OUR STORY

On September 14, 2016, the formation of a newly established non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization was announced, the Cambria County Drug Coalition (CCDC).  The Coalition was formed to serve as the hub of coordination, the leader of a comprehensive community initiative that would foster cross sector collaborations in addressing matters linked to drugs.  Through inclusive measures, the Coalition staff and all members strive to eliminate the devastating impact of substance use and misuse.  Working together to develop wide scale integrated solutions that improve quality of life and create safe and drug free communities across Cambria County.  The CCDC is a catalyst for positive change!

The CCDC collaborative partners are united by a common mission and shared roles. The roles include efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate overdose deaths, taking life saving measures that will lead to reuniting families.  With the law enforcement sector, Coalition members concentrate on reducing the infiltration of drugs in neighborhoods across the county.  In collaboration with prevention professionals and county educators’ efforts to expand evidence-based youth drug prevention holds a high priority in conjunction with environmental prevention initiatives.  With the foundational belief that every life matters every time and with the recognition that recovery is a reality, Coalition partners from the healthcare, treatment and recovery sectors together unite to communicate treatment options, working to stop the cycle and reduce the paralyzing stigma linked to addiction.  Playing a key role in communicating to the public about the mission/vision and impact of the Coalition stands partners from all forms of media outlets.  Concerned stakeholders from the business and faith-based communities play an important part as engaged sectors in the outreach of the Coalition.

The ground work to form the Coalition was put into motion by a strong committed group of individuals including:  Former Cambria County District Attorney – Kelly Callihan, Former President of United Way of the Laurel Highlands – Bill McKinney, Former Vice President for Business Development and Government Affairs for Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center – John Moryken,  President of 1889 Foundation – Sue Mann, President Cambria County Commissioner-Tom Chernisky, Former Johnstown Chief of Police – Craig Foust, Commissioner from Somerset County – Pamela Tokar-Ickes, Former Human Services Coordinator for Somerset County/Current Grant Developer for United Way of the Laurel Highlands – Travis Hutzell.

A significant milestone in the formation of the Coalition as an independent organization was when 4 philanthropic granting organizations agreed to come together to jointly provide funding in support of initiatives identified as part of in the Coalition’s strategic plan as well as staffing and associated operational expenses.  The granting organizations include:   1889 Foundation, Community Foundation of the Alleghenies, Lee Initiatives, and United Way of the Laurel Highlands.  To date, all these organizations are actively engaged and continue to provide funding in direct support of the Coalition’s mission. Additional grants have been awarded both from a state and national level and other funders continue to come forward to provide financial backing that will ensure that the positive impact and lifesaving differences made by the Coalition can continue.

OUR MISSION

Committed to positive change and creation of drug free communities across Cambria County.

OUR VISION

Cambria County – A safe, friendly and great place to live, work and play.

FINANCIAL REPORT

Download a PDF of our 2018-2019 financial report.

Download PDF

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Josh Yoder, Chair CCDC, Director of Marketing and Planning, CamTran
Tom Chernisky,
Vice Chair CCDC, President Cambria County Commissioner
Susan Mann, Secretary CCDC, President 1889 Foundation
Terrence Shook, Fiscal Agent CCDC, CPA, Barnes, Saly and Company
Brandon Bailey, Director of Educational Services, Richland School District
Amy Bradley, President and CEO, Cambria Regional Chamber
Christine Britton, Director of Human Resources, Wessel and Company
Kristy Freoni, Chief County Detective, Cambria County
Jeff Janciga, Captain of Police (Operations), City of Johnstown Police Department
Robert Johnson, Chief of Police, City of Johnstown Police Department
Jeannine McMillan, Executive Director, Pathways Community HUB, 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health
Fred Oliveros, Administrator, Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program
Tracy Selak, Administrator, Behavioral Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention Program
Jeanne Spencer MD, Chair Family Medicine, Director, Family Medicine Residency, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center
Gerald Zahorchak DEd, Associate Professor of Education and Division Chair, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

STAFF

Ronna Yablonski, Executive Director
Natalie Kauffman, Projects Coordinator
Aly Bender-Murgas, Botvin LifesSkills Training Programs Administrator

Law Enforcement

  • Decrease infiltration of drugs and associated crime by making it harder for dealers to operate here
  • Foster and encourage cohesive law enforcement work county-wide
  • Seek to provide funding for identified gaps in law enforcement efforts
  • Provide relevant training for law enforcement professionals
  • Sponsor prescription drug collection events while expanding permanent collection sites

Healthcare

  • Improve System of Care for people with substance use disorder
  • Decrease the number of fatal drug overdoses
  • Increase coordination of care for substance addicted mothers and dependent newborns
  • Provide education on warm handoff process as well as Medication
  • Assisted treatment in ED

Drug Treatment & Recovery

  • Increase awareness of drug treatment and recovery support services to county residents
  • Offer Recovery, Resiliency and Person First Language Training in an effort to decrease stigma
  • Facilitate community listening sessions and work to build a community environment that supports recovery
  • Increase awareness about disease concept of addiction

Community Education

  • Expand engagement of faith-based sector
  • Plan lunch-and-learn education seminars on topics such as symptoms of addiction, drug treatment sources, power of prevention, person first language
  • Create a Coalition Speakers Bureau and offer drug awareness trainings for county residents
  • With media sector, provide educational messages on topics relevant to addiction while offering messages of hope and healing
  • Provide education on recommended protocols for protection and monitoring of prescription drugs
  • Report status of CCDC efforts at an annual report-out event

Prevention Education

  • Expand implementation of recurring evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention programming in all county schools
  • Engage more youth in county prevention efforts
  • Offer prevention education training for all sectors of the county
  • Expand environmental prevention campaigns designed to counteract unhealthy cultural norms associated with drug use

“The CCDC will bring together law enforcement, treatment, and prevention. Law enforcement works to take down dealers who bring this plague into our neighborhoods. Treatment provides support for those addicted who want to be clean and build a future for themselves and their children. Finally, prevention programs will give young people the skills to avoid addiction and develop pro-social behaviors through engaging programming.”

Tom Chernisky • President Commissioner of Cambria County