The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of the Department of Human Health and Services, presented a $125,000 grant renewal to the “Healthy Shippensburg Coalition SCRC Drug Free Community.”  The grant, originally received in 2022, was renewed for the 2023-2024 school year, and will continue to be renewed each year until 2027 when the project is complete. Dr. Liz Fisher, Professor and Department Chairperson of Social Work and Gerontology, is the the director of this project, and Jami Burkett is the Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition (SCRC) Coordinator.

The project’s goal is to put in place and strengthen the collaboration among communities, such as federal, state, local, and tribal governments, and for them to support the efforts of the coalition. It focuses on providing the community with resources for youth to gain knowledge on the patterns and consequences of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription pain relievers.

“The grant is important to the Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition because it provides the stability we need to maintain current programming and take time to engage in innovation. The CDC DFC grant program also provides many resources, webinars, conferences, and networking to help us deliver high quality services,” said Dr. Fisher. “A large federal grant like this helps provide evidence of our credibility and effectiveness, and supports our efforts to evaluate all SCRC programs and engage in continuous improvement. This grant helps to cover a portion of our expenses for staffing and programming needs, and we work with donors and other grant funders to cover the rest.”

Some intermediate outcomes of the project include reducing factors within the community that enable the risk of substance use and misuse, as well as promoting the harm of these substances to the community. The project’s hope is to increase the abilities and opportunities for the youth to learn skills to prevent substance use and misuse.

“The grant will allow the SCRC to continue providing high quality services to local youth while also providing learning opportunities for SU students through internships, service learning projects, research projects, and volunteer work,” Dr. Fisher said.

“The ultimate goal of the grant is to reduce youth risk factors for the use of alcohol and other drugs. We look forward to working with community members and the university to carry out the goals of the grant. It will positively affect the community in reducing youth substance use by creating more preventative factors through programs and projects,” said Jami Burkett. “Youth living in the Shippensburg Area School District will have more access to food security, mental health services, and mentoring, leading them to healthier decisions and positive thinking.”

For more information about the program or to collaborate with Healthy Shippensburg Coalition SCRC Drug Free Community,  please email Dr. Fisher.  You may donate to the SU Foundation and select Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition as the designee.