Fairfield Prevention Coalition leader leaves for new role in Cincinnati

The Fairfield Prevention Coalition will have a new executive director next week, replacing the woman who developed the organization’s plan for sustainability.

Deb Neyer left the coalition last month for a new job at the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, calling it an offer she “couldn’t turn down.”

“I definitely believe in the work that they’re doing,” said Neyer. “It was a lot of fun.”

The coalition has hired Joe Markiewicz, who will start Monday and will be charged with continuing and build upon the work Neyer had started, said Pat VanOflen, the coalition’s interim executive director and program’s Youth Empowerment coordinator.

“Everything Deb has worked towards in her five years has been developing the face of the coalition,” said VanOflen. “The work was always being done, but we didn’t always have a lot of people (in the community) who knew what we were doing.”

In developing the coalition’s sustainability plan, VanOflen said Neyer did “a lot of research” and established professional connections outside the city.

Neyer was responsible for many coalition initiatives, including for implementing a drug and alcohol prevention framework in the schools designed to reduce youth substance abuse. She also engaged support from community leaders.

One more recent initiative Neyer took on was tackling the rise of vaping among teens. Neyer has also been involved in Fairfield’s Opiate Task Force, which has held community conversations and forums about drug issues in the community.

In February, Neyer and the coalition honored its youth coalition members at a first-time dinner to showcase what they’ve learned. It also recognized the 12 seniors in the class of 2020.

Before Neyer became the coalition’s director in October 2015, she had been on the board representing the education sector in the community. She was an instructor at Miami University at the time. Then when the director at the time left, she was hired as the new director.

Neyer said she is “always amazed” with the Fairfield community as residents and stakeholders “really rally around the kids.”

“When it comes to the kids, they’re all in. And anything you need for them, they’re all in,” she said.

Neyer’s new job includes working with Cincinnati Public Schools as a member of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Quality Improvement Team. She’ll be tasked with improving health and academic outcomes in the district, and will incorporate much what she’s done leading the Fairfield Prevention Coalition.

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