For 25 years, APW has engaged the Lower Naugatuck Valley and the Greater New Haven communities– churches, schools, business, human service agencies, neighborhood organizations, government offices, and concerned citizens of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds – in substance abuse prevention activities. APW has accomplished this through active coalition building – involving all sectors and stakeholders in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation processes. APW facilitates the process, provides technical assistance, and guides the planning. The services are delivered, however, by a diffuse group of agencies, businesses, and individuals. As a result, the community “owns” the programs. In addition, APW strives to build capacity through their partnerships, community coalition, and prevention committee.
We foster positive mental health by preventing substance misuse and other health-risk behaviors, and by building resources that promote wellness.
APW (formerly The Greater Valley Substance Abuse Council – VSAAC) was created from a community retreat held in 1989 by the Valley United Way with concerned citizens to address substance abuse issues in the Valley. The outcome of the retreat formed VSAAC in 1990. The State then recognized VSAAC as one of the first few Regional Action Councils. In addition, VSAAC was also awarded a Federal Community Partnership Grant. In 1996 to remain fiscally solvent, VSAAC merged into Birmingham Group Health Services which enabled them to continue to service the community but also to expand in depth and scope of work while maintaining their original mission. In 1999, VSAAC was awarded a competitive federal Drug Free Communities Grant providing an additional ten years of funding. In addition, they received a highly competitive federal four year STOP ACT (Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Grant in 2009. In 2010 VSAAC again expanded their reach into the Greater New Haven Community in partnership with the Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Services. On August 1, 2016, VSAAC became the Alliance for Prevention & Wellness (APW).
APW is one of 13 Regional Action Councils (RACs) serving Connecticut. The concept of Regional Action Councils (RACs) was established in 1985 and formalized in 1989 by the passing of Section 17a-671 by the CT General Assembly.
The RAC structure – Regional Action Councils are public-private partnerships drawing their membership from representatives of a cross section of constituencies in their regions as outlined by the state statue. Chief elected officials, chiefs of police, superintendents of schools, business and professional leaders, legislators, substance abuse providers, religious organizations, representatives of minority populations, private funding organizations, community representatives and the media are included in the authorizing legislation. Many Regional Action Councils have added other constituent representatives such as youth, youth serving organizations, health directors, parents and recovering individuals. While each RAC is unique to their local communities, we share a common thread of providing:
APW’s professional, certified staff possesses a combined level of over 35 years of experience in the prevention and education fields.
Pamela Mautte, Director – Pamela Mautte has more than 18 years of experience in the prevention field. She holds an MS degree in School Health Education, a BS degree in Public Health, and is a certified Prevention Specialist with Reciprocity (CPP-R), a Master Certified Health Educator Specialist (MCHES), a Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer, a Certified (Training for Intervention Procedures) – TIPS Trainer, and a former Adjunct Professor at the Southern CT State University.
Lorrie McFarland, Prevention Coordinator – Lorrie McFarland has more than 17 years of experience in the field of prevention. She holds an MS degree in School Health Education, a BS degree in Public Health, and is a Certified Prevention Specialist with reciprocity (CPP-R). She is also a Certified TIPS trainer, MCHES.