Implementing the Regional Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (REOW) in the State of Oklahoma for Substance Abuse Prevention: An ODMHSAS Project
With substance abuse being a significant problem in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services aimed to address these problems using the Strategic Prevention Framework to empower local communities and to assist in implementing prevention strategies based on epidemiological data by establishing the Regional Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (REOW) network. Seventeen REOWs across the state helped identify and use community resources to collect, analyze, and interpret epidemiological data to measure the burden of substance abuse problems and the associated intermediate variables. The REOWs prioritized the needs of each community based on the data, identified the gaps and limitations in available community-level data, and helped find solutions. The REOWs serve as a permanent resource for the communities to establish a sustainable and ongoing monitoring system. With this comprehensive network, prevention providers and coalitions have a partner to assist in strategically allocating resources to address substance abuse and other emerging public health issues. The issues identified among different public health areas can help different community sectors formulate their strategy and address key problems in their areas. The REOW network brings awareness more effectively and efficiently to communities about eminent dangers posed by different health-related problems and behaviors.
KeywordsSubstance abuse Epidemiological data Strategic prevention framework Logic model Community needs assessment Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
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