Youth Alcohol and Drug Prevention Efforts Honored with Public Health Recognition Awards

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 01, 2013

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Administration/HHS Director's Office Division

The 11th Annual Public Health Recognition Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 4, 11:00 a.m., at the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building auditorium, 155 N. First Avenue, Hillsboro. The public is invited.

Past honorees have started a student-run community garden; collaborated to help incarcerated women provide breast milk to their infants; implemented a food program for seniors and homebound individuals; collaborated on complicated tuberculosis outbreaks and treatment; and provided nutritious food and educational activities for low-income children during the summer.

This year, both the individual and organization are being honored for their work to prevent alcohol and drug use among youth.  

Michelle Rodriguez is the honoree in the "individual" category. As the director of Hillsboro Empowers Youth (HEY!), Rodriguez brings the community together to promote a safe, healthy and drug-free lifestyle for Hillsboro youth. Some of HEY's initiatives include Prom Perfect, which promotes the message that Prom can be fun without substance abuse; prevention clubs at all of the district's middle schools and two high schools; "Parent University" to educate parents about drug and alcohol trends in the community; retail compliance checks; and drug turn-in events.

In the organizational category, Tigard Turns the Tide will be honored. Established in 1982, this coalition works to promote a safe and healthy community by reducing alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related problems among youth. Activities include the Tigard High STUD Club, a student club that promotes drug-free lifestyles; an annual health fair; Red Ribbon Week, a week-long event of prevention activities; and an annual all night graduation party free of alcohol and drugs.

"Supporting our youth by preventing substance abuse and establishing healthy lives is one of the best investments we can make in our communities," says Washington County Public Health Division Manager Kathleen O'Leary, RN, MPH. "These honorees exemplify prevention at its best."

More information about Washington County Department of Health and Human Services can be found online at and on Facebook.

Media Contact:

Wendy Gordon, Communications Coordinator/PIO