My first month as a fellow has been a whirlwind! I am starting to settle in and begin working with my mentor, Elizabeth Kretchman at the Department of Behavioral Healthcare Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. Her help and guidance are invaluable and we have been able to hit the ground running. We are currently working to reduce alcohol and marijuana use among 12 to 17 year olds and researching prevention of prescription drug abuse in the most at-risk communities in Rhode Island with funding from the federal Partnerships for Success (PFS) I Grant Program.
I am elated to participate in the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s (CSAP) Prevention Fellowship Program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) because of the opportunity that it presents and how it aligns with my current pursuit of a Masters in Public Health (MPH).
Prior to the fellowship, I worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA) Program focusing on primary prevention of intimate partner violence (IPV) through various community and youth education initiatives. Through this work, I was able to see firsthand how pervasive substance abuse is as a risk factor for IPV.
Aside from the Prevention Fellowship and pursuing a MPH, I volunteer with two great organizations. At Day One, a sexual assault and trauma center, I provide support, referrals, and safety planning to victims at hospitals and police departments. Also, as an avid runner myself, it was natural for me to get involved in Girls on the Run, whose goal is to empower young girls through running to help them develop positive emotional, physical, mental, and social skills. Volunteering for these organizations has been motivating, fulfilling and lots of fun!
I look forward to working with the RI prevention community over the next two years and I am excited to take part in the opportunities that have been presented to us.
Anna Przyjemska Meehan
CSAP Prevention Fellow
Rhode Island, 2013-2015