Reece named CCDP director

Published 8:48 pm Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wanting to help the community comes natural for Jilian Reece.
To go along with her duties at the Carter County Health Department, Reece recently was named the new director of the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition following the resignation of Jennifer Miller.
“I am so passionate about making a difference in the lives of Carter County residents who are struggling with substance abuse and nicotine addiction,” Reece told the Elizabethton Star. “I have lived in Carter County my whole life and am so invested in the people who live, work and worship in this county. I feel like I will have an even greater opportunity to work in the community to increase available resources and education surrounding these things that are affecting the lives of so many in our county and region with CCDP. I am so grateful for the people who I have been able to meet and be inspired by in this county and can’t wait to work to facilitate communication and better connect the people who are doing amazing things in the county.”
While taking over the role of director, Reece will still stay on with the health department in her role as a tobacco educator. The work by the new CCDP director, and Allison Foster, has been relentless over the months with new programs in place to help encourage residents to stop tobacco usage.
“There have been few things in my life that I feel like have made a real difference more than the work Allison and I have done around fighting nicotine addiction and the social norm of tobacco use in this county,” Reece said. ”When presented with this opportunity, I was overjoyed to be able to continue the work with tobacco and include substance in our goals as well.”
One of the most recent strides made by the department was overseeing the county’s first-ever group of FACT Summit teens, which have stayed busy in their own right by encouraging their peers to not use tobacco products.
“I am excited to continue the work started with the TN Strong teens around decreasing tobacco use in youth and work with them to include substance abuse in their programs,” Reece said. “We are working to create a teen board to address these issues and would love input from teens in the community to reach more youth for the cause. We know that so many people struggle with more than one addiction and I know that this position puts me in a place to hopefully help those people get the resources and encouragement they need to not only overcome nicotine addiction, but anything else they are struggling with as well.”
CCDP has been picking up traction within the county following its creation by ETSU’s Angela Hagaman. Reece and Hagaman were both in attendance for Wednesday’s regularly scheduled meeting at their main office in Historic Downtown Elizabethton.
“CCDP has done great work in the past and I am excited to build on that momentum,” Reece said. “It is also my goal to facilitate communication among community partners with an interest in tobacco and substance abuse reduction so that we can work together to be a stronger community in battling these complicated issues affecting county residents across the spectrum of ages and demographics.
“We will work to further engage youth and faith-based organizations in the community to lead evidence-based programming, continue the Count it, Lock it, Drop it and Nalaxone training initiatives and hopefully engage more residents and stakeholders to become involved with making a difference in the community,” she added.
Individuals looking for more information can visit the CCDP website or visit their Facebook page by searching Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition.

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