An Ounce of Prevention

National Prevention Week

May 8th-14th is SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week, a time to bring together communities and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. Each year, National Prevention Week includes daily themes to focus on major substance use and mental health topics.

2022 Daily Prevention Themes

This statement is especially true when applied to substance misuse prevention. However, it takes a whole lot of work to deliver even just an ounce of prevention to our communities. We would like to recognize the hard work our “Prevention Superheroes” do to create safe and healthy communities across Lexington and Richland counties.

Introducing LRADAC’s Prevention Superheroes

Ashley Bodiford

Ashley oversees the prevention department at LRADAC. In her role as the Director of Prevention, she is responsible for grant writing, strategic planning, community engagement, coalition development, and capacity building. She works to assess community needs matched with effective prevention strategies to implement with universal, selective, and indicated audiences across the continuum of care. She has worked at LRADAC for 13 years, is a Certified Senior Prevention Specialist, serves on several local and statewide groups, and is the Vice-Chair of the South Carolina Association of Prevention Professionals and Advocates Certification Commission.

Kimberly Meyers

Kimberly has worked as a Prevention Specialist at LRADAC for 4 years. Her primary roles include educating youth about topics related to substance misuse prevention, conducting the annual Synar Tobacco Study to evaluate the tobacco buy rates in Lexington and Richland counties, and teaching the Botvin’s LifeSkills program in Richland County schools. A retired law enforcement officer, Kimberly also teaches the Alternatives to Detention course at the SC Criminal Justice Academy. Kimberly is a Certified Prevention Specialist, and she leads the Richland County Knowledge is Power coalition.

Hailey Kanipe

Hailey has worked as a Prevention Specialist with LRADAC for 3 years. She primarily works to educate adults on topics related to substance misuse prevention. You will often find her in communities disseminating information or making presentations for organizations across Lexington and Richland counties. Hailey also writes LRADAC’s ePRESS digital newsletter (Sign up at www.lradac.org/prevention). Also a Certified Prevention Specialist, Hailey serves as the co-chair of the South Carolina Association of Prevention Professionals and Advocates Communications and Marketing committee.

Heather Johnson

Heather has worked as the Lexington One Community Coalition (LOCC) Social Worker for LRADAC for 7 years. Her primary roles include staffing student cases for Lexington School District One and leading the Lexington One Community Coalition. You can often find Heather in Lexington One schools helping coalition advisors plan engagement activities for LOCC club members. Every year, the LOCC clubs participate in the Out of Their Hands campaign, an initiative to raise awareness about underage drinking by placing informational stickers on alcoholic beverages in retail stores. Heather is also a Certified Senior Prevention Specialist.

Laura Ryan

Laura is the Alcohol Enforcement Team Coordinator for the 5th and 11th judicial circuits and has worked with LRADAC for 6 years. Her primary role is to develop and maintain partnerships with law enforcement in Kershaw, Richland, Lexington, Saluda, Edgefield, and McCormick counties. Laura teaches the Palmetto Retailer’s Education Program to reduce youth access to alcohol and tobacco products. Laura is a Certified Prevention Specialist and serves on several local and statewide groups.

Dr. Pam Imm

Dr. Pam Imm works as an evaluator for community coalitions that help to prevent risky behaviors, including substance abuse, among youth. She is a consultant with LRADAC’s prevention programs assisting with evaluation, grant writing, and program development. She also serves as the Project Coordinator for LRADAC’s Mental Health First Aid Grant, which is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. Dr. Imm most enjoys working with local community-based coalitions to help them integrate evaluation and research-based concepts into their work.

Additional Resources

To learn more about LRADAC’s prevention department and services, visit www.lradac.org/prevention.

To learn more about SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week/about.

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.