Commissioner of Health appoints 2 area residents

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LONDONDERRY — Skylar Dryden and Maryann Morris, both of Londonderry were appointed to the Substance Misuse Prevention Oversight and Advisory Council by Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mark Levine.

The appointments are two-year terms.

"Having both Maryann and Skylar serving on the Substance Misuse Prevention Oversight & Advisory Council is an asset to our entire state," said Rep. Kelly M Pajala, who serves residents of parts of Windham, Bennington and Windsor counties. "It is a testament to the amazing work that has been done in our community for years by The Collaborative, with Maryann at the helm."

Dryden is a longtime participant of The Collaborative's leadership programming including Extended Day Program, Youth Engaged Learning Leadership, Vermont Kids Against Tobacco, Above the Influence and Refuse to Use. The Burr and Burton Academy 10th-grader is active locally and throughout the state as a youth voice about the risks of vaping.

"I love working with The Collaborative to aid the prevention effort, especially among youth," Dryden said. "I want to do the best that I can to make us the nicotine free generation. Being appointed to this council by recommendation from The Collaborative was an amazing opportunity. I'm glad I'm able to participate in state government."

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Mark Tashjian, headmaster at Burr and Burton Academy praises his student and The Collaborative.

"BBA is proud of Skyler's leadership in the fight against teenage vaping, and together with [The Collaborative's Executive Director] Maryann Morris, we have a strong team representing this corner of Vermont," Tashjian said.

Morris is a steadfast proponent of supporting youth to build skill sets that are necessary for becoming confident and contributing adults and is recognized as a visionary of organizational, policy and systems planning.

The 2019 Vermont Legislature's S.146 charges the Advisory Council with improving health outcomes of all Vermonters while assessing Vermont's prevention efforts addressing all substances. The council ultimately will compile recommendations to the governor and general assembly for "improving prevention policies and programming throughout the state and to ensure that population prevention measures are at the forefront of all policy determinations."

The counsel represents 14 sectors with a total of 23 committee members. Dryden represents the under 18-year-old population and Morris represents as a person with expertise in community outreach or collaboration in substance misuse prevention. The Oversight and Advisory Counsel meets monthly in Montpelier. Meetings are open to the public with public comments built into the agenda. If you want to bring an idea or concern forward, you are encouraged to contact Maryann Morris, or 802-824-4200.


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