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Applying prevention science to policy and practice around the world
Do not miss any of APSI's PREVENTION TALKS. In this space you will get access to all the recorded sessions.
Prevention Talk # 14 Promoting Family Resilience
Dr. Brenda Miller will provide an overview of some of the structural barriers and facilitators for delivering effective interventions to families with adolescents. These interventions are designed to strengthen resilience and prevent adolescent emotional, mental, and behavioral problems—a major challenge in this time of COVID. She will describe how the larger community’s beliefs, values, attitudes, and practices can be important to the effectiveness of prevention efforts. These can determine the extent to which there is trust and communication that can support healthy and resilient families. From her own research and other sources, she will discuss existing community infrastructures that can provide critical support to such resilience. Past research on family-based interventions has shown the difficulty in reaching families with effective interventions. Dr. Miller will describe how online self-directed interventions can expand delivery to reach more families in the community. She will examine internal organizational characteristics and dynamics that are relevant to building an effective implementation infrastructure. These will look at some characteristics and dynamics that are especially important to families. Finally, examples of policy and legal approaches for supporting resilient families will be presented. An open discussion, led off by Dr. Doug Coatsworth, will follow the presentation. The discussion will highlight opportunities for addressing barriers and facilitators for intervention delivery, as well as approaches for improving the resilience of families in communities.
Prevention Talk # 13 Law Enforcement in Prevention Programming
Implementing evidence-based prevention programming at the community level warrants the support and involvement of many community resources—schools, health care providers, families, children and social services, faith-based organizations, and law enforcement, to list but a few. For example, the impact of environmental prevention programming on tobacco smoking and underage drinking has shown how important the enforcement of laws and regulations are to the effectiveness of these interventions. Enforcing no smoking regulations and ID laws to prevent underage access to alcohol have long been recognized in terms of their ability to make a difference. But local prevention coalitions and other organizations are not always successful in bringing law enforcement to the table to contribute their expertise and authority to help in planning and implementing prevention at the community level. This Prevention Talk will focus on how to appropriately engage law enforcement in the implementation of evidence-based prevention strategies, with specific reference to the prevention of substance use. Dr. Zili Sloboda, President of Applied Prevention Science International, will introduce the role of law enforcement in communities and how police science and the goals of law enforcement provide a framework for engaging prevention professionals in addressing substance use in communities. Dr. Wadih Maalouf, Program Manager of the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Dr. Chris Ringwalt, Senior Scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, and Adjunct Professor with the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, will add comments and discussion points to the presentation.
Prevention Talk # 12 Positive School Climate - Joyce Phelps
In last month’s Prevention Talk, Dr. Kris Bosworth, University of Arizona, reviewed the importance of school climate as one of the three pillars of evidence-based prevention in schools. In her presentation, she described how schools can create environments that are physically, emotionally and socially safe for students. While school safety plans address the macro environment, attention also needs to be given to the micro environment – the classroom. It is critical this learning environment, where students spend several hours a day, supports students’ learning, as well as their social and emotional needs and development. Ultimately, the learning environment/classroom climate, will dictate how well or poorly students will learn and hone their skills. In this month’s Prevention Talk, we will focus on ways to develop a classroom climate that feels safe, respectful, welcoming, and supportive of student learning. We know a positive classroom climate doesn’t just happen – it is created. We also know teachers have the responsibility for intentionally and deliberately shaping their classroom climate into a positive learning environment. For this session, we have invited Joyce Phelps to share her learning gained as teacher, school counselor, prevention curriculum developer, and APSI senior trainer. She will provide practical information for using “interactive activities”, which are called for in delivering evidence-based classroom prevention curricula, and other student engagement strategies. Speaker Bio- Joyce Phelps, M.S. Ed., has applied her knowledge and skills in school settings, universities, NGOs and in private sector companies. As Programs and Training Vice President for a nonprofit positive prevention organization, she provided leadership for the development of a K-12 prevention program and its adaptation for international implementation. With her extensive experience in developing effective learning programs for adults, she designed the training for school personnel to prepare them to implement the