Russell County Prevention Coalition
- Chair & Civic Sector Representative- Dustin Keith, Cumberland Mountain Community Services
- Vice Chair & Government Agency Sector Representative- Pamela Hendrickson-Wimmer, Russell County CSA
- Co-Secretary & Youth-Serving Organization Sector Representative- Chelsea McGlothlin, People Inc
- Co-Secretary- Regina Kinder, Russell County Department of Social Services
- Fiscal Agent- Lori Gates-Addison, Cumberland Mountain Community Services
- Parent Sector Representative- Carrie Woodlief, Cumberland Mountain Community Services
- Religious Organization Sector Representative- Steve Breeding, Recovery at Lebanon & Russell County Board of Supervisors
- Media Sector Representative- Heather Powers, The Lebanon News & Town of Lebanon
- Other Organization Sector Representative- Rhyli Drake, Clinch Valley Community Action
- Healthcare Professional Sector Representative- Danielle Dye, Ballad Health
- Business Sector Representative- Mark Mitchell, Town of Lebanon, Lebanon Police Department, & Mitchell Auction Firm
- Youth Sector Representative- Breann Long, Castlewood High School
- Law Enforcement Sector Representative- Zack Stoots, Russell County Commonwealth’s Attorney
- Schools Sector Representative- Cathy Gent, Russell County Public Schools
- Linda Austin, ASAC
- Amelia Bandy, Virginia Cooperative Extension
- Amy Duncan, Office of the Attorney General
- Marcus Adkins, United Healthcare
- Jason Pritchard, Ballad Health
Background Information & On-going Special Projects:
Since forming in 2014, the Russell County Prevention Coalition (RCPC) has grown in membership and become an active community coalition, visible in local papers, on social media, and at community events. Membership has increased to over 40 active members, representing just as many organizations, agencies, and businesses. There is representation for all 12 community sectors as recommended by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of American (CADCA).
Coalition activities include participating in the three, county high school block parties in Lebanon, Castlewood and Honaker, town parades, local health fairs, and community celebrations such as the 4th of July and the Haunting on Main. The RCPC organizes and hosts drug-free alternative community events that include regular movie nights in the summer in different parts of the county, drug-free graduation parties, board game nights, New Year’s Eve parties, and dodge ball tournaments to engage youth and adults together in drug-free opportunities that promote normative community behavior. Community groups and organizations have recognized the popularity of events and the coalition’s We Don’t Support Underage Use campaign and have asked for presentations and information sessions to gain greater understanding of the coalition and its mission. These organizations include community-driven civic groups, such as the Rotary and Lions Clubs; Faith Based programs such as Recovery of Lebanon and Russell County Mountain Movers; and business organizations, such as the Russell County Chamber of Commerce.
The RCPC has also engaged in the larger health initiative in Russell County, partnering with Ballad Health, the local health care system, through our county hospital, Russell County Hospital, and the Russell County Health Coalition to provide community health fairs and coalition speaker opportunities of emerging trends and the Coalition’s work. It also partners with law enforcement to ensure compliance of laws prohibiting the underage sale of alcohol and tobacco products and to promote and conduct prescription drug take back events in the spring and fall.
The RCPC can also be seen ringing Salvation Army bells at Christmas and bagging groceries at local grocery stores to raise money for United Way Southwest Virginia. All the activities have doubled coalition membership in the last three years. The Coalition has strong relationships with the administration, faculty, and students at all county schools and is frequently involved in school functions and programs such as 21st Century After-School programs, FBLA community service projects, Red Ribbon Week, student orientations, Meet the Teacher Nights, parent-teacher open houses, faculty meetings, and others.
The greatest Coalition accomplishment thus far is an environmental strategy originally designed and implemented in Russell County that is taking off across the Southwest Region of Virginia. The campaign started with the design of a logo and slogan, We Don’t Support Underage Use, that is used to represent the three drugs of concern in the county. The logo contains alcohol, cigarettes and a prescription drug bottle. The approach has developed a brand that is far-reaching and popular in the community. The effort is a large-scale environmental strategy that provides merchant education to retailers of tobacco and alcohol as well as a broad community norms campaign to reverse peer influence against underage use and foster community support for policies and attitudes against underage use. Law enforcement contributes to the campaign with compliance checks in alcohol and tobacco-selling establishments. The message is spread through car stickers, posters, metal signs, and magnets at schools, community organizations, churches, businesses, and sponsored events. All County schools display 2ft by 2ft metal signs in school drop off zones, ball fields and high school gyms, and there are stickers on all county school buses. Recent county surveys report that the logo has been recognized at convenience stores, in restaurants, on cars, and on social media. The local Community Services Board purchased an inflatable sky dancer and metal logo sign that rotates around the community to fly outside of community stores or organizations that support the campaign. The goal of the overall environmental strategy is to set a normative climate that refrains from supporting underage substance use. The County Board of Supervisors and School Board both have adopted resolutions of support for the campaign in the community and the RCPC.