National Health Promotion Associates Hosts Summer Interns

June 27, 2013



WHITE PLAINS, NY –National Health Promotion Associates (NHPA) welcomes a new class of interns for the 2013 summer program, Social Marketing Approaches to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Successful applicants were selected from a pool of over 200 students with distinguished academic records and evidence of demonstrated leadership in health education, wellness, and advocacy.

NHPA’s internship program is designed to provide each intern with a broad overview of the development, testing, and dissemination of effective approaches to health promotion and disease prevention as well as to capitalize on each intern’s academic background, current interests, and career aspirations. Over the course of the internship, participants will receive training and experience in several core areas related to disease prevention, health promotion, wellness and behavioral health.

In total, NHPA selected four interns from the most competitive universities around the United States. This year’s group of interns include: Emily Hough (Bucknell University), Brittany Canter (University of Michigan), Caroline Botvin (Fordham University), and Katie Irmler (Cornell University). Two more interns from the FARO Global Programme Foreign Exchange in Spain will join the NHPA program later next month.   This FARO program provides resources for young professionals from Spain to visit an American business to refine and sharpen their professional skills.

“We are excited to welcome these bright and enthusiastic college students. We hope to learn as much from them as they learn from us,” said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, the founder and president of NHPA.  “Our internship program continues to grow every year—attracting students from some of the nation’s best universities.  All of the interns, domestic and foreign, were chosen because of their records of accomplishment and their expressed desire to learn more about behavioral health, wellness and social media.”

In addition to learning about the use of social media in promoting health and wellness, the interns will become familiar with the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) Program. LST is an evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program used in schools and communities throughout the U.S. and in 33 countries around the world. Over 30 years of peer-reviewed research has found that LST reduces tobacco, alcohol, and drug use by as much as 80 percent.

About National Health Promotion Associates

National Health Promotion Associates (NHPA) is a dynamic and innovative research and development firm located in White Plains, New York. NHPA focuses on developing, evaluation, and training for prevention programs related to substance abuse, violence, and other health risk behaviors, particularly those common during adolescence. For more information visit


Paulina Kalaj



Help Spread the Word: $1 Billion Opportunity Could Help Integrate Prevention Into Healthcare

June 27, 2013

One of the goals of the $1 billion funding program offered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is to help pay for new health-care models that integrate prevention measures to keep people healthy with high-quality, cost-effective treatment.

A key funding category will award grants to “models that improve the health of populations” and emphasize clinical-community partnerships, wellness, and prevention. The program will help support the kinds of prevention strategies that many CMMI partners have been developing for years. Last Friday, Prevention Institute, Public Health Institute and Trust for America’s Health co-hosted a webinar on the opportunities the CMMI funding program presents for advancing community prevention. It was attended by over 700 people.

CMMI will consider proposals based on the partnerships that can include but not limited to community-based organizations and coalitions, research institutions and local governments as well as provider groups, hospitals, and insurers to support health improvement efforts that take place outside of clinic walls.

In order to be eligible to apply, applicants must submit a Letter of Intent by 3pm EDT on June 28th. The letter is available here. The application process requires a substantial level of detail along with the submission of the Letter of Intent being a non-binding document to submit a full proposal or keep you from changing its focus. Nonetheless it is still required in order to have the option to apply. If a large number of strong applications are submitted, it will reinforce that improving population health is a top priority.


Smoking Prevention in Schools: Is it effective?

June 24, 2013

Smoking is one of the leading causes of death throughout the world

Smoking causes approximately 5 million deaths annually

By the year 2030, this number is expected to increase to 8 million deaths annually


A new review published in the University of Oxford’s The Cochrane Library shows that smoking prevention programs administered in schools helps to reduce the number of adolescents who will become smokers later on in life.

  • The number of smokers considerably declines in groups that were targeted by smoking intervention programs
  • These programs are found to be effective at least one year after implementation
  • Training based programs are more effective than information based programs or peer pressure resistance programs

Julie McLellan, one of the authors of the review, states that, “this review is important because there are no other comprehensive reviews of world literature on school-based smoking prevention programs.” Insight into this review shows that social skills training programs have been found to justly influence adolescents and help change their views toward cigarette smoking.


How to Apply for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students State Program

June 20, 2013

There is a strong need for the creation of safe school environments to protect our youth of today. The Safe School/Health Students State program aims to create safer and more supportive schools and communities by awarding $14 million in grants to develop strong partnerships among key community systems.

This grant enables state agencies/tribes to select three local education agencies to help bring the SS/HS model of partnership to scale at the state/tribe level.  An estimated seven awards will be granted, totaling up to $2.2 million annually for four years for each awarded.

Eligible applicants include the State Education Agency (SEA) or State Mental Health Authority in states, territories and the District of Columbia, and federally recognized American Indian/Alaskan Native Tribes and Tribal organizations.

