitual users
  • Youth IOP (Shawna)
  • SVI Score needs shared (Lakyn)
  • Possibly discuss with Judge Wilgus for ideas & prospective


 Public Speaks/Organization Share—Shawn suggested block party in different parts of the city


Adjourn– Bill made a motion to Adjourn at 10:39am and all voted yes.


Our next meeting will be on Friday, March 8th, 2024 at the Visitor & Convention Bureau. 124 E High Ave, New Philadelphia—parking available in the back & then ring the back doorbell! It will also be Hybrid.

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