For Immediate Release: August 19, 2022 prev   |   next


August 19, 2022 prev   |   next


Sullivan County Courthouse Lights Up Purple in Recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day

Joint Community Effort to Help Touch Hearts and Dispels Myths

[FERNDALE] –On Wednesday August 31st at 7:00 p.m. the Sullivan County Drug Task Force and community partners will hold a vigil for local people who lost their lives to overdose or are currently battling substance use disorder to commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day. A free Narcan class will be offered beginning at 6 p.m. Partnering organizations are asking the community to join together to raise awareness about overdose and reduce the stigma of drug use and drug-related deaths.

This vigil will be held on the front lawn of the Sullivan County Courthouse (414 Broadway, Monticello), which will be illuminated in purple to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held annually. The day acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose. All community members are invited and welcome, as no family is immune to the devastation of drugs and far too many suffer the heartbreak of losing loved ones to overdose. Substance use disorder and overdose affect people of all races, religions and socio-economic status.

“The ravages of addiction continue to drastically impact our county. It has no barriers. It affects individuals in all demographics. This event will remember those who lost their battle with drug use, but we also will hear the stories of hope and recovery. Folks need to know that in their darkest hours, there are people who are living in recovery and help is available,” noted Sullivan County Drug Task Force Co-Chair Wendy Brown.

“When we held this event last year, we knew it was important, but as we watched the night unfold, we realized it was necessary,” shared Lindsay Wheat, Outreach Coordinator for Sullivan 180.

“Our goal is to give individuals and families hope of a positive outcome,” added Sullivan 180 Director Amanda Langseder. “One person in attendance mentioned that the event allowed them to not feel ashamed to say that a family member was battling addiction. We want to remove the stigma so that people can find the help they need.”

The Sullivan County Drug Task Force, also known as the Substance Use Task Force, has been created to improve the lives of those impacted by substance use. Composed of agencies and individuals united in a common cause, its vision is to reduce stigma, protect the vulnerable, coordinate resources based on data-driven needs, initiate and implement prevention and treatment strategies, and support those who protect Sullivan County.

For more information about the many resources available visit Sullivan County’s real-time services dashboard at:

Sullivan 180’s mission is to build a healthy, vibrant Sullivan County where everyone has a sense of purpose, connection to family and community and access to fresh foods and an active lifestyle. To learn more about Sullivan 180, please visit:


Health Promotion Strategies LLC chosen to lead the Sullivan Hands4Health Network

[FERNDALE] –Sullivan 180 and its partners are pleased to announce that they have chosen Health Promotion Strategies, LLC, located in Monticello, to lead the planning effort for the development of the Sullivan Hands4Health Network as part of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Network Planning Grant. The Network development is being funded by a one-year planning grant from HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will support a strategic plan for a Community Health Worker Program to serve people in the county at risk of or already diagnosed with chronic disease such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Carol Ryan, President of Health Promotion Strategies, is a Registered Nurse who earned her Master of Public Health Degree at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Ryan, who was the previous Sullivan County Director of Patient Services and Public Health Director, is a proven leader in community health planning, research and strategies. She is also well versed on the impact of the social determinants of health for county residents.

Ryan has already begun outreach to network partners to have individual conversations in preparation for convening as a network. There is a lot of work to do but she is eager to embark on such an important effort. “I am very excited to engage Network Partners in planning for the development of a sustainable Community Health Worker model that will help Sullivan County residents to spend less time as patients in emergency departments and hospitals. This is a project that is close to my heart after a career of witnessing the economic and social disparities that lead to such unfortunate health outcomes for so many people. Community Health Workers are effective as peers who support healthy behaviors by assisting residents in overcoming social and economic barriers to good health,” said Ryan.

Amanda Langseder, Director of Sullivan 180, shares “I have personally seen the enormous impact a Community Health Worker can have on someone’s life. They oftentimes intervene right when someone is most in need and most open to getting help, exploring new resources and developing healthier habits. I have no doubt that, with Carol’s expertise, we can work together to develop a program that will bring help right to the homes of those who have been diagnosed
with chronic disease, and I am thrilled that our partners unanimously chose Health Promotion Strategies to lead this critical planning process.”

Health Promotion Strategies is a New York State consulting firm certified as a woman-owned business enterprise and is created by policy and education experts in the health, public health, and the mental health fields. To learn more about Health Promotion Strategies please visit

Sullivan 180’s mission is to build a healthy, vibrant Sullivan County where everyone has a sense of purpose, connection to family and community and access to fresh foods and an active lifestyle. To learn more about Sullivan 180, please visit:

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