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June 2023 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Friday, June 9, 2023
  • Meeting Minutes


  • -Robert Bray- WBTC Radio
  • -Lakyn Craig, Tusc Co Health Dept 
  • -Dick Gooding, TV School Board Dept
  • -Katelyn Gorius, Tusc Co Health Dept
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  • -*Brian Herzog, Tusc Co Public Library
  • -Gail Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -Katherine Kerns, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -*Peggy Leslie, Harcatus, Civic Sector
  •  -*Connie Limbacher, Citizen Member; Coalition Secretary
  • -*Katie Maurer, OhioGuidestone Access Navigator/Hope line Tusc & Carroll Counties
  • -*Samantha May, Liaison, Windsor Laurelwood
  • -Kerry Metzger,  Coalition Chairman
  • -Terri Miller, OhioGuidestone TTX
  • -Shawn Patterson, The Redeemed 22
  • -*Beverly Pearch, Big Brothers, Big Sisters Dir
  • Jason Rissler, Pastor
  • -Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Dir of SUD Prevention
  •  -Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member
  •  -Sierra Schweitzer, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Veronica Spidell, ADAMHS Bd 
  • -Larry Stitt, Pastor
  • Angela Toth, Carroll Co Coalition
  • *Vivian Winters, VA
  • (-) Members
  • (*) Present Virtually

(-) Members
(*) Present Virtually


Meeting Summary:

Meeting called to order at 9:03 AM by Kerry Metzger. 24 were present (17 physically & 7 Hybrid); (22 members & 2 Non-Members) Introductions made.
Approval of Minutes– Bill Harding made a motion to accept May 12, 2023 meeting minutes with correction of 2 missing names—Kerry Metzger and Jeff Neidig making 33 present (18 physically & 15 Hybrid) & (27 members and 6 non-members).  Dick Gooding seconded and all voted yes.

Committee Reports

Executive/Steering CommitteeReported the purchasing of a Mobile Prevention Unit: trailer with the sheriff’s office storing and transporting. Must be purchased by June but would like to have here and ready by August. Countywide Champions for Awareness Events:   Upcoming meeting with Attorney General’s Office:  The Eastern Regional Director will attend our next meeting in August.


Alcohol Prevention Committee:  Veronica reported that the Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaign went well and posts, PSA’s were shared on a regular basis. All yards signs can be returned to the United Way Building. Next campaign will be during football season “Talk They Hear You”. Veronica just received the $750 for the SAMHSA’s Communities Talk stipend that will be used to get a speaker in early fall. Discussed going to an event that already exists. Still looking into what to do with this. Dollars have to be spent by fall and can tie it to other topics too.


Faith Efforts Pastor’s Briefing–Larry reported that we are having a Pastor’s Briefing on June 27th from 9-10:30AM at the Monarch Center to update the faith community on the current special election in August and the pending November ballot initiatives. If a pastor can’t attend we have asked that they send a lay person. HOPE Sunday will be held on Sept 24th.


Marijuana Committee – Kerry reported on SB9 (Revise Medical Marijuana Law) and HB 168 (Ohio Adult Use Act). Currently, there have been no scheduled hearings as the legislators are in budget season. Kerry is carefully monitoring to see if any line items will be placed in the budget regarding moving oversight of the medical program from the Board of Pharmacy, to the Dept. of Commerce, as the governor is in support of moving oversight.

Media Committee Robert thanked Shawn Patterson for hooking up the microphones for today’s meeting. 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 Jodi reported that the committee did not meet last month, but is working with the sheriff’s office on the campaign “One Pill Can Kill”.  


