APAC honored at national event

Published 5:51 pm Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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On Monday, APAC was one of 178 community coalitions throughout the United States honored during a graduation ceremony at CADCA’s (Community Anti—Drug Coalitions of America) 32nd annual National Leadership Forum, just outside of Washington, D.C.

The coalitions received a graduation certificate for completing CADCA’s National Coalition Academy, a rigorous training program designed to increase the effectiveness of community substance use and misuse prevention leaders.

“It was quite the honor to be recognized for our efforts on a national level,” remarked Bill Spitzer, Substance Misuse director for APAC. “Our coalition members have worked very hard over the past five years to reduce underage substance use in our community.”

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The award was accepted by Bill Spitzer and APAC co-chair Trish Harren, County Administrator for Mower County.

APAC recently completed a five-year grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Behavioral Health Division which focused on implementing a new approach to prevention called Positive Community Norms (PCN). PCN focuses on the positive and the healthy choices most Austin students are making when confronted with substance misuse. In January 2021, APAC was awarded a Federal five-year Drug-free Communities grant to continue its mission to reduce underage substance use.

CADCA’s National Coalition Academy (NCA) is a comprehensive, year-long training program developed by CADCA’s National Coalition Institute. The NCA incorporates three, week-long classroom sessions, a web-based distance learning component, an online workstation where participants network and share planning products and free ongoing coalition development technical assistance. To graduate, coalitions must complete a rigorous curriculum. They must participate in all components of the NCA and complete five essential planning products that serve as the foundation of their comprehensive plan for community change.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is a four-day event packed with opportunities to learn the latest strategies to address substance use and misuse. Attendees have the opportunity to hear and learn from nationally prevention experts, federal administrators and concerned policymakers.

Forum brings together approximately 2,500 attendees representing coalitions from all regions of the country and internationally, government leaders, youth, prevention specialists, addiction treatment professionals, addiction recovery advocates, researchers, educators, law enforcement professionals and faith-based leaders. It is the largest training event for the prevention field.