Tracy Boucher, Obion County Coalition Vice Chairman; Lorna Benson, Vice Chairman Weakley County Alliance; Kristi Townes , Grant Coordinator for Obion County Coalition; Josh Greer, Grant Coordinator for Weakley County Alliance and Chief Joe Garner, Obion C
CADCA FORUM PARTICIPANTS – On a local front, (from left) Tracy Boucher, Obion County Coalition Vice Chairman; Lorna Benson, Vice Chairman Weakley County Alliance; Kristi Townes , Grant Coordinator for Obion County Coalition; Josh Greer, Grant Coordinator for Weakley County Alliance and Chief Joe Garner, Obion County Coalition Chairman represented Northwest Tennessee at a forum recently held in Washington, D.C. to address the growing threat of substance abuse among children.
Washington, D.C. – Health advocates from Weakley County joined 2,800 substance abuse prevention and treatment leaders from across the country at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) 21st annual National Leadership Forum. This one-of-a-kind conference was held just outside of Washington, D.C. Feb. 7-10. During the four days, community leaders representing community coalitions from around the world connected with their peers and learned new community problem-solving skills.
Besides learning the latest strategies to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, the coalition heard inspiring words from a number of national leaders, such as Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Howard Koh MD, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, and Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA Chairman and CEO.
The coalition also had the opportunity to meet and brief their state’s Congressmen and women and Senators on Capitol Hill about the importance of substance abuse prevention funding. They also took part in two Federal Town Hall meetings, featuring experts from various federal agencies.
“It was so exciting to be able to spend a week in our nation’s Capitol, learning and honing our prevention skills so our community can be a better place, one that doesn’t suffer from the harms of drug and alcohol abuse,” said Vice Chairman of the Weakley County Alliance, Lorna Benson. “We’ve come back reenergized with new strategies under our belt to tackle drug use in Weakley County.” Josh Greer also attended along with Obion County coalition.
CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation’s largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, featuring more than 100 training courses to help community and state leaders prevent and reduce substance abuse and its related problems. CADCA is the national membership organization representing more than 5,000 coalitions and affiliates working to make America’s communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCA’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences, and special events. Learn more at: www.cadca.org.