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March 2023 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Friday, March 10, 2023
  • Meeting Minutes


  • -*Ron Bond, Tuscarawas Co Farm Bureau
  •  -Robert Bray- WBTC Radio
  • -*Dick Gooding, TV School Board
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  •  -*Brian Herzog, Tusc Co Public Library
  • -Katie Kerns, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -*Rebecca LeMasters, Country Club Rehab Marketing Dir
  •  -Peggy Leslie, Harcatus, Civic Sector
  •  -*Connie Limbacher, Citizen Member; Coalition Secretary
  • -*Katie Maurer, OhioGuidestone Access Navigator/Hope line Tusc & Carroll Counties
  • -Alex McCarthey, Tusc Co EMA
  •  -Kerry Metzger, Tuscarawas County Commissioner, EPT Chairman
  • -*Jeff Neidig, Pharmacist, Owner of Mediwise Pharmacy
  • -*Beverly Pearch, Big Brother Big Sister Ex Dir
  • -*Tracey Penrod, Juvenile Court
  •  -*Miles Riley, Springvale Health Marketing
  •  -Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Dir of SUD Prevention
  •  -Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member
  •  -Sierra Schweitzer, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -*Diana Smith, Springvale Healthcare
  • -Veronica Spidell, ADAMHS Board
  • -Larry Stitt, Pastor of Lake Drive Fellowship Church
  • -*Kane Tarrance- Bright View Community Outreach Mgr.
  • -*Michaela Thomas- Newsymom

(-) Members
(*) Present Virtually

Meeting Notes:

  • Meeting Summary: Meeting called to order at 9:04 AM by Kerry Metzger. 24 were present (11 physically & 13 Hybrid); (24 members & 0 Non-Members) Had introductions. Kerry announced that Alex McCartney will be leaving the coalition and Tusc Co EMA as he has accepted a new position in Delaware Co. He will be missed.

    Approval of Minutes– Harding made a motion to accept February 10th, 2023 meeting minutes, Robert Bray seconded and all voted yes.

Committee Reports:

Executive/Steering CommitteeNo meeting was held. Meeting was cancelled because testifying at the State House opposing SB 9 as written, the expansion of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana program.

Alcohol Prevention Committee:  Veronica reported on the Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaignplease pick up signs at OhioGuidestone’ s Prevention Department in the United Way building. The campaign should run from April 10th-June 9th. Several members of the Alcohol Prevention Committee will be attending the Ohio Alcohol Conference on March 22nd.

Faith Based CommitteeJodi reported that Pastor Jason Rissler & Larry Stitt will be heading this committee; The recovery event with Brian Welch of the band Korn will be held at Legacy Church on March 17th. Funding of this event is through a grant we received from OhioMAS. We were able secure additional funding to video the event. There will be resource tables and a designated resource fair at the event and we will have a booth. The church has a 400-person capacity and the event is already sold out. Another church has agreed to provide a tent outside and a screen so the event can be livestreamed for any overflow in the Legacy Church parking lot. 

Media Committee Robert thanked Michaela for continuing to do the social media. Working on the media of “Parents Who Host Lose the Most” (PWHLTM) campaign. WBTC will promote the campaign on the electronic Billboard on Rt 250 by Midvale. WBTC  will also record several PSA’s with students from Claymont Y2Y and law enforcement for the PWHLTM campaign and Robert will share the campaign PSA’s with WJER and WBTC. Kerry will also be interviewed on WBTC’s High Bean on March 30th for a 10-minute spot on concerns around SB 9. 

Prescription Drug Committee Jeff reported that he has been working with the Pharmacy Tech program at Buckeye Career Center students called HOSA. His team is working on creating education and awareness around prescription drug misuse. The students from his HOSA team are presenting the Generation Rx program to their home high schools. They placed at a regional event and will progress to the state competition. They also created a health portfolio. The next Drug Take Back day is the 4th Sat in April (22nd) and we will be in need of volunteers for both hospitals. 

Suicide Prevention Committee- Empower Tusc will be hosting a Strategic Planning event on April 3rd from 9-1 at First Federal Bank in North Dover.  This is a data driven process using best practices in prevention and coalition work, we have been working with consultants to lead us through the strategic planning process. If interested, please contact Jodi. 

Tobacco/Vaping  Committee Kerry reported in Katelyn’s absence that the “Don’t Be Fooled by Big Tobacco” event will be held on April 1st  at the Wellmore Centre at 204 – 2nd St NE New Phila. This event will include resource tables, litter clean-up and a youth Advocacy Through Art project. There will be voting for the people’s choice winner. The committee is working to create School Surveys on vaping prevention, education, and disciplinary actions—working on developing a survey to send to all schools in Tuscarawas Co. Want to gather data on what schools are currently doing to address vaping and what schools need to further help address the vaping problem. The goal is to finalize survey at March meeting and send out survey to schools in April. 

Youth SectorSierra talked about National Drug and Alcohol Facts week, March 20-26—Proclamation set for Wednesday March 15th at the Tusc Co Commissioners Office. All Y2Y “Youth to Youth” groups are participating in a video creation for NDAFW that will be broadcasted on school websites and our web page. All schools are still working on their “Advocacy Thru Art Projects.” This project is through the efforts from the TCHD and the Tobacco/Vaping Committee and the art will be displayed at the “Don’t Be Fooled by Big Tobacco” event on April 1st.  The students are also meeting with the Commissioners on March 22nd to request a Commissioner Proclamation for Take Big Tobacco Down Day, which is April 1st. Nordonia: students attended the retreat at the end of February. Students did workshops and activities regarding “Igniting their Passions.” Sierra was able to attend some trainings, as well and everyone came back very motivated.

Marijuana CommitteeKerry & Jodi reported on the status of Senate Bill 9 (to expand Ohio’s Medical Marijuana program), and how it has many concerning issues, similar to last year’s SB 261, which died during lame duck. Chris & Dick explained that SB 9 allows for un-fettered advertising, which means there will be no oversight of advertising, which is particularly concerning for targeting youth with social media. Carson commented on the youth view of how the proposed increase of THC (up to 90%) and advertising in this bill will be perceived and affect youth. Kerry commented that it would increase THC levels to 90%, allow sublingual use (under the tongue) which provides an immediate high and, WHY? Kerry said he is following SB 26 this new bill that would change laws for operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana and will keep the committee and coalition informed if it gains any traction.  Ron Bond reported on a discussion around the 2015 Farm Bill renewal to address Delta 8 & Delta 10 loophole with hemp that legalizes these products in communities that provide a psychoactive high. He will look into this issue with the Farm Bureau.

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. This Leadership Tusc team is designing a survey and a dissemination plan to determine need. 

Public Speaks/Organization Share–None

Adjourn– Alex made a motion to Adjourn and Peggy seconded.  All voted yes at 10:30 A.M

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

124 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia- Friday, April 14, 2023

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