About the Milton Coalition

Prevention and Recovery are the Bookends to Addressing Addiction
— Cheryl Bartlett, former State Public Health Commissioner

The Milton Public Health Department founded the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MSAPC) in the fall of 2014.

Discussion following a presentation at a Coalition meeting

Discussion following a presentation at a Coalition meeting

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is aligned with a growing national and state movement, seeking to bring community residents and leaders together to cooperatively address concerns about substance abuse and mental illness in specific local situations. Coalition leadership and volunteer members are committed to

  • analyzing local community problems,
  • raising community awareness, and
  • supporting efforts to tackle these issues.

Coalitions use data to clarify priorities. Coalitions use proven, nationally developed best practices to inform their strategies.

What is a Community Coalition?

A formal arrangement for collaboration among groups or sectors of a community, in which each group retains its identity but all agree to work together toward the common goal of a safe, healthy and drug-free community. Coalitions should have deep connections to the local community and serve as catalysts for reducing local substance abuse rates. As such, community coalitions are not prevention programs or traditional human service organizations that provide direct services, rather they are directed by local residents and sector representatives who have a genuine voice in determining the best strategies to address local problems.
— Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

Our Approach

Along with residents, Milton public school, public health and law enforcement personnel attend meetings.

Along with residents, Milton public school, public health and law enforcement personnel attend meetings.

MSAPC brings together health and social service professionals, public leaders in education, religion, media, recreation, business, public safety, policy and planning, as well as diverse residents - including students, parents and affected family members - to work collaboratively on preventing and addressing substance abuse and preventable mental illness in our Town of Milton, with a focus on youth. We recognize that our community is not immune from these problems, and we are motivated to face them together. The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MSAPC) uses a national model to plan, implement and evaluate its work.  We don’t dictate solutions to police, schools or other groups. Instead, we foster a coordinated approach. We advocate for the adoption of best practices, evaluate our town’s progress, and bring contemporary resources to the table. 

Mission Statement

The Milton Coalition’s Mission Statement, which was collectively drafted and debated, reads as follows:

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition focuses on preventing and reducing youth substance abuse. Through a committed collaboration of diverse community members and sectors dedicated to a comprehensive and long-term approach, our efforts will foster a healthy, supportive and compassionate town environment.
— Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

Coalition Values and Principles

The following Operating Principles inform the Milton Coalition’s efforts:

  • Raise awareness
    • Raise awareness about the prevalence and causes of substance abuse and related mental health disorders
  • Improve access to care
    • Foster linkages between community members and resources to improve access to care and services that will minimize the consequences of substance abuse, will support recovery for individuals and their loved ones, and will promote mental health
  • Use data to inform decision making
    • Collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data about the health needs and assets in our community to help formulate the most relevant strategies and to benchmark our progress
  • Advocate for effective programs, services, policies and practice change
    • Use proven educational modalities, environmental strategies, program interventions and policy approaches to prevent and reduce the incidence of substance use and mental illness in the community
  • Demonstrate compassion
    • Foster hope and compassion, and reduce stigma, for those affected by substance abuse and mental health disorders, including those in recovery and their impacted loved ones.
  • Engage community members
    • Recruit and involve residents of all backgrounds and ages, including youth and seniors, to plan and implement strategies.
  • Build community relationships and external partnerships
    • Promote collaboration amongst the diverse sectors, organizations, leaders and residents that influence health in town, as well as work with regional partners
  • Include diverse voices
    • Promote diversity by proactively reaching out to, and addressing issues uniquely experienced by underrepresented, underserved and vulnerable populations.
  • Organizational Excellence
    • The coalition will operate in a manner that fosters community engagement and trust by offering regular and transparent communications, and guidelines that promote inclusive decision making.

Operating Structure and Guidelines

Who funds the Milton Coalition?

Beth Israel Deaconess-Milton Hospital is among MSAPC's generous corporate sponsors. In addition to financial support, the Hospital supports the Coalition's mission in other important ways such as  meeting space.

Beth Israel Deaconess-Milton Hospital is among MSAPC's generous corporate sponsors. In addition to financial support, the Hospital supports the Coalition's mission in other important ways such as  meeting space.

  • The Blue Hills Community Health Alliance (CHNA 20) provides a generous multi-year grant to support the coalition’s goals and strategies. The mission of CHNA 20 is to empower our communities to achieve their best quality of health and wellness through education and information while improving access to care and services. Funding source for CHNA 20 are from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, South Shore Hospital, and Steward Health Care.
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton provides a generous grant, as well as staff and meeting support to the Coalition.
  • Marc Susi Scholarship Fund
  • Milton Kiwanis
  • Milton Woman's Club
  • Coalition and other community members.

Milton Coalition Personnel

Staffed primarily by volunteers, the Milton Coalition is led by Chair, Caroline Kinsella, Director of the Milton Health Department Director, who is supported by a Steering Committee and professional public health consultants.