POINT PLEASANT — After taking a break for the holiday season, the Mason County Prevention Coalition met virtually — due to weather — with updates and discussion of programs and events being planned.
Greg Fowler gave the treasurer’s report, thanking the Mason County Commission for providing the organization’s grant funding up front, allowing them to run throughout the year. Fowler said the Commission is reimbursed monthly through Prestera.
Ronie Wheeler, coalition coordinator, gave a Quick Response Team (QRT) update.
Wheeler said there have been seven referrals to the QRT — two in October and seven in December. The organization is working on putting together hygiene bags and food resources for the clients of West Virginia and surrounding areas to aide in community outreach.
Wheeler said Walmart has been a great supporter for obtaining items and the Oral Health group is being contacted. Volunteers to assemble bags are welcome.
Wheeler said the Prestera Fast Track application is available for those clients interested.
Shilo’s Coats has coats available for those needing them in the community and Wheeler said they would like to do an event with sandwiches.
Wheeler reported Narcan trainings are being planned for the community.
The QRT is working on helping and connecting with those who have are re-entrying and leaving rehabilitation centers.
“The challenge is resistance with clients using suboxone and saying they are already [entered],” Wheeler said.
The beginning stages of tracking social determinants of health working with the municipal court and day report has began.
An update on the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) was given by Richard Sargent, advisor Point Pleasant High School.
Sargent said in December, the group placed lifesaver treats on all of the cars in the parking lot with a note thanking them for wearing their seatbelts. Nothing else has been scheduled.
Fowler reported that Wahama Junior/Senior High School has requested vape education training for students.
Josh Murphy, community prevention liaison, said he would like to include teachers and staff in the training and he has one on hand.
Fowler said vaping statistics are being collected in the county as vape detectors have been placed in the high schools.
A narcotics/medicine dropbox being placed at Pleasant Valley Hospital is in the works after a suggestion at the previous meeting and open invitation for one by Jeff Noblin, CEO, FACHE.
Bree Ramey mentioned the purchasing of anti-vaping billboards in the community.
Ramey also asked if the coalition would be interested in providing bags for the annual Easter baskets given by the Baby Pantry for the preschool students. This year the baskets are going out to all preschool students. The coalition already has enough bags for the estimated 300 baskets to provide.
Currently the organization is planning a few events including: fishing rodeo, drug take back day, town hall meeting near Wahama and a spring teen institute.
The next Prevention Coalition meeting will be Feb. 15 at 3 p.m.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.