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PRCHN Success Stories: YRBS Data and Hispanic UMADAOP
The PRCHN's work has ripple effects throughout the community. We have an impact in
  • How data is used
  • Changes in policy, environments, or systems
  • Increased collaborations
  • Increased funding
From time to time, we would like to share these "success stories" with you. In this issue of PRCHN Connection, we'd like to introduce you to Nelson Ramirez, who has used YRBS data to obtain funding for substance abuse prevention programs for the nonprofit Hispanic UMADAOP, and who, in turn, is helping the PRCHN as a member of the YRBS Advisory Committee.

In 2014, the PRCHN converted from producing a 150-page Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Annual Report to smaller data modules on the PRCHN.org website. The first modules posted were based on 2013 High School YRBS findings. The modules present data in a variety of ways, including prevalence by region of Cuyahoga County. Shortly after the data modules became available on the website, Nelson Ramirez, then-Program Director for the nonprofit Hispanic UMADAOP (Hispanic Alcohol Program), called to clarify some of the YRBS data. He was grateful to have found local data, having served in several capacities in the alcohol, tobacco and other drugs prevention and treatment world in other organizations. He described how much this data would contribute to proposal writing and to evaluation of a variety of programs.

YRBS data brought UMADAOP a $24,000 grant from UPS to address violence and substance abuse among young Latino men through prevention activities. In addition, Ramirez annually uses YRBS data to obtain funding from the ADAMHS Board (Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health Services) of Cuyahoga County and OHMAS (Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services). Hispanic UMADOP is awarded $85,000 annually from the ADAMHS Board and $200,000 annually from OHMAS to support its prevention programming.

Jean Frank, the PRCHN's Manager of School-Based Surveillance and Education, invited Ramirez to join the YRBS Advisory Committee in spring 2014. When PRCHN staff presented findings of interest from the 2014 Middle School YRBS administration. Ramirez and other committee members were struck by the high number of students reporting depressive symptoms, particularly among the Hispanic population on the west side of Cuyahoga County. The Advisory Committee requested that the next YRBS data brief focus on this issue.

The PRCHN released the YRBS data brief, Depressive Symptoms in Cuyahoga County, in July 2015. The Advisory Committee was so enthused by the importance of the data brief and what the data revealed that they asked to write a statement of recommendations and resources to accompany the release of the brief. In addition, Ramirez agreed to chair a community committee focused on examining the presence of depressive symptoms among Hispanic adolescents, particularly females. 

By connecting data to the proper organizations, the PRCHN has been instrumental in helping Hispanic UMADAOP obtain funding for substance abuse and violence prevention programming. The PRCHN’s relationship with UMADAOP has strengthened to the point where it is taking the lead to address the issue of depressive symptoms among Hispanic youth, a problem that was revealed through YRBS data.
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