About Us

The Neighborhood Action Coalition (NAC) is a community-based program that offers resources and technical assistance to communities in the areas of training, evaluation, program development, and youth initiatives.

NAC is founded on the Communities that Care model, which is based on over 30 years of research on the factors that place young people at risk. In Utah, a number of communities are currently utilizing the Neighborhood Action Process to develop strategies for building healthier neighborhoods.

THE MISSION of the Neighborhood Action Coalitions is to assist communities in developing practical solutions to local problems. This mission is accomplished through the application of the following: Assessing the community needs, encouraging volunteer participation, involving people in community solutions, and offering technical assistance.

History

The Neighborhood Action Coalition (NAC), formerly the Salt Lake Valley Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition, was one of 252 five-year community partnership grants funded through the national Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). Since its inception in 1991, NAC has facilitated a multi-faceted community-based prevention effort in targeted communities of Salt Lake County. Through NAC’s community mobilization, program development, community development, and training efforts, over 150,000 residents of Salt Lake County have been served.

The NAC’s “bottom-up” model included the adoption of the “Communities that Care” community-based prevention model developed by Dr. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard Catalano, for the organization, coordination, and implementation of NAC projects and activities. Through its community coalitions and task forces, NAC had organized and facilitated community mobilization efforts in Magna, Midvale, Murray, West Valley City, Taylorsville, West Jordan and the Salt Lake City neighborhoods of Central City, Fairpark, Glendale and Poplar Grove.

Staff

Lynne Durrant, PhD

Lynne is the Project Director for the Neighborhood Action Coalition, a non-profit organization run through the College of Health at the University of Utah.  She is also a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sports Science. Dr. Durrant has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah with a special emphasis in alcohol and other drugs education and treatment. She serves on the executive governing board for the Utah State Division of Alcoholism and Drugs, a Co-Section Leader for the University of Utah School on Alcoholism and Other Dependencies and is the author of two junior high school textbooks on drug education and prevention.

Rodney Hopkins, MS

Rod is the Project Evaluator for the Neighborhood Action Coalition and a Research Assistant Professor in the Social Research Institute at the University of Utah. Rod earned a BS degree in Community Health, with a certificate in gerontology and an MS in Health Science from Brigham Young University. He has completed all of the coursework toward a PhD in Health Education at the University of Utah. Rod is the Principal Investigator for a random control trial of the Utah State Office of Education’s statewide substance abuse prevention curriculum. Prior to this appointment, Rod had worked as a program manager in SRI and in the Department of Health Education and Promotion where he helped evaluate a 5-year CSAP-funded Community Partnership and 3-year Community Coalition Demonstration Project.

Darrin Cottle, MS RD

Darrin is the Project Administrator for the Neighborhood Action Coalition. He earned his BS degree in Health Promotion & Education and MS degree in Nutrition both from the University of Utah. During the past six years with NAC, Darrin has focused his efforts to reduce substance abuse in the Salt Lake area by working in the capacity of Youth Program Coordinator and Community Organizer.

Erin Handley, MS

Erin is the Community Organizer for the Neighborhood Action Coalition. She is a PhD student in the Division of Public Health at the University of Utah and received her MS in 2008 in the Department of Health Promotion and Education also from the University of Utah. Erin began working as a Program Coordinator for the Neighborhood Action Coalition in May of 2006. Additionally, Erin has a deep commitment to women’s health which is evidenced through her volunteer work with the Rape Recovery Center and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

Suzanne Millward Sigmund, HBS CHES

Suzy is a Project Coordinator for the Neighborhood Action Coalition. She grew up in American Fork, Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with an Honor's degree in Health Promotion and Education and minor in Nutrition. She started her work for the Neighborhood Action Coalition as an intern and was then promoted to Project Coordinator upon completion of her studies. Suzy's community health and education work includes co-creating a diabetes nutrition and healthy donation program for the Indian Walk-In Center Food Pantry, participating in a cultural exchange program on the Navajo Mountain reservation, and teaching English in the Czech Republic.