Grants Awarded to Support Statewide Network of Substance Use Prevention Coalitions

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has renewed its commitment to a statewide network of substance use prevention coalitions – the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth – by awarding grants to three partners working to build a healthier Wisconsin. Community Advocates, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, and Northeastern Wisconsin Area Health Education Center will act as regional coordinators for the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth. The Alliance for Wisconsin Youth supports the work of more than 100 community coalitions dedicated to reducing the issues that arise from the use of drugs.

“By working with Community Advocates, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Northeastern Wisconsin Area Health Education Center, and the substance use prevention coalitions they support through the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth, we can make a larger collective impact in developing and implementing efforts that create strong, healthy communities,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge. “We are grateful for the collaboration of our regional and local partners in this work.”

Initially created by DHS in 2007 as an organization focused on reducing substance use among youth, the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth now focuses on substance use prevention for all ages. Regional coordinators support local coalitions in implementing media campaigns, presentations, programs, and other activities, as well as policies that limit access, availability, and acceptability of alcohol and other drugs to reduce the impact of substance use on individuals and communities.

Alliance for Wisconsin Youth regional coordinators are also known as regional prevention centers and provide guidance and funding to coalitions in their service areas. There are five regions.

RegionCoordinatorCounties in the region
NortheasternNortheastern Wisconsin Area Health Education CenterBrown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Sheboygan, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago
NorthernMarshfield Clinic Research InstituteAshland, Bayfield, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Price, Sawyer, Taylor, Vilas, Wood
SoutheasternCommunity AdvocatesJefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha
SouthernNortheastern Wisconsin Area Health Education CenterAdams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Vernon
WesternMarshfield Clinic Research InstituteBarron, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Washburn

The Marshfield Clinic Research Institute is the regional coordinator for all federally recognized tribal nations.

The regional coordinators have been awarded $120,919 per region each year for the next five years. Marshfield Clinic Research Institute and Northeastern Area Health Education Center each are due to receive $241,838 per year, as both support two regions. Community Advocates has been awarded $120,919 per year.

The grants are funded by Wisconsin’s share of the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. They are designed to cover costs related to address substance use prevention priorities established by DHS, including:

  • Underage drinking
  • Adult binge drinking
  • Opioid use for non-medical purposes among all ages
  • Substance use among pregnant people

In recent years, the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth has helped DHS launch three campaigns that provide information about the importance of reducing stigma around drug use to support treatment and recovery (Real Talks Wisconsin), the prevalence and dangers of opioids (Dose of Reality), and the risks and consequences of underage drinking (Small Talks).

Coalitions that belong to the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth must include representation from different communities they serve, including youth, parents, educators, health and human services professionals, law enforcement officers, business owners, people involved in civic organizations, elected officials, and spiritual leaders.

Find more information on the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth website, including details about how to establish a coalition.

People interested in substance use prevention are invited to the attend the 2023 Wisconsin Substance Use Prevention Conference in the Wisconsin Dells September 13-14 in the Wisconsin Dells to learn about best practices to build healthy communities. Virtual attendance is available. Registration is required. See the agenda and register by September 13.