About Phil Ledbetter

After 30 years in the Catoosa County School System--25 as an elementary principal--I have been the Catoosa Family Collaborative coordinator since January, 2007. I live in Chattanooga with my wife Shelia & we have 6 grown children between us & six precious grandchildren! We love to travel & are involved in our church.

2020-2021 Collaborative Meetings

These are the CONFIRMED Collaborative Meeting dates for 2020–2021:

August 21, 2020 (Friday)

September 17, 2020

October 22, 2020 (week later due to GAFCP Conference)

November 20, 2020 (Friday)

December 17. 2020

January 21, 2021

February 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

April 15, 2021

May 20, 2021

Meetings are on the THIRD THURSDAY of each month (except where noted) and the location will be the Catoosa Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, GA 30736
Meetings begin at 8:45 am and last until about 10:00 am.

FY20 Reports

3rd QUARTER REPORT— 04/15/20

The Catoosa County Family Collaborative coordinator was honored at the Catoosa Chamber Gala with the 2019 Catoosa Citizen of the Year Award! So much of this award should go to the Catoosa County Family Collaborative as a whole, since they do so much for the citizens of our county. The coordinator also served as a Friends of Scouting Campaign Table Host, working to raise $75,000 for the district, that will help Scout units in this community. The Catoosa coordinator holds the position of secretary of the North Georgia YMCA Board. At the Y, strengthening community is our cause.  Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. In addition, we are community centered, listening and responding to our communities. We also strive to connect all people, to bridge the gaps in community needs. This quarter, the coordinator was involved in the Y Fund-Raising Campaign where we met our goal in North Georgia.

The Collaborative coordinator along with the two Catoosa Prevention Initiative (CaPI) coordinators attended the DBHDD and LMCS Mental Health Crisis meeting located at LaFayette public library on January 29th. This meeting brought many different organizations and businesses together to discuss areas surrounding mental health and its connection with drug abuse. We as preventionist are able to use these meetings to connect with the intervention side by understanding new issues and trends allowing us to gain new ideas to sculpt our prevention work. The on January 31st the ASAPP coordinator attended the PCCG Strategic Planning workshop in Atlanta. Both CaPI coordinators attended the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) conference in National Harbor, Maryland from Feb. 3rd–7th. This conference provided a variety of classes in prevention and treatment which allowed attendees to be updated on new language/terminology being used among these fields. The coordinators were taught directly by James W. “Jim” Carroll who is the Director of National Drug Control Policy in the Executive Office of the President and Chief Medical Officer of SAMHSA Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz. This conference allowed the coordinators to compare and contrast ideas with other prevention providers from around the world and made new connections with vendors for prescription drug abuse pamphlets that are uses regularly to disseminate information locally. The GEN-Rx coordinator attended the Council for Alcohol and Drugs (TCAD) collaborative meeting in Fayetteville, GA on March 5th. Hosting the meeting was Dawn Oparah, Executive Director of Fayette FACTOR and Dr. Tami Morris, CEO of AVPRIDE, Inc. The meeting allowed the coordinator a chance to collaborate with providers from several different organizations located throughout the state. Both CaPI coordinators attended the Voices for Prevention Day meeting and rally at the Georgia Capitol. Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, signed a proclamation declaring February 20th as Substance Abuse Prevention Advocacy Day in Georgia. Speakers for the event included Governor Kemp, Attorney General, Chris Carr and Dr. David Jernigan. This day allowed coordinators from across the state to compare and share ideas while also giving us a chance to speak with our legislatures directly. The two CaPI coordinators spoke to Catoosa Leadership class on their Health and Human Services day in January. They informed the group of about 25 community leaders about the strategies that GEN Rx of Catoosa County implements. The GA ASAPP sponsored event, Graduation 5-K Run was held March 21, 2020, and was not affected by the Covid-19 orders. The Community Participation Alliance Workgroup (CPAW) met in January and February this quarter. In addition, the Collaborative coordinator and ASAPP coordinator met to plan preparing and submitting the application for the Drug Free Community Grant. The GEN-Rx coordinator built new partnerships with the Catoosa Trans-Aid and the Catoosa Senior Center to create a new “Drop Off Day”. Drop Off Day will be one designated day each month that will take senior citizens and other bus riders by the Catoosa Sheriff’s Department and Fort Oglethorpe Police Department to safely dispose of their expired/unused medications. These days will be extremely beneficial for senior citizens who do not have the ability to drive anymore. The new drop off day was originally scheduled for April but is being extended to a later date due to coronavirus. The coordinator helped other GEN Rx coordinators in Bryan and Upson county with designing their next billboards and other marketing material. Both counties will use Catoosa Counties “Don’t be the dealer. Be the difference!” billboard in their counties. Billboards was adjusted to meet their counties school colors. As the pre/post-tests came in for the Project Success classes, the data was entered into DBHDD’s ECCO data base. Unfortunately, several of the classes were not completed, due to the Covid-19 “Stay at Home” orders. We received a 2nd order of the Drug and the Law brochures but have not been able to get them circulated to date. The doorhangers for the Prom activity were ordered and received, but not implemented due to the Proms all being cancelled. The Yard-Sign Campaign, which was to begin in March was also put on hold, and not implemented. Same as last quarter, the electronic billboard will continue for an additional 24-week period, with changes as often as CaPI sees fit. It is located at the intersection of LaFayette Highway and Battlefield Parkway. “2020 Vision: A clear path: Stay Above the Influence”. The ASAPP will be providing DBHDD an updated action plan to cover the remaining months of this contract year in the event that the “stay at home” orders continue. We are to list creative ways to continue with our strategies via social media. The newsletters, Facebook, and Twitter will stay active. The ASAPP Coordinator will review the various web-based meeting platforms to determine how we can meet while we are away from our offices. We will focus on capacity build and sustainability as well. There are many trainings being offered on-line for free and staff will be encouraged to participate. The Collaborative coordinator and ASAPP coordinator, along with the local evaluator will focus on the completion of the DFC grant that will help keep the prevention strategies running under the Catoosa Family Collaborative for years to come. The GEN-Rx coordinator designed a new billboard to be visible in Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold that displays a reminder to citizens about “Counting, Locking, and Dropping” medications properly. This billboard design was approved by members of CPAW and the Family Collaborative steering committee. The billboard was sent to the DBHDD communications department for final approval.   Also this coordinator is working with AMC Theaters in designing commercial for theater advertisement. PC showed CPAW members a new commercial and gained their approval. This community message will reach 16,000 people of all demographics each month. The advertisement will play on all 10 screens before each movie. The GEN-Rx coordinator has designed new yard signs for the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department that are being placed around Fort Oglethorpe City Hall to show where/what times to drop medications off at drug disposal box. January saw the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department break a new monthly record total of 107 pounds of prescription medications. Over the past three months Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department have destroyed a combined total of 270 pounds of prescription drugs. Numbers were only recorded from January and February. Due to coronavirus both drop boxes closed in March. With help from partners GEN-Rx has distributed a total of 13 medicine safes to families in need over the past 3 months. New shipment of safes was halted from China due to coronavirus. We are continuing partnership with pharmacies and physician’s offices to distribute pharmacy bags. These businesses/offices are located in the cities of Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe. These bags display what can be dropped off in the drug disposal box while also explaining the locations of drop off boxes. Bags distributed in Ringgold will contain business cards informing citizens of the Catoosa Sheriff’s drop box while Fort Oglethorpe distributed bags will contain cards displaying the Fort Oglethorpe Police Departments drop box. A total of 6,545 bags with cards have been distributed over the past 3 months. Prevention Parenting classes were planned to start on April 2nd; however, coronavirus has caused the postponement of the class. The next session of classes will be held on-site at the Catoosa Learning Center. The coordinator is working with the Catoosa Learning Center to use their bus to limit any transportation barrier that parents may face. Parenting class registration saw an uptick in registrants before coronavirus caused temporary cancellation.

