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Two Decades of Experience

CACTC began in 2002 with a group of community residents committed to the health and well-being of youth in our community. Recognizing the many issues young people face, they created a community coalition focused on the prevention of youth substance abuse, school dropout rates, teen pregnancy, delinquency, and youth violence. They chose to use the Communities That Care operating system in order to formulate a community-wide plan to reduce and prevent these behaviors. The initial creators of CACTC chose this model because it includes all sectors of the community, including: parents, youth, schools, human service agencies, the justice system, faith community, local government, health care, and businesses.

From its beginning, CACTC has employed a process for data drive decision making. At the same time, it only implements community level strategies known to increase positive outcomes and behaviors (protective factors) and reduce negative outcomes and behaviors (risk factors).

CACTC's focus is, and always will be, based on a data driven approach to prevention across all areas that affect the health and success of individuals and communities. 



  • CACTC collaborates with Access To Independence to successfully apply for the 5-year OASAS Partnership for Success grant focused on special populations

    • Access To Independence contracts with CACTC to fulfill the part-time Data Coordinator role. This is CACTC's first long-term data contract.​


  • A full-time Community Engagement Coordinator is hired as part of the HEALing Communities Study, bringing the CACTC staff up to 7 full-time employees.

  • The Cortland County Youth Development Survey data is integrated into the the Cortland County Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan.

  • CACTC is contracted to manage the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County, which includes executive leadership, coalition management, data support, and media support.

    • CACTC hires a full-time Literacy Coordinator to oversee the Cortland and Onondaga Literacy Coalitions. Funding is provided by the CNY Community Foundation.​

  • CACTC, in partnership with Seven Valleys Health Coalition, develops a customized Life Needs Assessment for Cortland County, a tool developed in Onondaga County.


  • CACTC contracted to conduct a comprehensive community assessment for the CAPCO Head Start/Early Head Start Program. 

  • CACTC contracted to develop a vaccine social marketing campaign for Cortland County Health Department.


  • CACTC performs assessment for the Cortland County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

  • Cortland County contracts with CACTC to staff and implement the NIDA-funded HEALing Communities Study. 

    • A Project Director and second Epidemiologist are hired. ​

  • CACTC designs an Opioid Disposal Awareness Campaign to educate the residents of seven counties in Rotary District 7170 about the importance of safe disposal of medications.  


  • CACTC is awarded the 5-year $1.5 million SAMHSA Partnership for Success grant targeting underage drinking.

    • First full-time epidemiologist is hired​.

    • CACTC staff work to formalize and codify processes/ products like needs/capacity assessments, strategy reports, project and data management guidelines, and data dashboards.

  • Since 2005, Catholic Charities of Cortland County served as the fiscal sponsor for CACTC providing administrative support. In 2019, CACTC officially became a standalone organization.


  • CACTC contracted to develop and design a social norms campaign targeting 18-25 year old students attending Onondaga Community College.


  • CACTC formally partners with two New York State prevention coalitions as part of the OASAS Partnership For Success grant to develop health communications materials.​​


  • CACTC establishes the Cortland County Literacy Coalition with funding from the Central New York Community Foundation.

  • ​CACTC is awarded the OASAS Partnership For Success grant, providing a framework of concepts and strategies that become core agency tools​.

    • $625,000 over 5 years aimed at reducing rates of prescription drug, heroin, and other opioid use among 12-25 year-olds in Cortland County​.


  • CACTC is awarded the SAMHSA STOP ACT grant.

    • $200,000 over 4 years aimed at reducing alcohol use among 12-20 year-olds in Cortland County​.


  • CACTC incorporates as a nonprofit organization.


  • CACTC is awarded first Drug Free Communities grant.

    • $1,125,000 over 10 years, aimed at reducing substance use among youth by addressing risk and protective factors with environmental strategies​.


  • CACTC is founded as a youth drug prevention coalition.

  • CACTC conducts the first Countywide Youth Survey.

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