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Prevention consultant giving back to community

8/26/2014

By JUDY SHERARD

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Mindy Maske has joined the Smoky Hill Foundation for Chemical Dependency Inc. as a community prevention consultant.

Since graduating from Fort Hays State University with a psychology degree, Maske has worked at the Red Cross and Planned Parenthood.

"My whole adult career I've been in non-profits in the Hays community," Maske said.

Working as a prevention consultant is a continuation of that, and a way of working toward a more positive community, she said.

She and her husband, Daniel, live in Damar with their 2-year-old daughter, Scarlet.

"In such a small community, you really fight to keep the community clean and strong and healthy," Maske said. "Even though Hays is much larger, it's the same thing."

Whether it's health care, blood services or drug and alcohol prevention, it all falls in the same scope of giving back and improving the community, she said.

The Smoky Hill regional center covers most of northwest Kansas. There are two other consultants in addition to Maske, and each has assigned counties.

Maske works with coalitions in Smith, Sherman and Trego counties.

They all have active coalitions for drug and alcohol prevention programs, which usually meet monthly. One of Maske's roles is to give the coalitions evidence-based information on how best to reach young people.

For instance, Smith County is working on a "Too Good for Drugs" campaign that was purchased with coalition funds. It will be implemented in the grade school using workbooks and tests, Maske said.

She also is writing a series of public service announcements for the local newspaper.

Each county is funded in its own way. Smith County receives a percentage of liquor tax funds.

Others receive grants from Smoky Hill, which is funded by the Kansas Department for Disability and Aging Services.

The funding is awarded annually.