Suicide Prevention Committee- Lakyn explained that the committee will be conducting an environmental scan and if anyone is interested in learning more about environmental scans, or volunteering to be on a committee to conduct scan, to reach out to herself or Jodi. The committee held a QPR training on June 26, and committee members felt the training was beneficial and we are hoping to have committee members trained as QPR trainers in the future. Farm Bureau held its annual policy meeting. The Farm Bureau has mental health as a priority area, Jodi asked if they would consider sending a representative to the Suicide Prevention committee to strengthen efforts of the Farm Bureau and Tuscarawas County suicide prevention efforts through Empower Tusc, they seemed receptive. A question was raised regarding how 988 was working, there was concern if it directed persons to local services. Vivian from the VA reported that they are advertising 988 but also promoting their 800 #. We discussed promoting both are county crisis line and 988 as well. Dick asked if Pastor’s have the counseling materials that are needed when they are faced with suicide, and we discussed sharing information with pastors on the Suicide Prevention Committee. Samantha May reported that Windsor Laurelwood has open bed on every unit if anyone has a need to mental health or detox. Veronica also shared training dates for anyone interested. “Light After Loss Virtual Training–“Mental Health Clinicians & Client Death–Wednesday, July 12th from 11AM-1PM; Motivational Interviewing Series-Tuscarawas Co & one for Carroll Co, as well for anyone interested. The Suicide Prevention Committee is working to provide a virtual training on Friday, July 14th from 9:00-10:30 on Effective Strategies for Suicide Prevention, in the time slot that Empower Tusc would normally be meeting, as we have no July meeting. All Empower Tusc members are invited to attend this training. Trainers will be from You Thrive and CEU’s will be provided. 

Tobacco/Vaping CommitteeKatelyn reported that Tobacco Retailer Compliance Checks have been completed.  Tuscarawas County Health Department with the help of Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office successfully completed 54 tobacco retailer compliance checks. Two were found to be not selling tobacco products at the time of their compliance check and 5 retailers sold to our underage purchaser. Katelyn and Detective Morris will be visiting the retailers that did not pass their compliance checks in the coming weeks, then more details about compliance checks can be shared. All retailers will receive an educational packet about Tobacco 21 to make sure they are fully aware of the law. There are not any municipalities in Tuscarawas County with a Tobacco Retailer License (TRL) program. This means that failure to comply with Tobacco 21 falls solely on the clerk and not on the retail establishment. If a TRL were to be implemented in a municipality, then we would be able to place a penalty onto the retail establishment and not just the employee that sold the product.  Community readiness assessment survey – Katelyn and Lakyn sent out emails to select individuals asking them if they were willing and able to participate in the annual Community Readiness Survey for the tobacco prevention grant at the Tuscarawas County Health Department. This survey is used to assess how ready Tuscarawas County is to implement changes to counter the issues of availability and accessibility of vaping products to youth and youth vaping overall. The results of this survey are used to drive the grant efforts and initiatives over the next grant year. If anyone did not receive an email from them and would like to participate in the survey please contact them. Youth nicotine screening success story – Through the tobacco prevention grant they have been working to educate youth clinical providers on vaping and educate them on the Ask, Counsel, Treat (ACT) model developed by the American Academy of Pediatric on how to talk with youth about nicotine product use. Lakyn completed training Angela Simmerman, APRN-CNP, of Trinity Hospital Twin City and her staff in early March. Over the months of March, April, and May, her office has tracked how many youth age 11-17 have been screened during their visit. They have conducted 506 youth nicotine screen in just 3 months.


Youth Sector There is a Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Summer Conference June 6th-9th at Ohio Dominican University that Katie & Sierra will be taking some of the youth from Claymont. A community youth event will be held at New Pointe Community Church on August 20th from 2-5PM. All youth grades 6-12 are welcome. I have Save the Dates ready and printed if anyone would like to take some to hand out. Any youth are welcome even if their school does not have a youth to youth group already. Trying to spread awareness and get more youth involved. There will be games, snacks, resources, and youth to youth speakers/photos/videos.


Old Business – no update


New Business/Upcoming Coalition Events 


  • June 10th (Saturday)- Newcomerstown Back to Summer event 12:00–4:00pm
  • June 17th (Saturday)- NewsyTowne Zoo, New Towne Mall 12:00-6:00pm. Public is invited to join this FREE event with pony rides, magic shows, petting zoo, face painting, balloon animals, kangaroo photo booth, juggling shows, stilt walkers, inflatables games, music & More. 
  • June 24th (Saturday)- Cy Young Parade Newcomerstown –step off at 6:00pm
  • June 27th (Tuesday)-Pastor’s Briefing 9-10:30AM
  • June 30th (Friday)- First Town Days Parade New Philadelphia *float- step off at 6:00pm
  • July 13th (Thursday) Big Brothers Big Sisters Uhrichsville Water Park 6-8PM
  • July 14th (Friday)-Effective Strategies for Suicide Prevention-virtual training 9-10:30AM


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


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

124 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia- Friday, August 11, 2023 (THERE IS NO JULY MEETING!)

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