The goal of the Revere CARES coalition is to improve the well-being of Revere’s residents by preventing substance abuse and promoting healthy eating, active living, and healthy relationships.
The Revere CARES Coalition strengthens the health of Revere by: Addressing priorities established by community members; utilizing an environmental approach; advocating for evidence-based, culturally competent strategies, programs and services; and increasing connectedness among individuals and organizations. Revere CARES is an award-winning coalition with 350 members from across the community dedicated to preventing alcohol and drug abuse among Revere youth. Coalition members represent a variety of sectors, including parents, youth, government officials, educators, health professionals, first responders and law enforcement. The Coalition oversees three major initiatives: the Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs (ATOD), the Revere on the Move and the Healthy Relationships.
Substance Use Disorder Prevention
Revere CARES’ substance abuse prevention efforts engage the community in a variety of ways. These strategies can be categorized into four areas of activities: policy development and enforcement, educational opportunities, community collaboration, and access to services. Examples of these strategies include (but are not limited to) the following:
Policy: Strengthen policies to limit access to Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) and enforce consequences. These efforts have included advocacy at licensing commission hearings, compliance checks, Sticker Shock Campaigns, and support for the rollback of bar closing hours in Revere.
Education: Change in social norms. In collaboration with Revere Public Schools, the Revere Police Department, and several other local groups, Revere CARES launched the first social marketing campaign known as the ‘Power of Know’ in 2003 to increase community awareness about the risk, harm and penalties associated with ATOD use. In 2010 the campaign was expanded and is now called the Power of Action. This latest campaign efforts urges parents to get the facts about substance abuse, talk to their children about not using drugs, enforce the consequences for breaking the rules and stay connected with other parents and community members who want to keep our youth alcohol and drug free.
Collaboration: Provide educational opportunities for parents and develop a parent network. Through the STOP Act Grant, Revere CARES has conducted parent coffee sessions to provide parents with opportunities to connect with each other and to learn about how substance use affects youth brain development.
Services: Increase alternative activities for youth. Since 2000, Revere CARES has collaborated with the City of Revere and local after-school providers to obtain funding for youth programming that has now become institutionalized throughout the community.
Healthy Eating/Active Living
With the support of many community partners, Revere CARES created the “Revere on the Move” campaign to celebrate Revere’s progress and continue the work of creating a healthier community.
A community assessment in 2006 found that childhood obesity was a key concern among residents. Additional data backed up that concern, showing that children are eating fewer healthy foods, getting less physical activity in school, and spending more time in front of TVs and computer screens. In response, Revere CARES created the Food & Fitness initiative, now known as Revere on the Move, bringing together a collaboration of community residents and organizations committed to preventing childhood obesity and hunger. To meet these goals, the initiative works to:
1. Increase access to healthy foods and
2. Increase opportunities to be physically active
Healthy Relationship Initiative
Revere CARES established the Healthy Relationship Initiative, recommended by the Healthy Adolescent Relationship Task Force, based on the results of the MGH CCHI Revere Community Health Assessment in 2012. The Initiative began as the Healthy Relationship Task Force, a partnership between the City of Revere, Revere Public Schools, and MGH CCHI/Revere CARES. The goal of the partnership is to reduce teen pregnancy, STDs, and dating violence. To accomplish this goal the group uses a comprehensive systems approach and is presently focusing of increasing structured out of school programming for middle and high school age youth and citywide adoption and implementation of the Youth Developmental Asset Model.
The Healthy Relationship Initiative seeks to prevent/reduce early initiation of sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases, and teen pregnancy as well as prevent dating/domestic violence. To address these issues, the Healthy Relationship Initiative will:
- Focus on the development of a comprehensive out-of-school plan for middle and high school youth and the adoption of a city-wide youth asset development model
- Address curriculum issues and gaps in additional prevention and intervention services
- Develop a social marketing campaign.
Throughout the process the task force will work to increase community capacity and readiness.
For Revere on the Move,
- 13 restaurants signed up for the Healthy Dining Initiative and plan to follow standardized criteria from the Mass Department of Public Health to offer health options to the public.
- 3 more Corner Stores have been recruited as part of a Healthy Market initiative, bringing the total to 7. These corner stores will implement standardized criteria to improve access and availability of healthy foods.
- Two urban trails have been created, with two more being planned and requested by interested neighborhood groups in the City. The Department of Public Works has adopted these trails and considers them priority during the development of their annual capital improvement plan, an important systems change. Schools have adopted the trails as safe routes to school and developed Walk-to-School programs. Residents are seen walking the trails for exercise and pleasure.
- The City of Revere was awarded a grant from the Common Backyard Program for Gateway Cities. ROTM collaborated with a match for this grant. The grant allowed the reconstruction of two parks in Revere: Disalvo and Luis Pasteur. Through the Adopt-a-Park initiative and the neighborhood organizing initiative, ROTM lead a neighborhood build for each of the parks. Both received high praises from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental affairs, which applauded the cost and time efficiency of the neighborhood builds and the development of stewardship from the neighborhoods.
