Beginning in October 2018, the Cambria County Drug & Alcohol Program, together with several community partners, began a comprehensive prevention needs assessment utilizing a process developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs in partnership with the Penn State Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support (EPIS). This process took over 15 months to complete. After a review and analysis of published data, the needs assessment team conducted community conversations via focus groups with students, parents, individuals living in long-term recovery, teachers, police chiefs, and DUI offenders. The process continued with an assessment of currently available resources, and concluded with the development of goals and an action plan.


  • Phases A & B:
    “What are the problems?”

  • Phase C:
    “Why are the problems occurring?”

  • Phase D:
    “Why are the problems occurring here?”

  • Phase E:
    “What resources are available?”

  • Phase F:
    “What are we going to do?”

  • Phase G:
    “Is our plan having its desired impact?”

The logic model below displays the local problems identified by the needs assessment team, the risk and protective factors influencing those problems, and the contributing factors that indicate why the problems are occurring locally:

To address the conditions outlined in the logic model, the team developed the following set of actions to be taken in the agency’s prevention plan. The use of these strategies by invested partners is encouraged throughout the entire community.

  • Multiagency collaboration to assess school mental health screening process

  • Facilitate implementation or enhance utilization of a mental health screening and referral process in each Cambria County school district

  • Promote social emotional learning (SEL) through the use of evidence-based classroom education programs

  • Direct consultation with school districts to review and revise school policies to address vaping behaviors

  • Dissemination of web-based messaging regarding vaping and marijuana

  • Provide training and technical assistance to community organizations that host events serving alcohol to change environmental norms