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September 2023 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Friday, September 8, 2023
  • Meeting Minutes


  • -Robert Bray- WBTC Radio
  • -Lakyn Craig, Tusc Co Health Dept 
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  • -*Brian Herzog, Tusc Co Public Library
  • -Connie Limbacher, Citizen Member; Coalition Secretary
  • -Kerry Metzger, Coalition Chairman
  • -Terry Miller, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Kristin Mulheman, OhioGuidestone TTX
  • -Jeff Neidig, Pharmacist/Owner Mediwise Pharmacy
  • -Shawn Patterson, The Redeemed 22
  • -*Miles Riley, Springvale
  • -*Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Dir of SUD Prevention
  • -Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member
  • -Sierra Schweitzer, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Larry Stitt, Pastor
  • Joe Svancara, Pastor
  • Angela Toth, Carroll Co Coalition

(-) Members
(*) Present Virtually


Meeting Summary: Meeting called to order at 9:04 AM by Kerry Metzger. 18 were present (15 physically & 3 Hybrid); (16 members & 2 Non-Members) Introductions made. Approval of Minutes– Bill Harding made a motion to accept August 11, 2023 meeting minutes.  Larry Stitt seconded and all voted yes. 


Committee Reports


Executive/Steering Committee –No Report. Committee has not met.


Suicide Prevention Committee- Leadership Tusc Proposal-Jodi submitted a proposal to Leadership Tusc for a Suicide Prevention Action Learning Project. This project proposes the development and implementation of a suicide prevention messaging campaign specifically targeting men 50+ in Tuscarawas County. The objective is to create messaging and an implementation plan that will resonate with the target population. This project will raise awareness, reduce stigma and direct men to resources that will assist them in coping with mental health challenges and normalize seeking support during times of distress. In 2021 in Ohio, 1,437 out of 1,766 suicide deaths were males. (ODH, Preliminary Data Summary: Ohio Suicide Deaths Updated Oct. 4, 222). In 2021, 8% of Tuscarawas County adults had a period of two or more weeks when they felt so sad or hopeless nearly every day that they stopped doing usual activities. 697 of Tuscarawas County adults considered attempting suicide in the past year. (CHNA, 2021)  Suicide Prevention “Memory Walk”-The Suicide Prevention Committee is planning to host a Suicide Prevention “In Memory” Walk. The event will be modeled after the 2022 event. The committee received positive feedback about last year’s event and a few inquiries asking if there will be an event this year. The date for the event is still being discussed at this time, but it will likely take place in October and be located at the Southside Community Park in New Philadelphia.  Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan-The committee is currently making progress on the strategic plan that was developed in partnership with You Thrive consulting. The committee will work on assigning dates to action items in the near future.  The Leadership Tusc proposal, in memory walk, and school magnets have all been items achieved on our strategic plan, so far.

Tobacco/Vaping CommitteeSharing the “Community Survey on Tobacco” Results for 2023-had 319 Tuscarawas County residents complete the survey, surpassing our goal of 250 responses. Thank you to anyone here who completed the survey! Overall, the community response results were very similar to last. Here are some highlights from the results: 1. Increase by 4.1% to 66.1% of community members who agree or strongly agree that “Smoking should not be allowed in outdoor public spaces.” 2. Increase by 2.5%  to 70.5% of community members who agree or strongly agree that “Tobacco use should not be allowed on the grounds of behavioral health treatment facilities.” 3. Increase by 2% to 91.8 of community members who agree or strongly agree that “It is extremely important for our community to consistently enforce no sale of tobacco and other nicotine products to people under 21 years of age.” 4. 92.2% of community members agree or strongly agree that “It is important that adolescents and young adults never experiment with tobacco or products containing nicotine.” 5. 72.1% of community members agree or strongly agree that “If you were a tobacco user/smoker in the community, how certain are you that you would know how to get help quitting if you wanted it?” If you would like any additional details about the survey results, please contact Katelyn. Upcoming Cessation Media Campaign-TCHD will be collaborating with several community partners, including Empower Tusc, to promote a cessation media campaign from 10/01/2023-12/31/2023. The campaign will include a billboard, digital display ads, social media, posters, and earned media activities to help educate community members on the free cessation services offered through the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line. More details will be provided at next month’s meeting.

Alcohol Prevention Committee:  “Talk They Hear You”. Veronica shared that all football programs have the ads and PSAs were sent to radio stations. Press releases will continue throughout the fall.  “Communities Talk” Stipend-The $750 has to be used by the end of Fall and has a lot of stipulations. It was discussed to use it doing a video to support (HIPS). 