CaP Initiative Donates Laptops

Seven laptop computers were donated to Catoosa County school resource officers to assist prevention educations in the CHAMPS (Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety) program. The local deputies teach sixth- and seventh-grade students about being safe, healthy and happy to prepare for a successful life. The instructors are supplied with lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations and student workbooks. Since projectors and computers are not supplied to instructors, the recent donation from Catoosa Prevention Initiative will be put to good use in teaching students about healthy habits. In many cases CHAMPS has replaced the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in local schools.

Read more: CatWalkChatt – School resource officers receive computer donation for safety instruction

Walmart and GaFCP Helping Young Georgians to Make Good Life Choices

Thousands of high-school students across the state are getting pregnant, contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and landing in jail for underage drinking. The good news is that, thanks to a $52,000 equipment grant from the Walmart Foundation, all this is occurring within the safe boundaries of the Teen Maze. Young Georgians are learning that the choices they make now can have irreversible effects—not only on their own lives—but on the lives of their families and friends as well.

The Teen Maze is a life-size, interactive game board where students face the consequences of their randomly selected choices. Those who avoid the pitfalls of substance abuse, sexual activity, and drunk or distracted driving, travel straight through the maze to a graduation celebration. For the rest, serious consequences lead to detours and dead ends—without real-life finality.

The gift from Walmart is allowing Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) to offer 11 regional programs up to $5,000 so they can purchase equipment and establish a sharing network to present Teen Mazes and other youth development activities for 132 counties.

“Region 1 Family Connection coordinators decided that a box trailer was an essential item to purchase from our Walmart equipment grant if we were going to share materials across 15 counties,” said Phil Ledbetter, Catoosa Family Collaborative coordinator. “Since we also used the funds to buy 35 partitions, we needed adequate storage space that’s also fast and convenient in transporting this bulky cargo.”

Hosting a Teen Maze is an immense task that requires participation from the entire community. The youth who enter the Maze serve on planning committees along with their parents, while volunteers from teachers to police, firefighters and emergency medical services teams to juvenile court judges bring the Maze to life.

“The Teen Maze pulls together an assortment of players to reach young people in a way that has never been done before,” said Ellen Whitlock, GaFCP director of Resource Development and Contract Management. “This partnership with Walmart is a perfect fit. The Teen Maze has a significant impact on three of Walmart’s areas of focus—education, workforce development and economic opportunity, and health and wellness—and on strategies for enhancing school success, youth development, positive parenting, and family engagement that we at GaFCP support.”

Unfortunately for too many young Georgians, the snares that entrap them in the Teen Maze are all too real in their everyday lives. Georgia ranks 43rd in the nation in the percentage of teens 16 – 19 not attending school and not working. And while the teen birth rate has decreased in recent years, Georgia’s rate still is significantly higher than the national rate.

“The Teen Maze program helps both youth and parents comprehend the benefits that come from making good life choices,” said Whitlock. “We are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for joining our families and communities in helping our youth become successful adults—especially those who live in rural and underserved areas of the state where communities have limited resources.”

To find out if the Teen Maze is coming to your community, contact your local Georgia Family Connection Collaborative.