The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) is a social profit organization that was established in 1976 by a group of dedicated and progressive-thinking prevention specialists. Today, CPA remains a strong prevention advocate and is committed to validating the critical role that prevention plays in the lives of every Pennsylvanian. Since 1991, CPA has been hosting an annual conference that provides a state-of-the-art, dynamic, and comprehensive platform for prevention practitioners and other vested stakeholders to share best and promising practices that build strong and healthy communities and save lives.
CPA has made significant strides in advancing the field of prevention. Noteworthy accomplishments include testifying before Congress on the need to reduce tobacco product use, developing prevention specialist certification in partnership with the Pennsylvania Certification Board and Pennsylvania Prevention Directors’ Association, and representing grassroots prevention providers on multiple Department of Drug and Alcohol Program workgroups, including the prevention workgroup and various grant advisory boards. Through these partnerships, local prevention voices have had a critical, positive impact on state-level decisions.
In January 2019, CPA took a bold step by hiring its first executive director (ED) and expanding its prevention advocacy efforts. Since then, the ED has advocated for increased prevention funding, primary prevention efforts in rural counties, against the expansion of outlets that can sell spirits and the legalization of recreational marijuana at the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The ED also collaborated with the PA Liquor Control Board to conduct PA’s Higher Education Needs Assessment and responded to the COVID pandemic by successfully shifting the 2020 and 2021 conferences to dynamic online events. Through partnerships with other statewide organizations, CPA also designed and led the Pennsylvania Prevention Week celebrations for the past several years, coordinating with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) national prevention week initiative, which raises awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health.