Faith Efforts HOPE Sunday- Larry shared that we are working hard on contacting area churches to promote our video. Our theme is focused on Recovery and has all area footage with 2 testimonies from area recoverees.  Connie reported that callers are finishing up contacts to Pastors after they received an email on sharing all the info. Volunteers are needed to stuff and distribute the bags to over 100 churches which is scheduled on Thursday Sept 12th. She also thanked ALL those who have been working hard on calls and contacts!


Marijuana Committee Monday, October 9th PAC Update-Laura Stack-There will be 2 sessions, so one will be at 9:00AM for the students and then another at 12:30PM. The following districts are currently confirmed to be there: Buckeye Career Center, New Philadelphia, Claymont and Indian Valley. We are still waiting to hear back from Newcomerstown & Tusky Valley. Dover, Strasburg & Garaway have declined our invitation. We are looking into alternatives to attend the afternoon session. Discussed who should be invited including several civic groups and organizations. Data Collection at the Tuscarawas County Fair-We will only have one booth this year under the grandstand, and will continue to do the Plinko game giving prizes away along with handing out the survey card that we began 5 years ago. This data is used to see the community perceptions of marijuana. We will need volunteers to sign-up to help. A link was set up and emailed to everyone several times, but response has been dismal. Please sign up! State Issue 2-“Legalization of Recreational Marijuana”-The ballot issue will be on the November 7th ballot as State Issue 2. As a coalition, you cannot ask voters to vote “NO” on this issue because we are federally funded. You can educate and bring awareness. In 2015, a Political Action Committee (PAC) of private citizens, was established to help defeat this issue. It was called “Drug Free Tusc PAC”. Larry Lindberg, County Auditor is the Treasurer & it still exists and is being reactivated to raise funds which will purchase things like radio advertising, mailings, signs, etc. As private citizens you can participate by letting Kerry know. The coalition’s position paper was discussed. It needs to be looked over and possibly used. Marijuana Education/Awareness Speaking Presentations-the committee spoke about setting up speaking engagements in Tuscarawas County on marijuana. It will also be an opportunity to promote our new “Hidden in Plain Sight” (HIPS) mobile van. Currently we are scheduled to speak to the following: Rotaries in Twin City, Dover, New Philadelphia, Bolivar/Zoar; Dover/Phila Kiwanis, Dover Exchange Club and New Philadelphia City Council. 

Media CommitteeRobert reported that a PSA with Sheriff Campbell for “Talk They Listen was completed and distributed to both other radio stations. Kerry has set-up local presentations at various organizations throughout the are. Jennifer Demuth is thankful for the partnership established with Empower Tusc and the ADAMHS Board regarding getting the word out on Naloxone. 


Prescription Drug Committee –October 28th 10am-2pm Drug Take Back-will still be held at Union Hospital Cleveland Clinic. Trying to coordinate another time and place to do the one in Uhrichsville. Generation RX presentations-Buckeye Career Center youth will be presenting the Gen RX program like they did last year. Also, adults can share this program with other civic groups, schools, etc. Anyone interested in presenting or know of a group wanting to here this, just needs to let him know! School Nurses Meeting- reaching out to them next week regarding the safe use/safe storage of medications including OTC (Over-the-Counter).


Youth SectorA Youth Recruitment Event-Back to School event at New Pointe: A few New Phila students were highly interested in being a part of youth to youth. Later in the day, a lot of Dover students were also interested. Jodi and I reached out to the NPHS principal yesterday regarding potentially starting up a group there. Starting back to schools-at TCC y2y today and in Claymont and Strasburg in the next two weeks. Starting new group-looking at getting a group started in Dover.  Strategic planning training-yesterday in Cleveland regarding Youth to Youth was very helpful and will be implementing some of these ideas into the weekly meetings with the students. 

Old Business – no update


New Business/Upcoming Coalition Events – Volunteers needed!!!!!

                      *    September 8 – Fair Training at the Coalition meeting – Jodi

  • September 9- New Towne Mall Resource Event- 12:00-3:00
  • September 18-24- Tuscarawas County Fair
  • Hope Sunday- need volunteers up until Sept. 24th
  • October 1- Suicide Memorial event- 3:30pm- 5:00pm


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


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

124 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia- Friday, October 13th, 2023

 (Note: Parking is available in the back & then ring the back doorbell.)

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