Content from 2017 Summit

The Power of Prevention, Sunday, November 5, 2017

Post-event update: The presentation slides for all workshops have been added to this post (click link below each workshop description). Where available, a video of the presentation is also included below.

11.5.17,POP.ProgramDetails  Click here to print workshop details!

Please register in advance:

The goal of this prevention summit is to build skills among adults which can impact specific risk and protective factors in children. Participants will register in advance for 2 one-hour workshops of their choice through the Eventbrite registration link. Find workshop descriptions and facilitator bios below.

We have brought the experts together all on one day to make this content accessible for our community. Free to attend, thanks to community support from Joye, NRS Global Partners, Scituate Orthodontics, Wilder Brothers, Mindful Presence, Hingham Institute for Savings, Anderson Fuel, Scituate Pharmacy, The Good Sport and South Shore Health Systems.

Free childcare provided by Scituate Recreation, with a special appearance from Obadiah the Comfort Dog!

Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity!

The Power of Prevention Program Overview

12:15 -1:00 Childcare Drop-off at the Scituate High School Gym

12:30 -1:00 Check In at Lester J. Gates Middle School Lobby
Participants will pick up their workshop confirmation and resource packet.

12:30 -1:00 Visit Exhibit Areas: Health & Wellness Curriculum;Interface Referral Service; Independence Academy Recovery High School; Guiding Good Choices; and Parents Weeding through the Myths. Resources will also be available during the session breaks.

1:00 – 1:30 Program begins. Welcome Address in the Dining Commons:

“Prevention that works: The Risk and Protection Approach”

Scituate FACTS Coalition co-chairs Annmarie Galvin and Greg Ranieri are excited to share the science of prevention with participants. We know what works in prevention. This keynote presentation will provide an overview of the risk factors and protective factors that predict  substance use disorder and other behavioral health conditions.



1:45 – 2:45 Workshop Session One

3:00 – 4:00 Workshop Session Two

Power of Prevention Workshop Descriptions, listed in alphabetical order:

(A) Absenteeism: When your child avoids school

Absenteeism is an issue that mediates graduation rates, as well as long term perceptions of well-being and professional success. Surprisingly, attendance issues can emerge as early as kindergarten. The good news? School avoidance is treatable. Together, schools and families can strategize to help students attend, connect, and graduate.

Facilitators: Dr. Joan Struzziero

Risk Factors: Underlying Behavioral Health Conditions (such as Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Learning Disabilities)
Protective Factors: School connectedness


(B) Anxiety, Stress and Substance Use Risk

We know that individuals with behavioral health problems in childhood are at increased risk of developing a Substance Use Disorder as adults. Ongoing student survey data shows a strong correlation exists between the rates of binge drinking and marijuana use among Scituate High School students who also report poor mental health (especially among boys). We also know that early warning signs of behavioral health difficulties can be identified as early as preschool, and supported.  Learn practical strategies to identify concerns and help your child better manage stress and anxiety.  Schools and families can work together to mitigate the risks of managing stress and common mental and behavioral health challenges to prevent serious health problems later in life.

Facilitators: Jen Lopes, LICSW, and, Steve Howley, MS, CAGS

Risk Factors: Underlying Behavioral Health Conditions (such as Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Learning Disabilities)
Protective Factors: School Connectedness


(C)   College – The Other Talk:  What to expect as you older child heads off to college

Risky use of alcohol is a common concern on college campuses. Parents are often unaware of how impactful their role can be in influencing their child’s attitudes and decisions surrounding substance use, even as young adults. This workshop is designed particularly for the parents of students whose post-graduation plans are to attend college. The goal of this workshop are to facilitate parent/caregiver’s ability to communicate accurate, healthy messages regarding college alcohol use, the legal issues surrounding it, and expectations for success during college. Specific steps and talking points will be shared.

