Local Volunteers and Organizations Received Awards for Efforts in Tobacco Education and Prevention

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on September 01, 2021 with No Comments

Quit-Smoking---cigarette-pack

The Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition for Porter County held a virtual volunteer appreciation event dedicated to thanking their volunteers for all that they have done to end smoking and vaping in Porter County. “We always look forward to this annual event to show our appreciation and thank our volunteers for all they do throughout the year,” said Carrie Higgins, Program Director for the Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition. Todd Willis, Porter Starke’s Director of Prevention and Education and Executive Committee Member of the Tobacco Coalition, recognized the hard-working volunteers at the virtual event.

The Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition has many achievements to be proud of. “In affiliation with the Valparaiso University College of Nursing and Health Professions, we work in Porter County as a part of the Indiana Prevention and Cessation Division at the Indiana Department of Health to prevent tobacco use, and to help people quit smoking,” Higgins said. “We recognize individuals and organizations who have worked on advocacy issues and educated schools, property owners, patients, citizens and workers about cessation and prevention of smoking and secondhand smoke, in addition to the recent epidemic of electronic cigarettes.”

Many of the volunteers are involved in healthcare and behavioral health as the issue is constantly presenting itself in their fields. Megan Fisher, Director of Recovery Engagement for Porter-Starke Services, Inc. and Chair of the coalition’s Policy Committee, along with Porter-Starke Services, was awarded the North Star Partner Award in recognition of individual and organizational efforts to promote a smoke free lifestyle for their employees, clients and community. 

Honorees, Shannon Hough, nurse and Health and Wellness Coordinator with Community Health Systems and the Portage YMCA, along with Katherine Byerly, Outreach and Enrollment Manager for HealthLinc were awarded the Rising Star Award which recognizes new members who consistently and proactively engage in coalition efforts. 

Donald Spears, outgoing Chair of the coalition, received the Star Leadership Award for outstanding service and leadership to the coalition.   “Don’s guidance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was vital to keep the work of the coalition moving,” according to Higgins.

Other honorees include radio personality Mike Bonaventura of Adams Radio Group, who received the Tobacco Education and Prevention’s Media Superstar Award for providing support and promoting the efforts and resources of the coalition, while James Albers received the Gold Star Award for providing extraordinary service and dedication to TEPCPC efforts. 

“While we have many amazing volunteers and partner organization members on the TEPCPC, these six members went above and beyond this past year. Without each and every coalition member, we would not be able to provide resources to Porter County.  We are so thankful to each and every one of them.” Said Higgins.

About: (TEPCPC) The Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition for Porter County is a community-based coalition comprised of a network of diverse partners dedicated to saving lives and improving the quality of life for citizens of Porter County. The Coalition aspires to save lives by reducing tobacco use and eliminating health disparities related to tobacco use by protecting residents from secondhand smoke; preventing and reducing youth tobacco use and access to tobacco products; and improving cessation services to assist smokers in quitting. The TEPCPC is one of 49 partners throughout Indiana that is funded through a grant from the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation division at the Indiana Department of Health. The TEPCPC is affiliated with the Valparaiso College of 

Nursing and Health Professions who serves as the lead agency for the grant. For more information, visit TEPCPorterCounty on Facebook and tepcoalitionportercounty on Instagram or at the Coalition website www.valpo.edu/tepc/.

Joe Hull

Megan Fisher – Director of Recovery Engagement for Porter-Starke Services, Inc

Mike Bonaventura – Adams Radio Group

Shannon Hough – Nurse and Health and Wellness Coordinator with Community Health Systems, Portage YMCA

Katherine Sullivan – HealthLinc

Don Spears – Outgoing Chair of the coalition, received the Star Leadership Award

Katherine Byerly – Outreach and Enrollment Manager for HealthLinc

Share This Article

About Chronicle Staff

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

Comments for Local Volunteers and Organizations Received Awards for Efforts in Tobacco Education and Prevention are now closed.