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HFL Commits $2.8 Million to Support Substance Use Prevention Programs in Schools

February 6, 2019 | Supporting Our Community

The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL) Board of Directors has approved up to $2.8 million in grant funding over the next four years for Partners in Prevention, an initiative that will help schools identify, implement and sustain evidence-based substance use prevention programs. More than 17,500 La Porte County students will be impacted by curriculum that supports positive peer relationships and social competences to avoid the use of addictive substances.

HFL commissioned a study through the Center for Health Policy from the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health that assessed the burden of opioid addiction in La Porte County and identified the community’s needs or gaps in providing adequate prevention, treatment, and long-term recovery services. One of the recommendations from the La Porte County Opioid Study was to use evidence-based prevention programs in schools to combat the opioid epidemic.

School-based prevention is an effective long-term strategy to stop substance use and save lives. Schools in La Porte have an opportunity to equip students with skills that not only help them avoid drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances but can also help improve their academic achievement, attendance, classroom behavior and social and emotional well-being. These programs can also help reduce bullying and violence.

All schools in La Porte County were invited to apply for Partners in Prevention grant funding. Through the first phase of this initiative, a total of $73,306 has been awarded to 12 schools for planning grants. HFL has contracted the Educational Development Center (EDC) as the Technical Assistance (TA) provider and RTI International (RTI) as the evaluation firm to assist schools during the planning and implementation phases of the program.

Partners in Prevention Planning Grant Award Recipients (Award amounts were based on school enrollment sizes):

  • La Lumiere School – $3,678
  • La Porte Community School Corporation – $12,000
  • Michigan City Area Schools – $12,000
  • MSD of New Durham Township – $5,655
  • New Prairie United School Corporation – $12,000
  • Notre Dame Catholic School – $5,000
  • Queen of All Saints School – $4,815
  • Renaissance Academy $5,000
  • South Central Community School Corporation – $3,296
  • St. Paul Lutheran School – $2,302
  • St. John’s Lutheran School – $2,560
  • Tri-Township Consolidated Schools – $5,000

During the planning grant term (January-May 2019), HFL will connect grant recipients with the prevention experts at EDC and RTI who will provide free, step-by-step assistance to help: 1) identify the proven, age-appropriate prevention program(s) that best meet(s) the needs of each applicant’s students, staff and school environment and 2) help ensure planning grant recipients carefully think through the steps required for successful program implementation and sustainability.

Schools participating in the Partners in Prevention initiative will be eligible to apply for grants in the spring of 2019 to begin implementing their chosen evidence-based substance use prevention program. Schools will begin their selected programs in fall 2019 and will continue over the course of three years (August 2019-June 2022). Schools awarded implementation grants will continue to receive support from EDC and RTI throughout the three-year grant period to get their programs running and collect data to evaluate the impact of their programs.

Partners in Prevention is modeled after the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation program Prevention Matters. HFL thanks the Fairbanks Foundation for their support and guidance in adapting this program to fit the needs of the La Porte community.