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May 2023 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Friday, May 12, 2023
  • Meeting Minutes


  • -*Ron Bond, Tuscarawas Co Farm Bureau
  • Leslie Booth, Dir T4C
  •  -Robert Bray- WBTC Radio
  • -Lakyn Craig, Tusc Co Health 
  • -*Dick Gooding, TV School Board Dept
  • -Katelyn Gorius, Tusc Co Health Dept
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  • -*Bill Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -*Gail Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -*Brian Hudzik, VA
  • -Katherine Kerns, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • Koburt Koffa, Prosper Coalition
  • -Peggy Leslie, Harcatus, Civic Sector
  •  -*Connie Limbacher, Citizen Member; Coalition Secretary
  • -Mary Marshall, Citizen Member
  • -Katie Maurer, OhioGuidestone Access Navigator/Hope line Tusc & Carroll Counties
  • -Carson Norris, TCC Student, Y2Y
  • -Piper Olson, TCC Student, Y2Y
  • -Shawn Patterson, The Redeemed 22
  • *Beverly Pearch, Big Brothers, Big Sisters Dir
  • -*Tracey Penrod, Juvenile Court
  • Devin Pollick, Prosper
  • -Miles Riley, Springvale Health Marketing
  • -Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Dir of SUD Prevention
  •  -Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member
  •  -Sierra Schweitzer, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -*Veronica Spidell, ADAMHS Bd 
  • -*Kane Tarrance- Bright View Community Outreach Mgr.
  • Angela Toth, Carroll Co Coalition
  • -*Robin Waltz, Tusc Co United Way Dir
  • *Vivian Winters, VA

(-) Members
(*) Present Virtually


Meeting Summary:

Meeting called to order at 9:05 AM by Kerry Metzger. 34 were present (19 physically & 14 Hybrid); (28 members & 6 Non-Members) Had introductions. Approval of Minutes– Bill Harding made a motion to accept April 14, 2023 meeting minutes, Peggy Leslie seconded and all voted yes. 


Committee Reports

Executive/Steering CommitteeDid not meet. No Report.

Prescription Drug Committee Jeff reported that Tuscarawas County had great numbers in the collecting of poundage at the Drug Take Back day on April 22nd at both area hospitals.  We are looking into possibly collecting data on the number of people that are actually dropping off meds no matter whether one bottle or several bags. The committee focused on the campaign “One Pill Can Kill” working with the Sheriff’s Office.  Kristin Mulheman, OhioGuidestone, is working with us on verbiage to accompany the posts. Once the campaign is posted on Facebook, please “like” and “share” so we can expand the campaign reach. The committee finished the action plan and will submit it to the Steering Committee. Jodi thanked the committee for the job they did working on the “One Pill Can Kill” campaign.

Alcohol Prevention Committee:  Veronica reported that the Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaign is in full swing. Yard signs have been distributed. Next campaign will be during football season “Talk They Hear You”. Veronica applied for the SAMHSA’s Communities Talk stipend that will be used to get a speaker in early fall.

Media Committee Robert reported that the committee is working on a speaker list and new volunteer packets. Jennifer Demuth talked about the Naloxone pop-up events hosted by the Health Department, please like and share their posts. Robert also asked that everyone go to the Empower Tusc website and see all the resources available. The calendar is current. On Facebook, please “like” and “share” the posts so we can get more reach. 

Suicide Prevention Committee- Lakyn reported that the committee continues to work with You Thrive consultants to finalize the strategic plan and developing the final details of the logic model and local conditions. We are setting our objective(s) for the strategic plan, and next we will work on developing the action plan. Survey Overview We are missing some data in our logic model and local conditions, so we have been discussing the development of a survey to collect the missing data. The survey would collect data on knowledge of resources, stigma, and barriers for seeking help from community members. NACCHO Grant update TCHD is continuing to work with our grant consultants. Our next meeting for partners is on May 23rd 10:15am-12:30pm. This is the next step from our shared visioning session, and we will be looking at underlying contradictions and strategic directions. Partners are welcome to attend and this meeting will be hosted at TCHD. Veronica shared about the “Light After Loss” trainings. Discussion was held regarding the collection of data and the different ways we can possibly go about it. Piper shared that as a student, they have not taken any surveys so maybe the students need to let administrators and teachers know that they want to share. It was discussed if creating our own survey or conveying that the surveys are for mental health might help.

