News Release – April 15, 2009

Contact: Mac Prichard
mac@prichardcommunications.com; (503) 517-2772

Reclaiming Futures Adds Partnership and Development Director to Grow Program that Helps Teens in Trouble with Drugs, Alcohol and Crime

Portland, OR (April 15, 2009) — Reclaiming Futures, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has hired Mark Fulop to serve as partnership and development director. Reclaiming Futures is a tested approach that helps teens in the juvenile justice system beat problems with drugs and alcohol. Fulop’s role is to help the program expand its national support and funding base.

“We’re very excited to add Mark’s expertise to our national team,” says Laura Nissen, Ph.D., Reclaiming Futures national program director. “We’ve made great strides during the past 10 years to help teens in trouble. We want to ensure that this new approach remains a part of the way the juvenile justice system does business and that even more communities join the effort.” Currently, Reclaiming Futures is in 23 locations across the nation.

Fulop brings a wealth of experience in public health education, training and technical assistance, youth development and mentoring to Reclaiming Futures. His most recent position was director of education and outreach programs for Multnomah County Health Environmental Health Services. He has directed a number of National Training and Technical Assistance Centers including the National Mentoring Center, The National Service Resource Center, and the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California, among others. Over the past 17 years, he has worked in a variety of settings ranging from county health departments, a university, nonprofit agencies and a church. Fulop holds masters degrees from San Diego State University and Loma Linda University .

“I look forward to creating new ways to make the future of Reclaiming Futures even brighter,” said Fulop. “There are so many exciting ways to build new partnerships at the local, state and regional levels that will lead to investments in this important effort.”

The Reclaiming Futures model is a new approach to helping teens in trouble. The six-step model recommends screening each teen that enters the juvenile justice system for drug and alcohol problems, assessing the severity of his/her drug and alcohol use, providing prompt access to a treatment plan coordinated by a service team; and connecting the teen with employers, mentors, and volunteer service projects.

A recent independent evaluation by the Urban Institute and the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children shows this model is working. The evaluation found that communities that piloted the Reclaiming Futures model reported significant improvements in juvenile justice and drug and alcohol treatment. It also indicated positive change in the way juvenile justice and substance abuse agencies communicate and cooperate to serve youth and families.

About Reclaiming Futures
Reclaiming Futures is an initiative created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that offers a new approach to helping teenagers caught in the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime. Now in 23 communities across the nation, the program has received additional investments to spread its model from RWJF, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The national office of Reclaiming Futures is housed in the Regional Research Institute of the Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University. For a list of our 23 locations and more information, please visit www.reclaimingfutures.org.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. www.rwjf.org

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