Webinar: Community Prevention with the National Guard & Reserve: Opportunities for Collaboration


The Southeast region has a strong history of military service. Of the states with highest numbers of troops serving post 9/11, 5 of them are in the Southeast (South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina). This 90-minute webinar will highlight community-level collaborative approaches for substance misuse prevention for National Guard & Reserve Soldiers and their communities. We will learn about the National Guard, their unique culture, and challenges faced by service members that may contribute to substance misuse. We will briefly explore environmental strategies to change the context in which our service members live, work, play and learn. Finally, we will learn about two collaborative efforts happening in North Carolina and Florida between the National Guard’s Drug Demand Reduction Outreach Program and a community coalition partner.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about the National Guard and their role in substance use prevention for service members and communities
  2. Explore strong collaborations in Florida and North Carolina between the National Guard’s Drug Demand Reduction Program and community coalition
  3. Describe examples of environmental strategies such as policy that can impact the community context with an emphasis on alcohol


About the Presenters:

Captain Michael Coy is the Drug Demand Reduction Outreach Program Manager for the Florida National Guard Counterdrug Program.  Captain Coy has been in the National Guard for over fifteen years.  His current efforts involve drug prevention, community outreach, a public awareness campaign, and creating an environment of statewide partnership in regards to cross-jurisdiction cooperation, information sharing, and communal response. His direct support has led to the collection of approximately 10,000 pounds of prescription medication in the north Florida region in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Agency, local law enforcement agencies, and local community based organizations. He and his team were also responsible for presenting the Florida National Guard drug prevention program to over 69,000 elementary, middle, and high schools students across the state of Florida.

Erin Jamieson Day joined Community Impact NC in October of 2018 and is the Chief Operating Officer.  In 2006, she received a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Religion & Philosophy from Barton College. Erin has worked for over 10 years in the prevention of substance use disorders.  She has experience in leading a community coalition and training communities to begin community level prevention efforts.  She has received Coalition Academy training through Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, is a trained Recovery Coach, and has had training in racial equity and disparity issues through the Racial Equity Institute. Erin currently serves on the board of the NC Prevention Providers Association. Locally she serves on the board of the Wilson Housing Authority, the Wilson Housing Development Corp., the Wilson County ABC Board, the Wilson Chamber of Commerce, and belongs to The Rotary Club of Wilson.  

Kathleen Roberts, MS, is the Executive Director of Community Coalition Alliance (CCA), Inc. She has over fifteen (15) years of experience working in behavioral health at the local community level, regional level, and state level. She received her Master of Science in Criminology from Florida State University in 2010 as well as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from University of Central Florida in 2003. In her role at CCA, she works with community coalitions, providers, and partners to assess substance misuse problems through data as well as identify research supported efforts to address the problems identified related to substance misuse. Ms. Roberts’s research background has focused on substance abuse, mental health, early childhood, social norms, antisocial behavior, parental influence, sexual violence, and prevention efforts. She also provides ongoing technical assistance and training and serves as one of the key trainers for Florida with the Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training (SAPST) Curriculum supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Prior to joining CCA, Ms. Roberts was the Clinical Team Lead at the Department of Children and Families Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) focusing on behavioral health related programmatic, clinical, and policy areas. In this role, she served as the State’s epidemiology workgroup coordinator, the team lead for the SAMH Clinical Team, and Florida’s National Prevention Network designee. Additionally, Ms. Roberts has served as a Research Associate at Florida State University working on behavioral health related projects across communities in Florida.   

Master Sergeant Nicole Smashum Lynch is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She has also completed her Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from NC Agricultural and Technical State University. Master Sergeant Smashum Lynch’s military education consist of Civil Operations Phase I Course January 2009, Prevention Treatment and Outreach Coordinator Course May 2012, Joint Substance Abuse Coordinator Course July 2012, and Drug Demand Reduction and Outreach Phase I February 2020. She is serving as a Civil Operator with the North Carolina National Guard Counterdrug Program. Her primary focus involves supporting coalition efforts with a substance abuse prevention nexus. Master Sergeant Smashum Lynch also served as the National Guard State Prevention Coordinator. She was responsible for teaching Substance Abuse Prevention Education to NC National Guard members. Previously she served as enlisted support in Drug Demand Reduction/Civil Operations from December 2008 to September 2011.

Alicia Sparks, PhD, MPH, has over 10 years’ experience in alcohol and other substance use-related research design, implementation and evaluation. Dr. Alicia Sparks has nearly a decade of research experience on military health issues, particularly substance use. She has written multiple peer-reviewed journal articles on alcohol and tobacco policy issues, including research on the behavioral health of active-duty service members and their families. Dr. Sparks received her MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and obtained her PhD from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, studying the impact of the alcohol environment on alcohol consumption and related harms in the U.S. military.

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