Tobacco/Vaping CommitteeKatelyn reported that Tobacco Retailer Compliance Checks have begun. The Tuscarawas County Health Department (TCHD), in collaboration with Empower Tusc and the Tuscarawas County Sherriff’s Office, have completed 37 out of 53 compliance checks at various locations across Tuscarawas County. So far, we have had 5 retailers sell to our underage purchasers. No info will be revealed about the retailers until all compliance checks are completed. Since there are no tobacco retailer license (TRL) ordinances for any municipality in Tuscarawas County, the fine for selling is given to the clerk not the store owner. If a TRL is passed in a municipality, then we would be able to hold the store owner accountable for any underage sale. Smoke Free Workplace Law: Ohio legislature passed the smoke free workplace law in 2007 to ban smoking in public places. In October 2021, the Ohio legislature passed an update to the law to now include banning e-cigarettes indoors. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is currently promoting the update to the law through a media camping and mailing information to businesses. ODH will be mailing an updated sign and educational resources to the 280,000 registered businesses in the state. Media Campaign: TCHD is partnering with Empower Tusc to do a paid media campaign promoting cessation resources. The media campaign will be in bars, coffee shops, and convenience stores across the country. Messaging will be placed on posters and floor stickers. 

Youth SectorCarson and Piper shared their experience for both Columbus events. We Are Change Rally in Columbus: 6 students along with Sierra, Jodi, and Dawn Delcoma (Strasburg’s Youth-to-Youth advisor) attended. About 2,000 total youth were there. The focus was on how to be the change in their communities and to be authentic selves. This was a lot of fun. Then our 2nd event-Advocacy Day in Columbus this past Wednesday in Columbus with Senator Al Landis. 7 students from Strasburg and TCC attended. The students really enjoyed it and appreciated the reassurance of their voices being heard.  There is a Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Summer Conference in June at Ohio Dominican University that some students will attend.   Sierra recently received a $15,000 Y2Y grant for this summer and upcoming school year. We are planning to get SWAG, IPads, host a community youth event, etc. to strengthen and expand Tuscarawas Y2Y programs.  The community youth event will be held at New Pointe Community Church Sunday, August 20th for youth grades 6-12. Games, snacks, and information regarding Y2Y will be shared.  We are looking at getting a couple more groups started for next year.

Marijuana Committee – Ron Bond shared his perspective around the 2023 Farm Bill renewal considerations. He along with Jerry Lahmers, a retired veteran and trustee of Ohio Farm Bureau, met with Jodi, CADCA policy director, and colleagues from around the country to discuss how the 2018 Farm Bill allowed hemp to be grown by farmers for production purposes. Unfortunately, an unintended consequence, hemp derived products such as Delta 8, 10 & zero are now being manufactured and legally sold. These isomers get people high and are accessible to our youth. Currently they are working to see if they can get amendment language in the 2023 Farm Bill that will address the sale of hemp to be used to create psychoactive drugs. Several of the Marijuana Committee Members will be meeting on Monday with State Rep Hillyer at the Sheriff’s Dept.

Old Business – no update

New Business/Upcoming Coalition Events Jodi asked that everyone look at the volunteer opportunities that are listed below which include parades and booths. The parades are easy volunteer activity as you do not have to come until step off time and we are always at the front of the parade since we hand out the bags for candy so we are usually done from start to end in 30 minutes. We also purchased floats for four parades this year, so if you know of any groups that would like to be on our floats please feel free to reach out (sport teams, clubs, military service personnel, etc.). There is also many booth event opportunities. 

  • May 20th (Saturday)- Community Safety Day 10:00-12:00 Uhrichsville McDonalds Community Safety Day: The event will feature FREE car seat checks, FREE bike helmets, driver safety information, giveaways, and more! For more information contact Abbigail Benton ( or 330-343-5555-1530). 
  • May 21st (Sunday)- Dover Back to Summer event 12:00-3:00, Dover City pool parking lot
  • May 25th (Thursday)-TCHD Popping Up @ Uhrichsville Fire Department from 11AM-1PM. We will be sharing information about all our programs and distributing naloxone (Narcan) kits and cribettes to eligible families. For more information contact Lakyn Craig ( or 330-343-5555 ext. 1780).
  • May 25th (Thursday)-Project DAWN Walk-In Event from 4-6pm @ TCHD for FREE Narcan kits Any Ohio resident can receive one. Contact ( or 330-343-5555 ext. 1780).
  • May 27th (Saturday)-  Dover Canal Days Parade-– Step off at Noon *float
  • June 3rd (Saturday)- Tusky Days 9:00-2:00 Generation Rx station
  • June 3rd (Saturday)- Rail Road Festival – Parade begins at 4:00 *train float
  • 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*Kristin to make giant baseball for red truck
  • June 30th (Friday)- First Town Days Parade New Philadelphia *float- step off at 6:00pm
  • Heart of Ohio Diaper Bank Distribution: TCHD has partnered with the Heart of Ohio Diaper Bank to help distribute diapers to Ohio residents. Each family is eligible to receive 2 packs of diapers per child, 1 pack of wipes, and 1 tampon or pad pack each month. Specialty diapers, such as pull-ups, swim diapers, and adult diapers, are also available. This is not an income-based program for eligibility. For more information contact Abigale Raber ( or 330-343-5555 ext. 1110). 

Adjourn– Robert made a motion to Adjourn at 10:35 A.M. Peggy seconded and all voted yes.

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

124 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia- Friday, June 9, 2023

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