Prevention Champions

We are pleased to recognize our 2017 Prevention Champions for their passionate commitment to preventing drug and alcohol use and other risk behaviors. 

A Prevention Champion is someone who has helped provide support for a healthier  life in our communities. These people help reduce risk factors for alcohol and drug abuse and build assets and protective factors for our youth and other community members.  

 

SOPHIA PRANDINI is a senior at Mt Anthony Union High School.

She is part of the organization Alliance for Community and Transformation; a

community coalition dedicated to substance prevention in the town of

Bennington. She serves on the Executive Committee and is a member of the

Youth Ambassador Program; a program that educates youth about substance

prevention. Her newest project is called the Clarity Campaign, a social media

campaign aimed at youth in the community - encouraging students to keep a

clear mind rather than be under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. Sophia’s

dedication to promoting a healthy lifestyle for her peers makes her a Prevention

Champion.


KENZIE THOMPSON is currently a freshman at Mount Anthony Union High School.

Kenzie participates with the Teens For Change Youth MOVE program and The

Alliance for Community Transformations, a Bennington-based prevention

coalition. She attends the executive board meetings, providing the crucial youth

perspective for appropriate strategy selection and youth engagement. Her

substance abuse prevention work, includes work on a sticker shock campaign to

raise awareness on opiate use disorder and the connection to prescription pain

relievers through warning stickers being placed atop medicine bottles and

creating an opioid use disorder awareness forum at the River Street fire house.

Kenzie's contributions provide us with continued hope for positive change.


BARBARA CIMAGLIO is the Deputy Commissioner for Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Programs at the Vermont Department of Health.

Barbara’s career spans almost 40 years of service at the state and local level. Prior

to joining VDH in 2004, she directed state offices of Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Programs in Oregon and Illinois. She is a nationally recognized leader in the field

of alcohol and drug abuse prevention, treatment and recovery. She has served

on a number of national committees and contributed to countless publications on

improving substance abuse treatment and prevention services. She has been

called an advocate, leader and pioneer, now she can add Prevention Champion to

her list of titles.

 

RYAN MITOFSKY is the Prevention Consultant for the Burlington District Office of

the VT Dept of Health.

Ryan is known for his passion, heart, gentle humor, and genuine love of his work.

In the 3 years he has served as Prevention Consultant he has continued to

increase community awareness for the need and elevate the importance of

substance abuse prevention in Chittenden County. Prevention seems to have

been Ryan’s calling, as his commitment to improving the health and wellness of

his community can be traced back to his days at Montpelier High School, when he

was a youth volunteer with Central VT New Directions coalition. Ryan’s

colleagues appreciate the positivity and hopefulness that he constantly brings to

the field and the work they do together. He reminds us all why the work is

meaningful and continually recognizes the good work of others.


JoELLEN TARELLO is the Executive Director of the Center for Health and Learning

(CHL) .

JoEllen has dedicated her career to building capacity in educational, public health,

community service organizations and coalitions to promote positive health and

educational outcomes for all. In addition to her work in the field of alcohol,

tobacco and other drug prevention, she also works on other tough issues –

including suicide prevention. Under her vision and leadership, CHL has offered

training and technical assistance to more than 20,000 people and developed the

award winning Umatter Suicide Prevention training and public information

campaign. JoEllen is always willing to support her prevention colleagues and

gives enormously of her time to support the field as a whole.


PATTY BAROUDI is the Prevention Program Manager for Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Programs at the Vermont Department of Health (VDH).

Patty has worked in the substance abuse field for more than 30 years and has

witnessed first-hand the evolution of prevention to a practice built on solid

research that is getting stronger all the time. Patty’s numerous contributions to

prevention include her work with The Vermont Alcohol and Drug Information

Clearinghouse, Rocking Horse circle of support, and ADAP Substance Abuse

conferences. She is perhaps most noted for her dedication to Maternal and Child

Health, with a focus on preventing substance use during pregnancy. Patty’s

dedication to sharing the prevention message with diverse audiences and working

to help new generations be substance free make her a Prevention Champion.


GINNY BURLEY has worked in the prevention field in Central Vermont for more than

20 years. She was the founding director of the Central Vermont New Directions

Coalition based in Montpelier and currently oversees the coalition’s grant-funded

programs addressing underage drinking, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription

drug abuse. Previously, Ginny led Community Connections – a 21st Century grant

funded program. This afterschool and out-of- school time program for Pre-K-12, is

Ginny’s legacy - that hundreds of community children have benefited from high

quality programs that challenge and enrich them and keep them safe during out-

of-school- time periods – when youth are most vulnerable to risk. Her knowledge

of public health, substance abuse prevention strategies, working with community

members and youth, and interest in policy have all been key contributors to her

interest and ability to be a true Prevention Champion!

 


2015 Prevention Champions

DAWN POITRAS


Resident of the Town of Duxbury; Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Student Assistance Professional at Spaulding High School and Barre City School, and the current President of Association of Student Assistance Professionals VT.

TWIN VALLEY PRIDE

Student-led prevention group, called PRIDE, at Twin Valley High School in Wilmington, VT. 

MARK WEIKERT


A Health and Physical Education teacher at Flood Brook Elementary in Londonderry, VT and serves on the Governor’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Council. Personally fund-raised money for The Collaborative, his local prevention coalition.

2014 Prevention Champions

 

ANGELA HALSTED

 

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Prevention Coordinator at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington.

 

MELANIE SHEEHAN

 

Director of Community Health Outreach at Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Chair of MAPP, the Mt. Ascutney Prevention Partnership, which serves the towns of Windsor, West Windsor, Hartland and Weathersfield.

 

BETH SHRADER

 

Director of the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition. 

 

CHAD SIMMONS

 

Media Coordinator of Greater Falls Connections serving the towns of Rockingham, Bellows Falls, Saxtons River, Athens, Grafton and Westminster.

 

STEVE WALDO

 

Investigator & Educator for the Vermont Department of Liquor Control

 

ESSEX CHIPS ABOVE THE INFLUENCE

 

BRATTLEBORO ABOVE THE INFLUENCE

 

Above the Influence, or ATI, is a campaign inspired by what teens say about their lives, and how they deal with the influences that shape their decisions.

2013 Prevention Champions 

SANDRA BRAUER

Student Assistance Counselor at Enosburg High School

BOB EDWARDS

Chief of Dover Police Department and member of the

Deerfield Vally Community Partnership

DEBBY HASKINS

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Past Executive Director of the Association of Student Assistance Professionals

CINDY HAYFORD

Coordinator of the Deerfield Valley Community Partnership, which serves the towns of Wilmington, Whitingham, Halifax, Stamford & Readsboro

JOAN LENES

VT State Representative and member of CY-Connecting Youth

MARIAH SANDERSON

Director of the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community