Facilitator: Traci Wojciechowski

Risk Factors: Early substance use; Low peer disapproval; Favorable parental attitudes about substance use
Protective Factors: Clear family expectations and consequences; Strong family bonds


(D)   Marijuana Facts

Marijuana is a hot topic, often surrounded in both emotion and misinformation. Why is this substance so controversial? Learn the facts from a true expert in the field. Dr. Hill will share his clinical experience treating adolescents and young adults with marijuana and opioid use disorders, along with a depth of research knowledge. Participants will learn about  trends in recreational use, implications on youth health, and what to do if a loved one has a problem with marijuana. Dr. Hill will lead the forum, joined by local stakeholders from the Scituate Police Department and Dr. Jason Tracy, M.D., Director of Emergency Medicine at South Shore Hospital to answer questions.

Facilitator: Dr. Kevin Hill

Risk Factors: Early substance use; Availability; Low perception of risk
Protective Factors: Clear family rules & expectations


(E) Parenting  – How to Avoid ‘The Parental Plateau”

Sustaining a warm and nurturing relationship with your growing child can buffer them from risk. Learn some concrete ways for parents/caregivers to parent through the whole child’s childhood. The parent/caregiver session was developed for families with 4th through 9th grade students in mind.. Steve will share tips to encourage parents to reconnect with their peers, to ask questions, and add a few new skills to effectively parent these middle years.

Facilitators: Steve Maguire, MEd.
Protective Factors: Strong family bond;  Skills, opportunities and recognition; Clear family expectations and consequences


(F) The Talk  – How to have a drug talk that works: Skills to guide good choices at all ages

This session is geared toward families with kids ages 8 – 15 before experimentation with substances has started, although it may also be helpful for families with kids who have begun experimenting. We will segment into small groups for discussion. Wondering when you should start and what you should say?  Using real life Scituate examples, participants will talk through age-appropriate strategies. We will also include sample scripts and role-playing, since practicing this skill is critical.  This is designed as an introductory Guiding Good Choices workshop,  for those who have not completed the 4-part course, or want a refresher!

Facilitators: Amy Heffernan and Officer Amanda O’Shea
Risk Factors: Early substance use
Protective Factors: Clear family rules & expectations; Strong family bond


(G)   Teen Brain: How substance use impacts critical brain development

One of the most significant risk factors for developing a substance use problem – and lifetime addiction – is the age of first use. Indeed, 90% of all substance use disorders onset during the ages of 12-20. Thanks to advances in neuroscience and brain imaging, we know much more about why this is true. Participants will learn how the use of common substances during this critical period can have an impact on health and wellbeing.

Facilitator: Shannon Mountain-Ray
Risk Factors: Early substance use
Protective Factors: Healthy norms about substance use; Clear family rules & expectations


(H)   Treatment: Treating Adolescents with Substance Use Problems

Learn the signs and symptoms of risky substance use and ways that families, pediatricians and others may intervene to have the most impact. What does treatment look like at this age? Learn about effective treatment approaches, and strategies that families may use with adolescents who may not be motivated to slow down or discontinue their substance use.
Facilitator: Shannon Mountain-Ray, LICSW
Risk Factors: Early substance use; Other individual/peer/family/community risk factors
Protective Factors: Clear family rules & expectations; Strong family bond


(I) Vaping
3 out of 10 Scituate High School students report vaping in the past 30 days, according to the 2017 YRBS anonymous survey. Across Massachusetts, almost half (45%) of all high school students report having tried vaping at some point in their life. Prevalence of vaping increases with age, along with the types of substances used in a vape (liquid flavorings, nicotine, marijuana).  Learn more about this emerging trend among young people – the laws, health risks (both known and unknown), and tips to intervene early.

Facilitators: Traci Wojciechowski
Risk Factors: Early substance use; Low perception of risk
Protective Factors: Clear family expectations and consequences



Power of Prevention Facilitators

Annmarie Galvin is the Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator for the Town of Scituate. She has co-chaired the Scituate FACTS Coalition since 2011, when the group formed through a grassroots effort. She loves sharing what she has learned about prevention, treatment and recovery with others.

