The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation has awarded a grant of $277,406 to Buffalo State. The grant will enable the Center for Health and Social Research (CHSR) to provide evaluation, data collection, and data utilization services to Px20. The Px20 collaborative group of prevention agencies was formed to respond to the need for improved substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion services as identified by the Erie County Department of Mental Health.
In addition to the data collection and analysis services provided by CHSR, the Tower Foundation’s generous grant will support implementation of substance abuse prevention activities, organizational development and capacity-building activities associated with the Px20 collaborative, and training for community-based substance abuse prevention coalitions.
Substance abuse prevention activities include a broad media campaign, using evidence-based environmental prevention approaches to target parents, youth, and the general population via cable television, radio, social media, buses and mass transit, and local print media.
"The benefit of this media campaign is that it ties Px20’s efforts and the efforts of local coalitions together into a coordinated prevention campaign,” said William Wieczorek, director of the CHSR. CHSR is one of Px20’s member organizations.
A third component of the grant-funded project is hiring a national consulting firm, La Piana Associates, which will guide Px20 through the process of identifying a formal model for ongoing collaboration and developing a governance structure for implementation. Once the model has been implemented, it will be used to include other agencies and community entities in the Px20 collaborative.
“As a result,” said Wieczorek, “the prevention efforts of many Western New York agencies will present a united front, maximize resources, and increase the impact of those efforts.”
Funds will support the training of Px20 agency staff in the use of evidence-based prevention practices, which will focus on school health initiative planning, obesity prevention, and bullying prevention. Jonathan Lindner, an associate of CHSR who is certified as a coordinated school health model trainer by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will provide the school health initiative planning at no cost. Funds will also support the training of trainers in other prevention strategies, which will provide Px20 member agencies with in-house resources and minimize, over time, the need for outside training.
“To conduct the surveys necessary to collect data,” said Wieczorek, “we will recruit undergraduate and graduate students who are trained in human subject ethics and scientific survey protocol. This provides Buffalo State students and the Western New York community with a synergistic dynamic that benefits both.”