The SS/HS Initiative has an extensive history of funding local education agencies that support community partnerships that bring together key agencies that serve children and youth. Sponsored by SAMHSA, there is an emphasis on mental and behavioral health, in addition to violence prevention.

Three local pilot communities will partner to develop and implement a comprehensive plan. The selected communities and their state/tribe will use grant funds to improve collaboration across all child, youth and family servicing organization.

This process should focus on school-based and community-wide strategies to prevent violence and promote the health development of children and youth. Some examples include workshops hosted at school sites by local law enforcement officer on violence prevention and safety issues along with a facilitated session for students and parents, led by a law enforcement officer, to share strategies on drug abuse prevention at a local high school.

This grant has led to the reduction of violence on school grounds and an increase in the number of students receiving school and community-based mental health services.

Required Grant Elements must be Addressed at the Local Level

1. Promoting Early Childhood Social and Emotional Learning and Development

2. Promoting Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Health.

3. Connecting Family, Schools and Communities.

4. Preventing Behavioral Health Problems.

5. Creating Safe and Violence-Free Schools.

Grant Deadline Is Quickly Approaching
Interested state agencies and tribes must act quickly. The grant deadline is July 1, 2013. For more information, visit the SAMHSA site at and complete the Request for Application (RFA).


SAMHSA’s PSA Campaign discusses the dangers of alcohol at early age

June 19, 2013

About 10% of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol, but by age 15, that number jumps to 50%. Between the ages of 9 and 13, children start to view alcohol more positively and begin to think underage drinking is OK. Some even start to experiment. These facts are surprisingly true and statistics begin to increase as our youth of today grows older.

The sooner you talk to your children about alcohol, the greater chance you have of influencing their decision not to drink.  SAMHSA’s Public Service Announcement Campaign helps engage parents and caregivers to talk to their young ones about the dangers of alcohol. This campaign has begun to start these conversations to be held as early as age 9.

Click here to view SAMHSA’s PSA Campaign Videos, Radio and Print Ads.


New Approach for Reducing Drug Abuse

June 11, 2013

Critics of the “war on drugs” point to the limited success of current strategies for reducing drug abuse and argue that a new approach is needed. Such an approach may now be on the horizon within the covers of a new book by New York Times best-selling author David Sheff. Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy was published in April 2013 and is quickly gaining attention. The book confronts the traditional views on addiction and highlights scientific approaches that work.

One approach featured in Clean, the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program, has been extensively tested and found effective in more than 30 scientific studies. After three decades of rigorous research, LST is now recognized by educators and behavioral scientists as a powerful tool for preventing addiction. As word of its effectiveness spreads, LST is gradually becoming the program of choice for schools throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

For parents who want to prevent drug addiction, Sheff offers the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine and points to LST as the key to prevention. He proposes a rethinking of addiction that relies on scientifically based approaches that work. “I spent years searching for effective programs that would lower drug use and prevent addiction,” said Sheff. “Numerous scientific studies prove that LifeSkills Training has shown remarkable results. Rather than focusing on the drugs themselves, LST lowers drug use by helping kids become healthier and more resilient.”

“David Sheff’s book comes at an opportune time in our nation’s history in fighting addiction and other health risks,” commented Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor emeritus at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, developer of the LifeSkills Training program, and an internationally recognized authority on prevention. “More and more studies are demonstrating the effectiveness and benefits of novel approaches to prevention that are based on sound science.

The complexity of addiction has become increasingly clear over the years; that complexity requires solutions that transcend the rather simplistic approaches that have been, and unfortunately are still being, used throughout the world. I am not only pleased that David has featured LST in Clean but, more importantly, that he has written such a compelling book challenging the orthodoxy regarding the nature of addiction and how to combat it.” David Sheff knows first-hand about the problem of addiction. Sheff’s previous book, Beautiful Boy, is a memoir detailing the heartbreak of his own son’s drug addiction.

Source: News Medical: New Approach for Reducing Drug Abuse

HHS/NIH/NIDA Accepting Applications for Teen Advisory Group

June 7, 2013

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is now accepting applications from teens to join its Teen Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG meets online and by conference call four to six times a year to share thoughts and feedback about NIDA for Teens materials, the Web site, and other program components. Since 2009, the TAG has been critically important in helping NIDA reach teens with engaging information about drug abuse and addiction.

Additional details:

-All teens in grades 8‒11 are welcome to apply.

-The TAG will meet online for 1 hour, four to six times during 1 year. TAG members receive a $25 stipend for each discussion in which they participate.

-Discussions will be held in the evening via webinar and conference call.

-The TAG will start in September 2013 and end in August 2014.

Email to request an application. Applications are due June 30, 2013

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