Safe In NM

Creating Environments Free
of Substance Use

Adult Coalition Members

SAFE in Northern Michigan’s structure and operations of the coalition; including coalition leadership, decision making processes, by-laws, workgroups, and financial management:

The SAFE leadership structure consists of a Steering Committee and several work groups, including SAFE Youth. SAFE adheres to a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Manual, which: 1) Identifies required and desirable sectors for membership; 2) Describes established work groups and the option for creating temporary work groups; 3) Timelines for creation and review of strategic action plan and logic model; 4) Commits the coalition to data-driven, evidence-based approaches; All Steering Committee and work group members are volunteers, except for the DFC coordinator, DFC evaluator, and DFC Director.

To provide the support students need to conduct their prevention activities in the community, the SAFE Steering Committee and the DFC Coordinator convene meetings monthly. Decisions are made using a consensus model; so far, the Steering Committee has reached consensus on all decisions; if there is a disagreement in the future, the DFC Coordinator would call for a vote.

The SAFE Steering Committee Officers

DFC Coordinator Susan Pulaski, Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Chair Randy Koch, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Co-Chair Corey Hebner, Michigan State Police;
Secretary Sarah Ford, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation
Communications Beth Anne Piehl, Charlevoix-Emmet ISD.

Other members of the coalition are representatives from the 12 sectors. Steering Committee members serve on work group(s) and/or “specialize” in assisting SAFE Youth directly on a specific project, such as chaperoning events or assisting with producing promotional materials.

SAFE has six work groups that are in line with the SAFE strategic action plan and logic model:

SAFE Youth Work Group drives the coalition. The SAFE Youth coalition has over 100 teens from the 3-county region. The SAFE Youth determine which interventions and strategies to implement in their community using the logic model as a guide. After implementation of interventions, SAFE Youth evaluate the effectiveness and make changes as necessary.

Communications and Media Work Group is chaired by Beth Anne Piehl, the Communication Coordinator at Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District (ISD). Work Group members will develop and implement a Marketing Communications Plan with assistance from marketing experts and SAFE Youth.

Recruitment and Engagement Work Group is chaired by Susan Pulaski, the DFC Project Director. Its members assure the required and recommended sectors listed in the SAFE SOP Manual are represented on the Steering Committee.

Funding and Sponsorship Work Group is chaired by Amy Horstman, a SAFE Youth Advisor, who works with youth to seek sponsors.  This work group focuses on identifying and seeking funds from local businesses and community members that may be interested in supporting SAFE financially.

Data and Evaluation Work Group is chaired by Nichole Flickema, the DFC Project Coordinator. The Data Work Group 1) Reviews and analyzes MiPHY reports; 2) Solicits input from youth and adults regarding current substance use patterns; 3) Informs the Steering Committee if priority substances should change; 4) Works closely with the Project Coordinator to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the action plan and logic model.

The Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drug Drop-Off (POD) Work Group is chaired by Jennifer McKay, of Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. The purpose of the POD workgroup is to maintain and expand the drug take back initiative which provides a convenient location for residents to properly dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Current Coalition Members






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  • FACT: 86.8% of Charlevoix County high school students reported NOT using marijuana in the past 30 days.(MiPHY 2022)
  • FACT: 88.6% of Antrim County high school students reported NOT using marijuana in the past 30 days.(MiPHY 2022)
  • In the past 30 days, 15.3 percent of Charlevoix County High School students reported vaping. (MiPHY 2022)
  • In the past 30 days, 12.1 percent of Antrim County High School students reported vaping. (MiPHY 2022)
  • In the past 30 days, 23.4 percent of Emmet County High School students reported vaping. (MiPHY 2022)
  • SAFE is proud to have 109 active youth members, 43 active adult members, and 11 active school partners.
  • From 2014 to 2020, the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs DECREASED around the SAFE region!
  • FACT: 70% of Emmet County high school students reported NOT using marijuana in the past 30 days.(MiPHY 2022)