Sarah Shoemaker, Public Health Planner with the Warren County Health Department, has been named the Chair of Warren County’s Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities, a program of Prevention Connections through the Family Guidance Center of Warren County.
Prevention Connections, through the efforts of the staff and volunteer members of the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities, work diligently with the assistance of community agencies, law enforcement and school personnel to address youth-related concerns, increase community awareness, provide drug and alcohol education and create a safer school and community environment for youth in the region.
“The coalition does an enormous job of connecting with the community,” said Shoemaker. “There are a lot of concerns about drugs and alcohol use among our youth and this group is front and center trying to make a difference. I may be the Chair, but in reality it’s a group effort.”
Born and raised in Warren County and a graduate of North Warren Regional High School, Shoemaker completed her MPH in Epidemiology at George Mason University and began working for the Health Department in December of 2013. She joined the Coalition in January 2014 and has been an active member from the start.
Currently Shoemaker has spearheaded a Coalition project to push for better data collection among youth county-wide.
“We are currently pursuing a project to distribute the PRIDE survey, which assesses drug, alcohol, tobacco use and perception, as well as violence and community involved among high school students,” said Shoemaker.
With the Health Department, she recently completed the Warren County Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan.
“Sarah’s scope of knowledge, particularly in the area of data collection, makes her a perfect leader for us,” said the Coalition’s Coordinator, MaryJo Harris. “We know there are problems, and big ones, so it’s essential that we have a Chair who knows the lay of the land. In Sarah, we have that person.”
The Coalition is a program of the Family Guidance Center under the direction of Prevention Connections. For more information on prevention programs offered through Prevention Connections or to learn more about the Coalition and how you can help, contact MaryJo Harris or Diane Bonelli at 908-223-1985. Funding for the program is made available through the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Drug Free Communities Support grant.