school-based curricula and parent and community involvement components. To support the program’s growth within US schools and international expansion, she created and led a training of trainers (TOT) program with rigorous multi-step training and testing components. Within seven years of the TOT program’s launch, the training team had grown from 10 US-based trainers to over 100 world-wide. In support of the program’s international expansion, Ms. Phelps served as trainer for pilot teachers and also trained in-country trainers to assure capacity to support the program’s implementation. While Education Vice President for the International Youth Foundation, she successfully led the development of a life skills program, whose implementation began in rural and slum areas of Mexico and India. Her experience in facilitating learning for school personnel was invaluable to her work in the Philippines, in which she designed and led teacher training workshops focused on strategies for creating classrooms with positive climates and adjusting teaching styles to be more student centered and incorporate high-engagement learning activities for students. Before the project concluded, she trained and certified a team of trainers from throughout the country to continue this important teacher training work. At Humana, Inc., her work supported the company’s goal of improving the health and well-being of its members/customers. Ms. Phelps led the design, development and delivery of Humana’s health coach training program, which recently (2015) was recognized as one of 42 programs approved by the National Consortium for Credentialing Health and Wellness Coaches. Through the coach training program, such health professionals as nurses, social workers, counselors and health educators gained knowledge and skills necessary for implementing Humana’s client-centered coaching process for individuals seeking to make positive changes in their health. In recognition of her exemplary work, in 2015 Humana presented her with its Woman of Distinction Award.
Prevention Talk # 11 - School Safety Plans: Building Prevention in Schools
From both education and substance use prevention research, we know that students cannot learn if they feel unsafe in their school environment. To bond or connect with school, the school climate must be: Physically safe, emotionally safe, and socially safe. For many, school can be a haven from violence. So, school climate is one of three pillars of evidence-based prevention in schools—school climate, policy, and prevention curriculum—but is often viewed as outside the prevention mission. We are hosting Kris Bosworth, PhD., Head of the Program in Educational Leadership at the College of Education of the University of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona (School) and member of APSI's Scientific Advisory Board who has studied evidence-based school safety and prevention planning. Dr. Bosworth will discuss how prevention professionals can get involved in school safety as an important building block to prevention schools. As background, every district and school need a school safety plan that covers a range of issues requiring focused attention by those responsible for a positive and safe environment. A comprehensive plan will guide leaders in dealing with issues as they arise and help create the climate that will mitigate many safety related problems, as well as being prepared to respond to emergencies. The school principal is responsible for creating, implementing and maintaining the plan, but all adults in a school community have responsibilities both on a daily basis and in times of crisis to ensure the safety of all in the school. The key components of a comprehensive plan include: Infrastructure, Prevention, Intervention and Response. Dr. Bosworth will present a School Safety Plan Checklist and a description of these key components, what they are about, and what is required. We will also hear from a school principal who has carried out this plan in a real school. (we still need to determine if there will be a school principal). Speaker's bio Kris Bosworth, Ph.D., is Head of the Program in Educational Leadership at the College of Education of the University of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona (School). She holds the Lester L. and Roberta D. Smith Endowed Chair in Education with a focus on the prevention of substance abuse and other factors that put young people at risk. She teaches courses in school climate, the administration of prevention programs, and educational change. She was awarded the College of Education Service Award for 2003. She holds a Master’s in Counseling and Guidance, and a doctorate in Education from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She is the author of more than a dozen multimedia and video programs for young people with subjects that include AIDS, alcohol and drugs, sexuality, and violence. Her publications focus on the role of school culture and climate as a buffer for individual risk factors for risk taking behavior. She has combined her background in education with her training in prevention science to create processes that enable counselors and other educators to implement and sustain evidence based strategies in all levels of prevention implementation. Her model, Protective Schools, focuses on creating school climates and cultures that act a buffer to risk taking behaviors. This model which includes an assessment has been widely implemented in schools nationwide. These projects have earned awards from the American Medical Association National Congress on Adolescent Health (1989) and the Society for Technology and Teacher Education (1992), as well as the Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Programs Award from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) (2000). __________________________________  APSI Course 3 – Building Evidence-based Prevention in Schools, 2021  Comprehensive School Safety Plan Checklist, Kris Bosworth, Ph.D with Jean Ajamie, ADE, Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, ASU Jim Lee, ADE and Caroline Champagne, University of Arizona, June 2020