Amy Heffernan is a Wellness teacher at Gates Middle School. Prior to teaching at Gates she taught at Scituate High School for 12 years. She has facilitated Guiding Good Choices workshops for families, and enjoys strategizing with families how to prevent and respond to challenging situations.

Dr. Kevin P.  Hill, M.D., M.H.S, is the  Director of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and author of Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth About America’s Favorite Weed. His clinical experience treating adolescents and young adults with marijuana and opioid use disorders, with an extensive research background, combine for a powerful and expert understanding of the topic.

Steve Howley is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.  He has been working for the Scituate Public Schools as a school psychologist since 2009.  In addition to his work in Scituate, Steve has worked in a variety of counseling and assessment centers. He has worked for many years providing outpatient therapy to individuals and families with a variety of diagnoses and substance use challenges.  His primary area of expertise is adolescent behavioral health, though he has worked with individuals ranging from preschool to adulthood.  Steve is currently completing his doctoral degree at William James College.

Steve Maguire, M.Ed; is a Scituate High School science teacher. He combines his classroom and coaching experience with wit and emotion to engage and empower adults who are raising children. Through his own speaking business, called Go Turnstone, Steve has facilitated trainings and consultations at over 750 organizations in the last 14 years.  He is an award winning educator, best selling author, professional speaker and father of four children.

Shannon Mountain-Ray, MSW, LICSW, is the Clinical Director of the Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. ASAP is part of the Division of Developmental Medicine, and is staffed by developmental-behavioral trained pediatricians, licensed independent social workers and psychiatrists who specialize in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of substance use problems and disorders in children and adolescents. She is also the Director of Integrated Substance Use Treatment Services for a pilot project in which the ASAP program has partnered with the Pediatric Physician’s Organization at Children’s (PPOC) to bring substance use evaluation and treatment for adolescents into pediatric primary care settings.  The program launched at Wareham Pediatric Associates in January, 2017 and will launch at Bridgewater Pediatrics in January, 2018

Jen Lopes is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and has worked as the Scituate High School Adjustment Counselor since 2011.  Prior to SHS, in her capacity as a hospice social worker, she assisted families who were anticipating the death of a family member.  Additionally she has worked with children, adolescents and families who were impacted by domestic violence, in an inpatient psychiatric facility, outpatient mental health, and with the Department of Social Services.

Amanda O’Shea is a Sergeant with the Scituate Police Department. In her 14 years with the department, she has worked as a social services and school resource officer. Mandy is an expert at connecting Scituate residents with resources and support, and enjoys facilitating Guiding Good Choices workshops with families.

Greg Ranieri is the Department Chair of Health & Wellness for Scituate Public Schools and co-chair of the Scituate FACTS Coalition.  Greg is dedicated to the ongoing improvement and coordination of our school health programming, which includes community partnerships that have allowed our program to flourish. Greg co-founded Scituate FACTS in 2011, and has secured federal and local grants to benefit the physical, social and emotional well-being of PK-12 students and the SPS community.


Dr. Joan Struzzieri is a School Psychologist for Scituate Public Schools and Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has also worked as a university supervisor of interns for many years, and coauthored Effective Supervision in School Psychology.  Dr. Joan has held various leadership roles on the ethics committees of the Massachusetts Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Psychologists.

Traci Wojciechowski
 is the Regional Director of Caron’s Student Assistance Programs. Traci has been with Caron Treatment Centers since 2002 and is responsible for ensuring that quality education, prevention and early intervention services are provided to school systems and youth-serving agencies throughout New England.  Her areas of expertise include adolescent substance use trends, support group and prevention program facilitation, curriculum development, as well as the delivery of parent and professional trainings.  She is also the developer of Caron’s adolescent nicotine cessation program, Project CONNECT® and has written articles, presented at regional and national conferences and provided numerous trainings for school staff and professionals on the topic of substance use prevention.