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Accomplishments in 2021   arrow

January-March 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts: Coalition staff spent several hours during this time period supporting town and regional vaccination clinics.

Resource Cards were updated & given out to homeless and other vulnerable populations.  These will be distributed via the library, Police Outreach, Food Pantry, and Health Department. 

Virtual “In Plain Sight” was filmed at WCAT studios, which will be part of Wakefield Parent University and available online.  Filming consisted of:  Maureen Buzby, Regional Tobacco Coordinator, going over the latest tobacco and vaping trends & things for parents to be aware of.  Donna Kausek, NAN Project/Eliot, educating on topics including: Self Harm, Eating Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation & what parents can do if they are concerned.  Officer Kelly & Officer Matt, toured the bedroom with different things to be aware of regarding underage drinking and substance use & what parents can do if they find something. Andrew Cedrone, Galvin MS, covered things to be aware of for middle school students, screen time, online activity & safety, town & area resources for helping your student.  Catherine, Wake Up, covered general information including local statistics & parent strategies. View video here:

Dry January Campaign was implemented. Coalition members worked with a graphic designer to develop a social media campaign aimed towards adults in the community with the goal of communicating the impacts of reduced alcohol use or abstinence.

Recovery Coaches in Emergency Departments: Coalition members worked with Melrose-Wakefield Emergency Department to advocate for Recovery Coaches to be allowed in ED.

Wakefield Vision 2030 Wake-Up adult & youth members participated in the project’s first community focus group.  This project is being led by consultants from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.  For an overview & to take the survey, please visit:

Melrose-Wakefield Healthcare Grant was awarded. The proposal, a collaboration between the Melrose & Wakefield Health departments, focuses on addressing behavioral health stigma amongst the general population of both communities. In addition, the proposal aims to implement strategies to increase access to care to reach residents of color, ethnic minorities with young children, immigrants, residents living in poverty, and individuals with substance use disorders.

Wakefield Parent University Wake-Up was a lead sponsor & organizer.  Over 230 parents registered & participated in a month-long series of virtual workshops.  For a full list of workshops & keynote visit: Wakefield Parent University. “In Plain Sight” virtual workshop was hosted by Catherine Dhingra, Andrew Cedrone, Donna Kausek, and SRO’s Kelley & Matt and allowed for parents to ask live questions.  

MassCALL3 grant awarded: Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition received a new multi-year regional substance use prevention BSAS grant which will continue to fund Liz Parsons to coordinate regional prevention efforts. Representatives from each of the 7 Mystic Public Health Coalition communities worked on writing the extensive proposal.  Grant focused on regional strategies that address health disparities and primary prevention.

April-June 2021

Healthy Relationships Social Media Campaign: Wake-Up collaborated with Wakefield Alliance Against Violence & Wakefield’s Respond Advocate to create a Healthy Relationships Social Media Campaign.  Wake-Up Youth Action Team & Wakefield Youth Council worked with youth throughout the community to post on several local youth organization Instagram accounts.

Wake-Up Annual Meeting was held on May 25th, 2021.  The virtual meeting featured highlights from the year, including Youth Action Team campaigns, school-based intervention strategies, and support systems for treatment and recovery.  Retiring Health Director Ruth Clay spoke and was honored for her leadership in starting and helping to sustain the coalition.  Adam Colantuoni, Galvin Middle School Principal, was presented with the Community Award for building an environment that focused on Trusted Adult relationships & building other protective factors.  Galvin teacher Susan Langlois was presented with the annual Trusted Adult Award.

WMHS Senior Night was held on June 3, 2021.  Senior Night Committee successfully raised $23,000 to create a safe, fun, substance-free event designed to keep Wakefield students local during senior week.  The committee worked with WMHS Administration & Advisors to create a senior week full of safe, fun activities. The WMHS Senior Night Committee also sponsored Downtown Banners & Honor a Senior Campaign.  The funds raised for Senior Night are utilized as part of the required 150% match for Wake-Up’s Drug-Free Communities federal grant.

Interface Cards were updated & printed. Coalition staff worked with Wakefield’s Communication Manager & solicited feedback from school Student Support Staff to develop new Interface & Eliot Cards that will be distributed throughout the community.  The cards will also be printed in Spanish.

Bridge Recovery Center ribbon-cutting: Wake-Up is working with new partners: Bridge Recovery Center and Aftermath Recovery Center to promote positive Recovery spaces & activities.  They are planning Recovery Celebration Corn Hole Tournament in Wakefield during September (Recovery Month).

Wake-Up Annual Report was created & printed. The Annual Report may be viewed on our website was printed and sent to coalition partners, and emailed to over 200 on our listserv.

