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The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

October 27, 2012 - Winchendon Courier
Safety and compliance training keeps alcohol out of kids' hands

WINCHENDON – Early on a Saturday morning in the cafeteria of Mount Wachussett Community College, a group of Winchendon business owners, their employees and representatives of the Winchendon Police Department gathered for a round table discussion about alcohol licensee compliance issues and server training regulations.  The event was sponsored by the Gardner Community Action Team in collaboration with members of the Winchendon Community Action Team.

The round table discussion was followed by an Alcohol Interventions Methods training provided by Rochelle Campbell and Daniel Trent from Campbell/Trent Associates.  The three and a half hour workshop, designed to train servers, owners and managers in the service of alcohol, was offered at a reduced cost to Gardner and Winchendon area licensees.  Winchendon was particularly well represented with 27 attendees from six different Winchendon establishments.  The high number of Winchendon attendees was likely due to a recent ruling made by the local licensing authority.

Linda Daigle, executive assistant for the town manager’s office explained, “The training that was provided by The Winchendon Project to the Winchendon Police Department (back in March), and the resulting compliance check exercises, really helped raise our awareness of the problem.  As a direct result of this training, the Board of Selectmen, acting as the local licensing authority, have made it a requirement for all servers and sellers of alcohol to be TIPS/AIM’s certified before renewing their liquor licenses.  We are currently working on instituting a new policy to that end.  We’re confident that this new policy will assist retailers to avoid inadvertent sale of alcohol to minors.  As business owners and members of the community, we know that these licensees share our desire to keep kids safe.  Thank you to all those who have worked so diligently with the Project.” 

The Winchendon Project is funded by The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.  The Foundation’s total support for this project to date is more than $1.4 million.

The Winchendon Project is a project of the Winchendon public schools designed to strengthen supports and protective factors for teens by providing mental health and substance abuse services in the school, and preventive activities in the school and community.  For more information please contact project coordinator Susan Buchholz at sbuchholz@mocinc.org

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts mission is to use its resources to improve the health of those who live or work in Central Massachusetts, with particular emphasis on vulnerable populations and unmet needs.  Formally established in 1999 from the sale of Central Massachusetts Health Care, Inc. a physician-initiated, not for profit HMO, The Health Foundation currently has assets of approximately $50 million.  The Foundation began its grant making in later 2000, and since that time, has awarded grants totaling more than $17.5 million.  For further information about the Foundation’s grant making programs please visit The Health Foundation’s website at www.hfcm.org or call (508) 438-0009.

LUK,Inc.’s Community Action Team represents an initiative, funded by DPH Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, to help organize and mobilize select communities to reduce rates of underage drinking.  CATs utilize a model known as Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA).  Local data is used to inform activity selection.  CATS look for trends in both school and police data.  After identifying local trends, CATs plan activities from a menu of interventions with each option designed to decrease underage access to alcohol or to increase community awareness.  Community teams monitor their actions by conducting surveys and/or examining the data for new trends.  If/when selected activities don’t contribute to desired changes CATs may adjust their respective action plans.  The CATs employ environmental strategies to prevent underage drinking.  Environmental strategies focus on increasing community protective factors while decreasing risk factors that influence underage drinking.  In addition to the Gardner Community Action Team (GCAT), there is also a Winchendon Community Action Team (WCAT), a Leominster Community Action Team (LCAT) and Fitchburg Community Action Team (FCAT).  For more information about CATs please contact Amy Feeley at AFeeley@luk.org.