Inside this issue:  
  • ParentingMontana.org: Tools for Your Child’s Success
  • Staff Spotlight: Jay Otto
  • Continuation of Transportation Pooled Fund Program
  • Upcoming Webinar
  • Traffic Safety Culture and Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis and Alcohol in Washington State
  • Save the Date: Positive Culture Framework Training
  • CHSC in the News
  • Center Bulletin Board
  • Our Services
ParentingMontana.org: Tools for your Child's Success  
Extensive research has shown that developing the social and emotional skills of youth significantly improves academic and health-related outcomes including underage drinking and the misuse of substances. Developing social and emotional skills protects children from negative outcomes associated with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and bolsters resilience. 
While extensive research has explored growing social and emotional skills among youth, less has focused on parents and their engagement in socially and emotionally informed best practices to reduce underage drinking. On January 23, 2019, the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University, in partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, launched ParentingMontana.org a new website containing resources for parents to bolster their parenting social and emotional skills. Formative research completed by the Center shows that parents with stronger social and emotional parenting skills were more than six times as likely to consistently engage in protective behaviors to prevent underage drinking (like establishing clear rules and enforcing those rules).  
Based on this formative research, the Center developed the website with tools and supportive media for parents. The practical tools address developmentally appropriate challenges parents address with their children. Topics include homework, establishing routines, healthy friendships, stress, clear expectations regarding underage drinking, and guidelines for the healthy use and non-use of alcohol for when the children reach age 21. The tools use a socially- and emotionally-informed process developmentally appropriate for children from elementary school to post high school. As the parents (or those in a parenting role) engage in the process with their children, both the parents and the children develop their social and emotional skills – thus bolstering their parent efficacy and strengthening protection for their children. In addition, the Center created a toolkit of resources for community prevention specialists to engage key community stakeholders in promoting the parenting tools. The toolkit provides guidance and resources to engage teachers, healthcare providers, law enforcement and others to help connect those in a parenting role to the tools. 
 
Staff Spotlight: Jay Otto
Jay Otto is the Principal Scientist for the Center for Health and Safety Culture. Jay holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jay leads the research efforts for the Center, which consist of research design, survey design and interpretation, and quantitative analysis. He also serves as a trainer.

Jay previously worked at the community level as a manager of a prevention office within a local hospital. He has also served on several local and state committees overseeing prevention efforts. Jay uses his experience working to improve health and safety in communities to make his research applied and valuable to practitioners in the field. He seeks meaningful research projects that bring practical knowledge and efforts that truly make a difference in the well-being of the communities served. Jay is fascinated by human behavior, how systems influence behavior, and the role of culture. Jay’s recent publications include:
 
Finley, K., Otto, J. & Ward, N.J. (2018). The Role of Social Capital in Traffic Safety Citizenship. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies 13:2, 29-41. doi:10.18848/2327-0071/CGP/v13i02/29-41.
 
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Strategic Approach to Transforming Traffic Safety Culture to Reduce Deaths and Injuries. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25286.
Jay works remotely from his home in Maryland. In his spare time, Jay enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with his family.

Jay is co-presenting a webinar with CHSC Director, Dr. Nic Ward, on February 20, 2019 at 3:00 PM (MST) titled, “Traffic Safety Culture and Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis and Alcohol in Washington State.” This webinar will present an overview of the methodology and key findings from a recent project with the Washing Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) that explored the traffic safety culture underlying the increase in fatal crashes related to drivers using cannabis and alcohol. The webinar will discuss the suggested strategies and tools that were developed to help WTSC make effective use of the results from this project. Register for the webinar .
Continuation of Transportation Pooled Fund Program
In 2015, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) initiated a five-year transportation pooled fund program on traffic safety culture (www.mdt.mt.gov/research/projects/trafficsafety.shtml) partnering with the Center for Health and Safety Culture as the principal research entity. This program began as a cooperative effort amongst participating state departments of transportation and other stakeholder organizations sharing a vested interest in the role of traffic safety culture to achieve the Toward Zero Deaths vision.

The objectives of the program are to:
  • conduct research to identify solutions to specific culture-based traffic safety problems, taking advantage of the implementation opportunities to improve traffic safety; 
  • develop resources to enhance understanding and application of traffic safety culture strategies; and 
  • provide technology transfer of best practices in traffic safety culture strategies.
The program is producing several tools including primers, an online video, and webinars on key topics relevant to traffic safety culture, including tools to facilitate the implementation of research results. 

Given the success of the current pooled fund program, the members unanimously recommend the continuation of another five-year cycle. The pooled fund is actively seeking additional partners for the funding cycle to begin October 1, 2019.

For more information on the Transportation Pooled Fund Program, please visit https://www.pooledfund.org/Details/Solicitation/1482 .