Wakefield Police Conducted Specialized Alcohol Checks: On June 5, Lt. Anderson & Sgt. Powers went out with the ABCC for 6 hours.  The goal was to continue to train Sgt. Powers as the Alcohol Compliance liaison & build a strong relationship with ABCC compliance officers. During this time, they checked 6 IDs and had 1 minor transporting alcohol. They were also able to stop one drunk driver who was arrested and charged two individuals with drug possession/distribution that occurred in front of them while surveilling a package store.

Wakefield Police Off-Site Licensee Visits: On June 16th, Lt. Anderson and Sgt. Powers visited each off-premise licensee.  They delivered Serve Safe Packets from the State & reminded staff of the agreements made with town in the fall of 2019 to curb issues with problem alcohol consumption.  They received a good response from all of the off-premise locations. They were scanning ID’s, showed us fake ID’s they’ve confiscated, and reported following the 6 guidelines agreed upon in 2019.

iDecide Program: Wakefield Memorial High School has submitted a letter of commitment to participate MGH/Harvard iDECIDE (Drug Education Curriculum: Intervention, Diversion, and Empowerment), developed by the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Institute for Health and Recovery in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It is a novel education, motivation and skills-based diversion program to be used as an alternative to exclusionary discipline for students caught violating school substance use policies.

Envision Wakefield Part 3: Catherine and Wakefield Youth Council member Anthony Amatucci presented during this forum on the topic of Health, Safety, Resiliency, and Vulnerable Communities in Wakefield.  They discussed assets in our community and gaps in services.

Tobacco Compliance Checks & Follow-up: In June, Mystic Valley Regional Tobacco Inspector Maureen Buzby conducted compliance checks with an underage “purchaser” at all tobacco licensees in Wakefield.  Unfortunately, six of the 25 stores sold to minors; the rate of 24% is significantly higher than previous years’ averages (5%-8%).


Youth Action Team Updates

January-March 2021

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Perception of Harm/Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana: Logan and other HS YAT members worked on bringing awareness to students about driving under the influence of marijuana. To determine platform and scope, youth met with Senator Lewis and Representatives Lipper-Garabedian and Wong to advocate for marijuana education in Drivers Ed on 2/11/21. Logan is working with Bailey & Braden to bring awareness to students about driving under the influence of marijuana & the need for more education in Drivers Ed on the topic. The youth have developed 6 slides for Instagram with a local graphic designer and promoted via other youth social media pages.

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Vaping 101 discussion with Maureen: Youth Leaders met with Mystic Valley Regional Tobacco Coordinator to discuss what they are both currently seeing/hearing re: tobacco/vaping.  The good news is youth are seeing The Truths ads on a plethora of social media sites.  Youth will continue to monitor parks for debris.

News Flush & Bathroom Buzz: Maggie, Eric, and Riley continue with monthly assembly & online distribution/promotion.

Galvin Club:  Maggie & Eric continue with successful virtual Clubs and are planning Family Feud.  They are assisting Mike with how to make Staff Shout outs a HS project. News Flush  2021 Virtual Family Feud was filmed & the entire school was able to participate!

HS Club: Mike and Ms. Delory planned Club meetings 2nd Term 3 is underway thanks to Elena. Bathroom Buzz

Welcome 4 new YATL’s: Alexis Manzi, Braden Carroll, Amiya Driggers, and Sienna Catizone

Photo voice at Parks/Hangouts: Braden and Alexis have been continuing this project, collecting wrappers at parks & hangout spaces to see what is being used & discarded.

April-June 2021

WAAV social media campaign: Sienna & Elena worked on promoting this campaign

Park Assessment and Vape disposal project: Brayden & Alexis went to parks/hangout spaces in June to see what litter was present. They decided on a location to pilot a vape disposal box (Jr. Lot), and are working to design a sticker for the box, focusing on the environmental reasons for safely disposing of vape sticks. 

Tobacco licensee thank you’s: Michael designed and printed all of the certificates for tobacco licensees that passed compliance checks & will deliver them to all the stores.

Mental Health: Bailey created “You are not alone” posters and they were hung at WMHS. 

Perception of Harm Campaign: Focused on raising the perception of harm for driving under the influence of Marijuana.  Bailey & Braden presented recommendations to the Massachusetts RMV leadership team. The presentation included slides & a computer program simulation demo that would demonstrate the impact of marijuana use on reaction time.

Galvin Club: closed out the year with successful in-person meetings and final editions of the News Flush. 

HS Club: closed out the year with successful in-person meetings and final editions of the Bathroom Buzz & Faculty News Letter.  WMHS Staff Shoutouts: Based on the Galvin project, students submitted shoutouts about their favorite staff & faculty members. These were put in their mailboxes to enjoy as they went into summer break.

Warrior Pride Night: Youth Action Team Leaders recruited rising 9th graders for next year’s Club.

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