MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires and Director of Wellness Dr. Ryan Sherman are pleased to introduce Stephanie Simeon as the new ‘SUP (Substance Use Prevention) Medway Coalition program coordinator.
Simeon began in her role on Jan. 20. As the ‘SUP Medway program coordinator, she will work to guide the coalition and ideas to progress substance use prevention work.
‘SUP Medway is a youth substance use coalition of town personnel, students, parents and community professionals from various industries. The coalition’s mission is to engage the full Medway community to prevent the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco among Medway youth. The work of the coalition is intended to be a broad and long-term look at aspects and influences within the community and changes that could be made community-wide to further prevention work.
Simeon has worked in health- and wellness-related roles for over a decade, including as a health educator in the Harvard University Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services, and as the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant Project Coordinator at Bentley University.
She holds a Master of Public Health from Boston University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. She received a Bachelor of Science in food and nutrition from Framingham State University.
A key goal for the coalition in the near future is to build relationships and capacity for the coalition to ensure it is an engaging and collective effort community-wide.
“It is important to me that communities are able to work together to support and empower young people to set up their lifestyles in a way that promotes health, and prevention is a key part of this,” Simeon said. “I’ve seen in the healthcare work I’ve done how difficult it is to get people to change their habits, so instilling healthy habits at a young age is critical, and helping to positively influence kids and teenagers who are in the development stage is what drew me to this role. I’m excited to build on the momentum ‘SUP Medway has gained so far and to build relationships with stakeholders in different sectors of the community to advance our mission and impact, and look forward to sharing the accomplishments of the coalition as we move forward.”
Simeon’s position is funded through the Federal Drug-Free Communities Grant awarded to the district in September 2021. The $625,000 grant, distributed over the course of five years, supports youth substance use prevention by providing local coalitions with funds to strengthen community relationships and implement strategies designed to reduce youth substance use rates.
“We are pleased to welcome Stephanie to Medway Schools and ‘SUP Medway,” Dr. Sherman said. “We are fortunate to have someone leading our coalition with an extensive background in public health and grant administration, a passion for health promotion, and an understanding of the value of prevention work.”
Simeon will be working in the coming weeks and months to meet with community members, entities and organizations, as well as coordinating with the ‘SUP Medway Steering Committee. A coalition meeting that will be open to the full community will be scheduled soon. Additional information regarding this meeting will be shared as it becomes available. Anyone interested in learning more about the coalition or how they can get involved is encouraged to contact Simeon at email@example.com.