Prevention Technical Assistance & Training

Best Practices in National, State, Regional and Community Substance Abuse prevention

Technical Assistance, Mentoring and Training.

We personally guide coalition coordinators, staff, boards, and community partners toward’s understanding and implementing best practices in substance abuse prevention. SAMHSA’s national model for prevention is the Strategic Prevention Framework. SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), is a 5-step planning process that guides the selection, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based, culturally appropriate, sustainable prevention activities. The SPF’s effectiveness begins with a clear understanding of community needs and depends on the involvement of community members in all stages of the planning process.

The SPF includes these steps, guided by the principles of cultural competence and sustainability:

  • Step 1: Assess Needs
  • Step 2: Build Capacity
  • Step 3: Plan
  • Step 4: Implement
  • Step 5: Evaluate

Key articles and links

Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and Actions 2011 – 2014

Success Stories

Jo has a heart of gold, which is full of compassion, that sets her apart from most people. I enjoy consulting with Jo because she is direct, honest and hopeful. Jo always seems so happy to see me, listen to me, and validate my ideas, and thoughts. She has an infectious attitude about life.
Kim Martin, New Directions Coalition Director, Montpelier, VT

Jo, you are a true listener, giving me your full attention and responding with concern, interest, and true empathy and without any judgmental attitudes that get in the way. You can be relied on to follow through with what you commit to. You are a wonderful facilitator and can sort out the important points in what to others may seem like a jumble of thoughts, issues, and points. Your excellent listening and communication skills guide our coalition to success. You are always there to suggest a solution, or to point one to the resources, for whatever may be the problem. You are a person one can count on to help in whatever may be the need. You have a ready smile and a good sense of humor and that makes people feel at ease in your presence.
Nancy Sanz, Teen Center Director and Rural Community Coalition Member

It has been wonderful working with Jo Romano. She is resourceful, insightful, pleasant, focused and most of all a leader for us and a model for strength based thinking! I have learned and re-learned from and with her. We are making a great team and she is well received by the larger coalition and school partners.
Stephanie Sunderland-Ramsay, Program Coordinator, Grants to Reduce Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse, Wayside Youth and Family Network Support, Watertown MA

Jo, you are such a valuable asset to those of us struggling in the field (Substance Abuse Prevention) and personally I feel like you’ve provided me with tools to find the strength to continue! I’m very grateful and blessed to have you in my circle.
Nancy Chase, Student Assistance Program Counselor

…Jo was truly outstanding. Her knowledge and understanding of the SPF were amazing and her obvious passion for the field of prevention is incredibly inspiring. It’s seldom that we have the chance to work with professionals of this caliber. I consider myself so fortunate to have been able to be a part of this experience with her. I am very thankful.

The trainings were very well attended and received extremely good evaluations from the participants. All who participated definitely came away with a greater knowledge of the SPF as well as an understanding of its logic and utility.
Donald K. Hallcom, Ph.D., Director of Prevention, NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services

Thanks again for an excellent day (Board Strategic Planning). The staff talked in different groups on several occasions yesterday, and all of us feel satisfied and energized by the outcomes of the meeting. In particular, I wanted to share that the three closing exercises you chose really did a great job creating cohesion and grounding the work in reality for all of us (staff and board members). Very effective.
Nicole LaPoint, Executive Director, Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Thanks again for being our guest speaker and opening session for teachers in 2011. It certainly was a positive and helpful way for the WHS professional community to start our year together. I had a chance to use the FFFA communication framework for a tough conversation in our very next meeting, which was great! Thanks again,
Steve Watson, Principal, Watertown High School, Watertown, MA

Jo facilitated a daylong leadership retreat for our Youth Council entitled “Getting Jazzed About Who We Are and What We do.” She brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm, which helped to motivate our youth to become more focused on what they want to accomplish and how to go about it. They learned about what youth councils do, tips for success, how to conduct a meeting, and what makes an effective leader. By the end of the day the members had a created logic model with specific goals, objectives, and strategies. Most of all, they got to know each other better, bonded as a group, and had fun! I would love to have Jo back again in the future to check in on their progress and to help keep them energized.
Marty Pusey Advisor, Worcester County Coalition and Youth Council, MD

I am so thankful for the wonderful job Jo did in building the agenda for the retreat and facilitating the event. She reassured my confidence both before and during the retreat, and had an amazingly minimal amount of stress about the event!

