April 2024 ✧ Volume 3 ✧ Issue 7

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2024 Communities of Practice Series: Learning that Never Ends begins April 25th

For 2024’s Community of Practice series we picked five topics that we think reflect the spirit of lifelong learning. We will never know everything about these evolving and challenging topics. There is rarely just one right answer. But by taking time to talk about these issues with our peers, we get insight and learn new perspectives. We hope you will join us for these facilitated conversations that are made better by your presence.


Evaluation: Using Data Ethically - April 25th

In our field, the four main ethical concerns related to data are privacy/confidentiality, transparency and trust, equity, and maintaining our social responsibility. In this conversation, we will explore each of these issues and their implications for our behaviors and practices when using data to make decisions.


Real World DEI: A Look at Privilege - May 23rd

In 2017, “White Rage” by Carol Anderson was published. In 2018, “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo came on the scene. This seeming juxtaposition has the common theme of privilege. We invite you to have this conversation in a safe space: What makes many people resistant to the notion of privilege, and how does it help or hurt when people accept it? Does underlying privilege have to be accepted in a community to authentically address DEI issues?


Real World DEI: A Closer Look at Self-Assessment - June 27th

Learning, unlearning or re-learning equitable and inclusive living is a process, and a personal one at that. Three bias and discrimination tools will be brought to the table, and participants are welcome to bring assessments they may have used. Our conversation will focus on the moments and on-going changes – the a-ha moments – that a good self-assessment creates. We will also discuss how individual self-assessment can transform into organizational assessment.


Creativity: Your Professional Spark - July 25th

“Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while working.” – Henri Matisse. Oh, snap! Does it?! Whether it does or doesn’t, let’s talk about creativity, how we stoke it, how we grow it, and most importantly, how we do or don’t, can or cannot, bring our creative selves to our daily work lives. And is your daily work life different from your profession? We will also brainstorm ways to get creativity flowing at work, and discuss guidelines for keeping it on track.


Leadership: Exploring 2 Types: Servant & Transformational - Aug 22nd

Greenleaf is credited with beginning servant leadership with an essay in 1970, and our field, practiced mostly in a non-profit setting, tends to attract servant leaders. In the 1980s, Bass expanded on Burns’ 1970’s Transformational Leadership theory and added ways to measure its success. There are excellent reasons to practice these styles, and there are challenges as well. We will discuss how we practice these styles (whether we knew we did or not!), other styles of leadership that we use, challenges we experience in leading with these styles, and how we can continue to grow in our leadership journey.

These conversations will be held from Noon to 1:00pm (CST) on 4th Thursday's of the month beginning in April. Registration is now open, so mark your calendar and plan to join us for Community of Practice conversations with hosts Cindy Pharis and Steve Miller.

Register for 2024 Series

**Now Available**

Language Matters: Embracing Diversity & Inclusion in Prevention Practice

Our five part series on Why Language Matters is now available on our Youtube page. This series explores the vital role that language plays in promoting inclusion and cultural humility in the field of prevention. Here are the topics of exploration:

  • Becoming a JEDI Prevention Professional
  • Advancing Equity for LGBTQ+ People through Language
  • Understanding Neurodiversity in Prevention Practice
  • The Language of Service: Effective Communication with the SMVF Community.
  • Tokens are for Arcades: Engaging Youth in a Meaningful and Purposeful Way

Each segment in our series takes a look at the unique needs of the diverse communities we serve and how to create more inclusive prevention strategies. Click the button below to watch the series and download our companion resource for this series:

View Language Matters

Prevention Perk To Focus On Pride Month

Join us for a month long podcast series during Pride Month 2024. Each Thursday we'll launch a new conversation on topics we need to know about concerning the LGBTQ+ community. Starting June 6th our conversation is "Why Focus on LGBTQ+ People, followed by a discussion about Older Adults, Family Support and ending with Gender Affirming Care. This project is a collaboration with SAMHSA's Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity and the Mid-America PTTC. We hope you'll tune in for this series.

Prevention Perk, the podcast from Mid-America PTTC produces content that reflects the mission of our network to serve as a prevention catalyst, empowering individuals and fostering partnerships to promote safe, healthy, and drug-free communities.

Welcome, come on in for a perk to your prevention efforts.

A Community Needs to Assess the Impact of Alcohol

Rodney Wambeam a Senior Research Scientist at the Wyoming Survey Analysis Center. Dr. Wambeam and his team conduct numerous substance abuse prevention and treatment research projects in several states. He has presented more than 50 keynotes across the country on substance abuse prevention with millennials and on the history of alcohol in America. His book “The Community Needs Assessment Workbook” from Oxford University Press came out in 2015.

Episode 94

Rediscovering Joy

Monte Stiles a self-described “accidental photographer” who served many years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Boise, Idaho, but is now a sought-after speaker and trainer on a variety of subjects relating to the law, law enforcement, drug education, building strong communities, protecting, and nurturing children…and photography. Monte shares his life’s journey and leaves the audience inspired to continue the work of impacting lives and changing communities.

Episode 95

(coming April 18th)

Available Resources

Community Needs Assessment Workbook

A community needs assessment provides community leaders with a snapshot of local policy, systems, and environmental change strategies currently in place and helps to identify areas for improvement. With this data, communities can map out a course for health improvement by creating strategies to make positive and sustainable changes. 

Download this Document

Implementing Photovoice in Your Community

Photovoice is a process in which people use video and/or photo images to capture aspects of their environment and experiences and share them with others. The pictures can then be used, usually with captions composed by the photographers, to bring the realities of the photographers’ lives home to the public and policy makers and to spur change.

Visit Community Toolbox

Listen on Rewind

View, Listen, and Learn

Structural Inequities Affecting Prevention

Behavioral Health and Substance Use Awareness in the Workplace

8 Core Competencies for Higher Education

Leadership Institute Community of Practice

Getting to Know Your Why

Download the CheckDEC App

CheckDEC is a free mobile app that immediately connects children, families and professionals to substance abuse-related information, crisis helplines, drug and treatment information, supportive resources and services within their local area.


Register for All Hands on DEC

The All Hands on DEC call is to bring Drug Endangered Children (DEC) professionals together from across the nation to share their effective DEC efforts, exchange information and learn from each other.

Register for April 24th All Hands on DEC

Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Awareness

Brown Bag Series

Register today to be a part of a collaborative effort between the Shawnee County Kansas Alliance and the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and their month-long series to increase DEC awareness. Each Wednesday during April from 12-1pm (CST) you'll have a chance to learn more about drug endangered children from experts, those with lived experiences and professionals working to provide help, hope and support to children and families.

  • April 3rd: National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children staff will provide an overview of drug endangered children and resources available.
  • April 10th: Trish Luna will speak about Lambi Learns About Addiction, a resource to help children dealing with family addiction. 
  • April 17th: A panel will be held with three parents who will discuss their experience with substance use and their eventual recovery. There will be time for questions. 
  • April 24th: Chuck Klevgaard will speak on supporting grandfather and family members as caregivers in the overdose crisis.

Brown Bag Registration