 Traffic Safety Culture and Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis and Alcohol in Washington State

Wednesday February 20, 2019 at 3:00 PM (MST)

Speakers: Jay Otto, M.S. and Nic Ward, Ph.D.

The Center for Health and Safety Culture partnered with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) in support of their Target Zero goal by exploring the traffic safety culture underlying the increase in fatal crashes related to drivers using cannabis and alcohol. This webinar will present an overview of the methodology and key findings as well as the discuss the suggested strategies and tools that were developed to help WTSC make effective use of the results from this project.
Save the Date: Positive Culture Framework Training
September 24-26, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee
Registration opening soon!
 
The 2.5-day Positive Culture Framework Training will provide a foundation for efforts to improve health and safety that addresses a wide variety of complex social issues. Training attendees will:
  • Develop and refine skills in three critical areas: leadership, communication, and the integration of effective strategies
  • Learn how culture influences behavior and how to cultivate cultural transformation
  • Gain specific next steps for transforming culture in your community or organization
The Positive Culture Framework Training is an excellent opportunity to engage with others across the country and move toward cultivating a culture that supports and sustains health and safety.
Venue and Hotel
Holiday Inn & Suites Nashville
Downtown Convention Center
415 4th Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37201
CHSC in the News
Montana State University News Service
Center Bulletin Board
Since our previous newsletter, we have been a part of many informative and engaging events. Here’s what we have been up to in the past few months:
Dr. Kari Finley presented at CADCA’s National Leadership Forum on February 5th about stigma as a barrier to health and well-being. 
Dr. Kari Finley presented her webinar, “Moving Beyond Bystander Engagement: Growing Citizenship to Improve Health and Safety” on February 12, 2019. Watch the webinar on our Youtube Channel here.
Katie Dively, M.S., CHES, presented her webinar, “Communication: A Catalyst for Growing Positive Culture” on January 16, 2019. Watch the webinar on our Youtube Channel here.
Annmarie McMahill, M.S., presented her webinar, “Reducing Underage Drinking with Practical Tools that Develop Social and Emotional Skills” on December 18, 2019. Watch the webinar on our Youtube Channel here.
CHSC Business Manager, Deb Strachan, retired January 31, 2019. Although she will be greatly missed, we are excited for her new journey! 
Kelly Green, MPA, earned her role as the Center’s new Business Manager. We are thrilled for Kelly in her new position!
Our Services  
Positive Culture Framework Training
One, Two, or 2.5-Day Training
We provide one, two, or 2.5-day trainings on the Positive Culture Framework (PCF) – a process for improving health and safety across a community or organization. The training sessions cover our latest transformational process and help build the capacity of communities and organizations by initiating the development of individual skills in three critical areas: leadership, communication, and the integration of effective strategies.
 
Positive Culture Framework Skills Trainings
Positive Culture Framework (PCF) Skills trainings are for individuals, organizations, or communities interested in:
  • becoming a more effective prevention leader in your community or organization;
  • communicating effectively to advocate for prevention, health and safety; or,
  • learning how to better understand and align effective strategies.
 
Communication Skills – Social Norms Marketing
One or Two-Day Training
The Positive Culture Framework (PCF) Communication Skills Training helps participants understand the underlying theory driving individual behavior and provides a seven-step process for developing effective communication.
 
Leadership Skills
One-Day Training
The Positive Culture Framework Leadership (PCF) Skills Training provides participants an opportunity to grow and practice their leadership abilities.
 
Integration Skills
One-Day Training
The Positive Culture Framework (PCF) Integration Skills Training provides prevention coordinators an opportunity and the tools to map their current prevention strategies in a way that reveals gaps in services and systems, as well as, provides tips on how to align and leverage prevention strategies for greater impact.
Moving From Knowledge to Practice
Our work and experience have shown that cultural transformation can be tough and unexpected challenges often arise. Guide service helps communities and organizations successfully navigate the change process. Our guide service offers a trained personal consultant to support efforts to improve the health and safety of communities and organizations. Through regular coordination and correspondence, our guide becomes familiar with specific projects and assists with the transformation process. Our guide is available to provide feedback on the implementation of prevention strategies, leadership development, and communication efforts.
 
Guide service is available to those who have participated in a Positive Culture Framework Training . We offer guide service contracts on a yearly basis for $4,000.
We conduct applied research in partnership with community, state, tribal, and national organizations who are seeking to improve health and safety. In each project, we apply what we have learned in the past and seek to better understand these complex issues to improve our futures.

We develop assessments, surveys, and evaluation services to better understand cultural factors, facilitate ongoing effectiveness, prioritize potential strategies, and inform future needs.

If you're interested in discussing your community's or organization's needs, please contact us today to get the conversation started.
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