The pilot School for Prevention Leadership recently graduated 20 "scholars, including North Coastal Prevention Coalition Program Manager Erica Leary, where she and others learned about local-level health policy advocacy.

The program was sponsored by Partners for Recovery of the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA), Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), Abt Associates, and the Graduate School USA. 

This leadership training experience was modeled on previous institutes for leaders in the behavioral health field and was designed to bolster the substance abuse prevention workforce in anticipation of the increased role for substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion in the nation’s health care delivery system.

Leary (center below), whose program is managed by Vista Community Clinic, served as a mentor to a team of four scholars from coalitions across the country.

Over an eight month period of time, she guided her scholars through an assessment of their leadership skills, the development of their Individual Development Plan, and utilizing this time to build their identified leadership development areas.

Leary (center below) also developed a group project as a means to apply their leadership knowledge, skills and experience through a collaborative approach. The team project was designed to utilize modern technology to increase coalition communication. 

“Not only did I get to help foster and observe my team members’ leadership skills blossom throughout the 8-month process, I was able to reflect on my own leadership style and work on some of my own weaknesses,” Leary said.  

Michael Flores, Coordinator for the Coolidge Youth Coalition in Arizona, recruited a colleague from the University of Arizona to develop an app for iPhones with features to count-down to coalition events, raise funds, and communicate with teen members

of the coalition. 

Steps are underway to be able to share the app structure so other groups can personalize the app for their own communities. 

NCPC Program Manager Graduates National Prevention Leadership Program