Prevention Talks # 10 - A Systems Approach for Adaptation and Sustainability - Felipe Castro, PhD
During the next Prevention Talk we will be addressing the following question: How do we in the prevention community need to adapt evidence-based interventions to fit different prevention delivery systems and contexts? Prevention scientists have developed many efficacious preventive interventions in a variety of areas. Despite the demonstrated effectiveness of many evidence-based preventive interventions (EBPIs), two pervasive problems limiting their widespread use are: (a) low rates of adoption, and (b) limited sustainability. Dr. Felipe Gonzalez Castro (College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University) and his team conducted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored study of the adaptation, adoption, and sustainability of evidence-based drug prevention interventions, middle school principals and teachers from low-income rural communities in areas of high opiate use were interviewed. These educators reported some of the major barriers to adoption which will be highlighted during the talk. From an ecological (ecosystemic) framework, it is clear that one important factor for improving intervention utilization involves: (a) optimizing the preventive intervention via design adaptations (a micro-level approach) that facilitate its dissemination and implementation (D&I) in diverse local communities. Nonetheless, increasing preventive intervention rates of adoption and their sustainability will require coordinated action on two other factors: (b) local community engagement (a meso-level approach) for greater demands from community residents for these interventions, and (c) advocacy with legislators to enact policies and legislation (a macro-level approach) that encourage and provide financial and political support for the widespread adoption and sustainability of these preventive interventions. A common theme in both of these higher ecological factors involves promoting a culture of prevention. During this Prevention Talk, Dr. Castro will elaborate on these three factors from this multi-level eco systemic framework, from how activating these multi-level factors will require coordinated actions at all three levels, to creating a synergistic effect that will initiate and sustain these effects and produce significant changes on targeted outcomes, to advance health equity and reduce health disparities.
APSI Prevention Talk # 9 - Scaling Out Evidence-Based Prevention Programs
With the major research breakthroughs over the past 30 years in understanding how to prevent risky behaviors and the most effective prevention interventions for doing so, the ability to deliver these evidence-based (EB) interventions and policies to communities remains a challenge to both the research and practice communities. This Prevention Talk will discuss some of the emerging science that is looking at effective implementation and dissemination approaches to EB prevention. It will describe efforts involved in scaling up, i.e., having prevention professionals provide EB interventions to their target populations, and scaling out, i.e., to have these EB prevention interventions incorporated into existing health and social services in the community. Dr. C. Hendricks Brown from Northwestern University will talk about these concepts and the developing conceptual frameworks that will help the field move forward to improve implementation in any of these service contexts. He will also examine the continuing challenges faced by both researchers and practitioners as they work to bring the most effective prevention services into community practice. Speaker Bio Dr. C. Hendricks Brown is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences at the Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. He also holds adjunct appointments in the Departments of Biostatistics and Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as well as the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. Brown directs the NIDA funded Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM) for Drug Abuse and HIV and co-directs the CDC Chicago Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence. He directs Northwestern's Bridges Program, which develops and applies methods to foster partnerships among community, service delivery, and research, expressly addressing health and promoting equity. His work has focused on the prevention of drug abuse, conduct disorder, and depression, and particularly the prevention of suicide. He has a strong interest in developing new methodology for producing generalized knowledge about behavioral interventions, including developing innovative research designs for effectiveness, conducting mediational analyses, designing and carrying out implementation trials and modeling the effects of implementation strategies. He has published extensively on methods for conducting group-based randomized trials and methods to improve implementation research. Brown cochairs the National Academy of Sciences Forum on Promoting Children's Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health and serves on numerous federal panels, advisory boards, and editorial boards.
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