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Celebrating Excellence in Community-Based Prevention: OU Southwest Prevention Center and the CARE Coalition Wins 2024 Major General Arthur T. Dean Chairman’s Award

Celebrating Excellence in Community-Based Prevention: OU Southwest Prevention Center and the CARE Coalition Wins 2024 Major General Arthur T. Dean Chairman’s Award

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Southwest Prevention Center staff and local community members were thrilled to represent the Community Alliance of Resources for Everyone (CARE Coalition) for being honored with the prestigious 2024 Major General Arthur T. Dean Chairman’s Award at the Community Based, Advacacy Forcused, Data Driven, Coalition Building, Association (CADCA) National Leadership Forum in Washington DC this week. This esteemed accolade, bestowed upon them by CADCA, recognizes their outstanding achievement in substance misuse prevention and community transformation efforts.

The Southwest Prevention Center and CARE Coalition's remarkable success stems from their dedication and commitment to building drug-free communities in Oklahoma. Their journey towards excellence was propelled by their participation in the National Coalition Academy (NCA), an intensive four-week training program facilitated by the National Coalition Institute. At the NCA, SWPC staff and CARE Coalition members demonstrated exceptional proficiency in various essential components, including their Community Assessment, Logic Model, Strategic & Action Plan, Evaluation Plan, and Sustainability Plan.  This comprehensive approach showcased their deep understanding and effective application of the materials taught, setting them apart as leaders in their field.

Charlene Shreder, Director of Community-Based Prevention Programs at the University of Oklahoma Southwest Prevention Center, lauded CARE Coalition's transformative experience at the NCA. She emphasized how the training empowered their team to translate theoretical knowledge into tangible practices, thereby enhancing their ability to effect real change within their community.

Integral to CARE Coalition's success was their proactive approach to incorporating NCA learnings into their initiatives guided by the SWPC. By updating processes, aligning strategic plans, and prioritizing cultural competency, SWPC staff and coalition members demonstrated a holistic and inclusive approach to substance misuse prevention. Their unwavering dedication to addressing the diverse needs of their community, including tribal partners and a growing Hispanic population, exemplifies their commitment to inclusivity and equity.

The significance of winning the Chairman’s Award extends beyond mere recognition; it serves as a catalyst for continued dedication and inspiration for the Southwest Prevention Center, CARE Coalition and its members. This accolade not only validates their hard work but also reinforces their resolve to sustain their efforts and drive long-term, meaningful change.

As the Southwest Prevention Center and the CARE Coalition plan to share their success with the community, we remain steadfast in our mission to combat substance misuse, particularly targeting tobacco, underage drinking, marijuana, and opioid use. The commitment of project staff and community members to ongoing learning and improvement underscores our proactive approach to addressing evolving challenges and emerging trends in substance misuse prevention.

This recognition from CADCA acknowledges the exceptional achievement and unwavering commitment to community-based prevention of the Southwest Prevention Center and the communities we serve. As we celebrate the success, we eagerly anticipate the continued positive impact of our initiatives and the enduring legacy of their transformative work.

The Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies (SWCHRS) stands out as a beacon of excellence in collaboration and commitment to addressing human conflict and resolution. Recently honored with the prestigious 2023 Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Award by the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Center exemplifies the power of university partnerships in making a lasting impact on society. The Southwest Center consistently distinguishes itself by taking the lead in spearheading impactful initiatives related to human conflict and resolution, fostering a more inclusive and equitable work environment. These initiatives contribute to advancing a more harmonious and understanding society, showcasing the transformative potential of academia in shaping a more inclusive future.