- The City of Revere determined that to continue implementing the MAPC bike trail plan, it would be best if the City had a Bicycle Committee to research new trails, advise and make recommendations to the Mayor, City Council and to the Department Community Development. ROTM, is responsible for forming the Bicycle Committee in 2015.
- All 6 elementary schools have a weekly Walk-to-School program.
- Revere on the Move is the co-chair of the wellness committee; Revere Public Schools formally partnered with the Alliance for a Healthy Generation which has structured the creation of wellness teams in each school and the assessment and identification of healthy living in the schools. Currently, in process of finalizing assessments in each school to later determine strategies for implementation. ROTM collaborated with the Food Service and Garfield Middle School Power of Know Club and launched a successful Breakfast Campaign
- Third Annual City-wide Fitness Challenge occurred on May 12- June 6. Activities took place at Beachmont School. Challenge ended in a 5k and health fair event on June 7 which were both successful. About 200 runners participated. Event was promoted through all media, including patient gate-way, and flyers were made available to MGH Revere physicians. This event was planned and run by a community committee.
- Neighborhood Organizer successfully working with two strong neighborhood organizations, one newly created, the other one already established. The West Revere Neighborhood group, newly created has been awarded a second mini grant to paint murals in the overpasses over the Urban trail. They are also engaged in the community build of DiSalvo park. The Beachmont Improvement Committee, an established group has successfully worked with ROTM marking the Beachmont Urban trail (mini grant of 2013) and are now engaged in the community build of Luis Pasteur park. Ward 4 Neighborhood group, newly created is in the process and continues meeting and planning for some ROTM strategy. The Shirley Ave. Neighborhood group, already established have written into their work plan, ROTM participation in 4 of their strategies. The creation of the Library Neighborhood group was not successful
- A fourth round of mini grants was held during the Fall of 2013 through Winter 2014. Six new mini grants were awarded in January 2014: PSE: Seacoast High School Garden, West Revere Mural Design, Bike to the Sea- Northern Strand Trail; and Programs: Lincoln Walking Club, Farmers Market Beach Bucks, WEE Nutrition Program.
For the Healthy Relationship Initiative,
- Created the Out of School Time: Middle and High School Community Report
- Developed the job description for the Healthy Relationship Coordinator
- Identified the funding to implement the Youth Development Asset model, and identified a consultant to work in partnership on the YDA model implementation
For the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Initiative,
- The rates of current drinking (at least once in past 30 days) among high school students have declined both in Revere and at the State level. In 2013, 37% of high school students reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days (State rate: 36%). Revere has declined significantly from when the Coalition’s work began in 1999 (59%) to 2013 (37%). (This decline is statistically significant according to a linear trend analysis using logistic regression model controlling for sex, race/ethnicity and age, p<0.05).
- The percent of high school youth who reported binge drinking (5 or more drinks at least once in the past 30 days) decreased from 41% in 1999 to 20% in 2013, a 51% decrease. (This decline is statistically significant according to a linear trend analysis using logistic regression model controlling for sex, race/ethnicity and age, p<0.05).
- We are beginning to see changes in the middle school population. The percent of middle school youth who reported current drinking (at least once in past 30 days) has declined from 23% in 2009 to 10% in 2013.
- 40 students were members of the three leadership clubs at Revere High School.
- Revere CARES staff invited graduating 8th students from all 2 middle schools to write on a post it note how they were going to stay Above the Influence during the summer; 67 students participated and received an Above the Influence t-shirt.
- More than 300 high school students participated in the Above the Influence wheel activity which provided ATOD education and challenged youth to re-think the myths around substance use.
- The Above the Influence campaign was reenergized during the third annual Community Walk to Recovery on September 21, 2014. More than 350 students attended to demonstrate their desire o be Above the Influence of drugs and support community members in recovery. All students received an Above the Influence t-shirt, and many were accompanied by family members.
- Combined with North Suffolk Mental Health Association’s in-kind contribution of space, a new Drop-In Center is open every Tuesday night to better support families of opioid users.
- 80 pounds of medicine were collected during the Medicine Take Back Event in April 2014, We successfully collaborated with the Revere Shines committee, and the Mayor actively promoted the importance of proper medicine disposal. This environmental strategy removed meds in homes. Through event advertising, we educated the community about prescription drug abuse.
- The City of Revere received the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative grant in April 2014. Revere CARES and the Center for Community Health Improvement led the assessment and planning process which included community mobilization and capacity-building activities. Revere was looked to as a leader amongst the 15 communities/clusters awarded this Massachusetts Department of Public Health grant.
Revere residents will have their say about the community’s overall health by completing a Quality of Life survey beginning today. The survey can be taken online or in paper form
Bringing more than 20 years of experience to the role, Sylvia Chiang, MD, MPH, a longtime advocate of clinical and community health, will become the new Revere CARES Coalition Director.
Phone: 781 485-6132