Participants left enthused and engaged, and I received a lot of great feedback on how much they took away from the evening. This is exactly what our coalition needed to remind them of the great work we are doing and celebrate that. Jo did an excellent assessment of what our coalition needed to be able to have an effective and productive retreat, and that goal was certainly achieved. I think we are really ready to move on some things, and I know that I have their attention and energy now!

Jo also typed up a Report of the work accomplished at the retreat, which will be a great tool in developing strategies for the future, and guiding our work. I would absolutely recommend her as a facilitator, guest speaker, or coach.
Kathleen McNamara, Coordinator, Springfield Prevention Coalition, Springfield, VT

Jo Romano facilitated the day long Retreat/Planning Day for our Drug Free Communities Coalition. Her words, wisdom and guidance are still with me on a daily basis. Prior to Jo working with our Coalition, she spent hours talking with me, researching our group, and making sure that she had a clear understanding of our past struggles and accomplishments, our current situation, and where we hope to be in the future.

Jo celebrated our accomplishments and helped us to break down our Logic Model to create a comprehensive approach to the Strategic Prevention Framework. Jo met us at our level and gave us several tools to move in a higher direction.

I found working with Jo to be an amazing experience. She is genuine, knowledgeable and easy to talk with. She helped me to gather my thoughts and put ideas surrounding our Coalition into concrete terms. Jo is respectful of all people and has a way making you believe that all things are possible. She then backs it up with tools, strategies and support to really make it happen.
Rachael Johnson, Coalition Coordinator, Clearfield-Jefferson Drug Free Communities Coalition, PA

Your excellent listening and communication skills guided our coalition to success. You are always there to suggest a solution, or to point to the resources, for whatever may be the problem…You can be relied on to follow through with what you commit to. You are a wonderful facilitator and can sort out the important points in what to others may seem like a jumble of thoughts, issues, and points.
Nancy Sanz, Teen Center Director, Rural Community Coalition Member VT

Jo, You have shown me the art of group facilitation.
Susan Delattre, Tobacco Free Coalition Coordinator VT

The Meeting was outstanding. I don’t think I have ever experienced such effective and thoughtful facilitation.
Jan Walker, Barre New Directions Coalition, VT

Jo Romano presented at my ATOD K-8 Teacher Training and she was excellent! Not only did she set the tone but came with a wealth of relevant information, she was able to walk in and fit right in.
Debbie Haskins, President, Vermont Student Assistance Professionals

Jo Romano works with the Northeast CAPT providing training to local (substance abuse prevention) grantees on a variety of topics including: cultural competency, the Strategic Prevention Framework
 and facilitation skills. Jo receives excellent feedback on training evaluation forms. She excels in her follow up, summarizing key finding and determining logical next steps. I have trained with Jo, and she is an excellent and professional trainer that audiences respond well to. Jo has the tools to do an excellent job. She is also very creative and has great ideas.
Carol Oliver, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Center for the Application of Prevention Technology (CAPT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Jo: Had to tell you again how very much we in New Jersey appreciated your expertise, guidance and consultation in preparing for the three SPF-SIG trainings you conducted here in August. You really have a clear sense of what information the communities truly need in order to successfully implement the SPF. In the trainings you helped the participants develop a comprehensive understanding of the “essence” of the SPF, what its ultimate purpose is and how, if undertaken correctly, each step builds Incrementally on the previous step to yield a successful outcome. I have heard nothing but compliments and praise for you and the trainings themselves.

I also much appreciate the incredibly thorough Report you prepared for us after the trainings. It provides a clear sense of what we need to consider as we proceed towards implementing the SPF at the local level. It was exciting and encouraging to realize that the majority of participants in the trainings were enthusiastic about the SPF and its potential to truly enhance their prevention work.

I look forward to the possibility of working with you again. You are a delightful colleague, gifted trainer and communicator, and incredibly well-organized. Your recent work here in New Jersey is greatly appreciated.
Donald K. Hallcom, Ph.D., Director of Prevention, New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services