Partnering for a Healthier Linn County
ASAC’s Heart of Iowa Mother and Child Recovery Center was recognized by Linn County Public Health as a community partner to build a healthier county at a luncheon held in celebration of National Public Health Week.
Linn County Public Health and Heart of Iowa work together to identify unmet health care needs for the residents at ASAC’s Heart of Iowa program. Linn County Public Health provides Heart of Iowa’s women and children with onsite urgent care, free Rapid HIV testing, Hepatitis C testing and Hepatitis vaccinations. In addition, a staff member of Linn County Public Health serves on Heart of Iowa’s Advisory Council which offers guidance to the program.
Receiving the Linn County community partnership certificate on behalf of ASAC’s Heart of Iowa program are Fred Mishler, Patient Support Supervisor, and Wanda Mokry Sellers, Director of Heart of Iowa.
Annual Report On-Line
Visit www.asac.us to see a summary of the agency’s highlights and accomplishments from the agency’s last fiscal year, July 1, 2014 – June 20, 2015.
During that 12-month time period we touched over 33,000 lives through our prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
We truly have a strong, positive impact on the health and well-being of many individuals, families, workplaces and communities.
Celebrating Recovery on 4/20
At ASAC’s CD+ residential substance abuse treatment program for teens, we celebrated 4/20 as a day of recovery with a positive alternative to smoking pot. Our staff and residents went bowling!
Clients chose their teams and team names. The Strike Outs were the winning team. Best team name went to 9 and a Wiggle. We celebrated with prizes for the winning team and high scores. Following are a few quotes from the bowlers:
“I had a good time at the bowling alley. It was weird being sober on 4/20 but honestly when I was there I didn’t even think about 4/20 or getting high, so thank you so much.”
“The activity was really fun. I never could picture celebrating 4/20 sober but I did and it felt good to be clean.”
“I did not think about using once. I liked that we got rewarded for our sportsmanship and the best team and player.”
“I am fairly new to CD+. Bowling on a team that chose me, instead of the other way around, gave me a chance to interact with some peers I hadn’t talked to much before.”
“To be honest, I had never thought that I could have that much fun! I enjoyed the sportsmanship qualities of all the teams that played and the encouragement from staff as well as peers. At least this was a 4-20 I can remember.”
“It was my first 4-20 sober in 3 1/2 years and I had a blast.”
“I believe the bowling activity brought us closer together like one big family and it showed how good and positive we can actively be in the community. It also makes you forget that we are in a rehab facility. Another thing was the cheering on by our teammates and getting to see the smiles on their faces.”
Between the changing legal landscape and days like 4/20 that attempt to normalize its use, talking to kids about marijuana can be challenging. For tips about what you should – and shouldn’t – say and how to say it, check out the Partnership of Drug Free Kid’s Marijuana Talk Kit.
It was Magical
The IBM RING 327 Magic Show Charity event for ASAC’s Heart of Iowa program was a HUGE success. The magicians stunned and awed the 130 men, women and children in the audience with many wondering “how did they do that?”
Besides offering a fun, family-friendly event, the magic show generated over $1000 for Heart of Iowa. More importantly the show informed those in attendance of the magic of recovery that ASAC provides. Fred Mishler, one of the magicians in addition to being an ASAC employee, gave the following comments at the end of his act:
“We magicians are NOT going to tell you how our illusions work, but they are just illusions. Instead, I would like to bring awareness to some real magic happening in our communities every day. When someone addicted to drugs or alcohol changes basically everything about their lives so they can overcome the addiction; that is a miracle. When ASAC clients heal from their addictions; that is a miracle. When the family of the addict heals from the addiction; that is a miracle. ASAC is working to nurture these miracles every day in communities all over eastern Iowa. ”
Thank you to the magicians of IBM Ring 327 for sharing their time and talents, to Cedar Valley Bible Church and School for the use of their wonderful auditorium, and to those who bought tickets and or donated to the event so we can continue to Do Magic!
Improving ASAC’s Main Campus Grounds
A great big THANK YOU to the Cedar Rapids Garden Club, who, in addition to providing their time and physical labor paid for the majority of the cost of the 14 trees and 4 bushes planted on a very rainy Saturday, April 30th. Members of the Cedar Rapids Garden Club and their spouses who participated in the planting included: Julie and Bill Taylor, Kathy Brown, Kissy Heins, Jill and Tim Gustin, Ann Hammond, Kathy and Max Smith and Carolyn Davis. And, they are not done. The club members are coming back on June 1st to plant annuals and perennials.
ASAC’s Women of Achievement Honorees
Congratulations to ASAC Prevention Specialist Maribeth Bousman for winning the Clinton YWCA Woman of Achievement Award for Civic/Community involvement. This award is bestowed upon a woman with a history of volunteer services to her community and as a leader in the organizations she serves.
We are very proud of Maribeth and this recognition!
Clemmie Hightower, a long-time member of New Directions Board/ASAC Clinton Advisory Committee and the namesake of ASAC’s Hightower Place, was also recognized at the YWCA Women of Achievement Dinner on April 21. Ms. Hightower was honored as a Woman of Achievement in 1973, the first year this event was held.
The event was held on her 99th birthday so everyone sang happy birthday to her!
Make Everyday World No Tobacco Day
World No Tobacco Day is on May 31st and is a national initiative run by the World Health Organization. Their goal is to inform and educate communities about the dangers of tobacco use and the manipulative tactics tobacco companies use to get people hooked on their products. Tobacco companies continue to spend billions of dollars each year to market and legitimize products that have been created to be highly addictive and often lead to disease and death. On a local level, the Area Substance Abuse Council (ASAC) Prevention Services receives funding to address tobacco prevention and control. Some of the ways we are working towards a “World No Tobacco Day” include empowering and working with school youth advocacy groups who are addressing tobacco use in their schools and communities. We also provide education and promotion of Quitline Iowa, which is a free tobacco cessation resource for all Iowans who would like to quit. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.quitlineiowa.org for more information.
One of our policy initiatives includes working with landlords and property management companies to adopt smoke-free policies. When these are implemented, they ultimately decrease overall expenses associated with cleaning and damages done by tobacco products. In addition, nearly 75% of Iowans surveyed said they would choose a smoke-free apartment building. Many tenants are concerned about the dangers associated with secondhand smoke, especially when living in multi-unit housing because air exchange between units is very common. Property owners and managers with smoke-free policies in Iowa can add their name to the Iowa Smoke-Free Housing Registry, which is a place for prospective tenants to search for smoke-free housing options. They can also receive assistance with policy development and free signage for their properties. Some of our community champions include High Property Management, Hatch Development and Newbo Development Group. However, there are many more that have adopted these policies and we are grateful that they have taken steps to keep their tenants safe and healthy.
For more information about ASAC’s services or how to get involved with any of our efforts, please visit our website at www.asac.us. Together, we can make everyday World No Tobacco Day.
Amy Doerrfeld, ASAC Certified Prevention Specialist
ASAC Board Member Exemplifies Wellness
She truly reflects what ASAC is all about – a commitment to health and wellness.
Congratulations to Nancy on this wonderful achievement.