Jefferson County Community Network


                                         “Working together to help children, youth and families succeed”



Communities That Care/Prevention Redesign Initiative        in Port Townsend, WA



In this era of service reduction Port Townsend has been selected by the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery as one of 19 communities statewide for a program with the primary goal of reducing underage drinking and drug use.  


Prevention Redesign Initiative (PRI) aims to reduce underage substance use and its many negative consequences by leveraging our community resources and commitment. “It’s not just teen parties, car crashes or possible addiction that concerns us. Neurological research shows underage drinking and drug use can have a negative impact on youth brain development, “ said Kelly Matlock, the PRI Community Coordinator with Jefferson County Public Health. “Our prevention efforts should be focused on keeping our children safe, healthy, and giving them the best possible start for their adult lives.” 


Port Townsend was chosen because of the strong history of collaboration and prevention work by the Healthy Youth Coalition, the Jefferson County Community Network, Jefferson County Public Health, the social awareness campaign, “Our Kids: Our Business,” the prevention funding by the City of Port Townsend and the development of the Port Townsend High School Student Task Force.


“In my ten-year tenure at Port Townsend High School, I've witnessed the effects that alcohol and drugs have on our students and their families, in addition to the wide-spread impacts on our school and the greater Port Townsend community,” said Carrie Ehrhardt, the Port Townsend High School Principal. “As a result, the high school has made a substantial effort to begin a continuous and ongoing program that focuses on preventing underage substance use. The past three years, PTHS staff have attended in-services from prevention-intervention specialists addressing the psychological and physiological effects experienced by youth who are substance abusers. Many of these presentations have included student and parent participation sessions as well. Growing awareness and concern among our students, parents and other community members has lead to the development of the PTHS Student Task Force, which was first formed in the spring of 2010. This student club focuses on the prevention, reduction and elimination of alcohol and other drug use among youth at PTHS, as well as designing outreach to middle school students. We are ready and eager to continue to improve and expand these newly formed programs under the guidance of the Prevention Redesign Initiative.”


PRI is collaboration between the Olympic Educational Service District 114, Port Townsend School District, Jefferson County Public Health and the Jefferson County Community Network, with the Network facilitating the program through a PRI work group. It will provide training, technical assistance, and community and school-based prevention programs. Funding is from the state Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR). It will not provide direct education in the classrooms. Those services will end for all Jefferson County schools at the end of this school year, but a goal of PRI is to build capacity within the community to ensure that effective prevention programming continues and meets the needs and priorities of the community.


In addition, Port Townsend was exclusively chosen to receive training by Communities that Care, a University of Washington evidence-based prevention-planning system. The 6-month training will assist the community and the PRI work group in identifying the highest prevention needs in Port Townsend, planning and implementing evidence-based strategies, leveraging local resources and evaluating the impact of the plan that will be developed. One of the first trainings will be for Key Leaders from the Port Townsend community.  It is scheduled for Thursday, January 26, 2012. If you are interested in participating in this training, please contact Kelly Matlock at 360-379-4476 or Anne Dean at 360-379-4495.


Want to learn more? 


Students - The PTHS Student Task Force is open to all PTHS students. Students who join are committed to making healthy lifestyle choices and encourage others to do the same. For more information contact the Club Advisor, Barbara Hansen, at 360-379-4520.


Parents- Tips for preventing underage drinking can be found at . 

Community Members- To find out how to get involved with the Prevention Redesign Initiative program and/or the Communities that Care trainings, contact Kelly Matlock at 360-379-4476 or Anne Dean at 360-379-4495.


Jefferson County Communty Network

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