Organizing for Change

12 - A Champion for Change

December 26, 2017

Organizing for Change Podcast - Episode 12 Show Notes

Goal: “to equip coalitions, organizations, and individuals to bring change to their community”

Host, Amanda Decker joins Jennifer Rowe, Assistant District Attorney for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office.  


Welcome to Episode 012 of the Podcast: A Champion for Change

Guest: Jennifer Rowe, Assistant District Attorney for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office

Norfolk County District Attorney Website:

Organizing for Change Website:

Organizing for Change Twitter: @organizing4chng


3 Insights from This Episode:

  1. Find a Champion. The District Attorney’s Office had credibility and relationships with many diverse partners. They are champions for change, leveraging this influence to address gaps in information sharing around Rx prescribing (due to things like HIPPA,) by bringing people who do not traditionally work together to share information and create change. One of these ideas was to put on a conference for safe prescribing of medication. During this conference, medical prescribers (nurse practitioners, doctors, dentists etc), state officials, law enforcement (both local and national), educators, parents, and coalition members were able to talk about different experiences and realize how they were all connected to each other and were trained in their role how to prevent over prescribing.
  2. There is Nothing Like the Power of the Personal Story. In Norfolk County, any one is supposed to be able to get naloxone (the opioid reversal drug) from their pharmacy. Due to a number of circumstances, a number of people who try to pick up naloxone for their loved one are met with negative experiences. When Jen and the team wanted to talk to pharmacists about what the person getting naloxone experienced, they made a video with people’s actually experiences with attempting to obtain naloxone. This video was eye opening to everyone at the safe prescribing conference. A first hand experience that details the problem, has incredible power to create change.
  3. Identify the Right People. Jen and her team worked to find people who had the right information, resources and motives and put them to the task of mentoring other starting coalitions in Norfolk County. The DA’s office leveraged their influence to give credibility to other voices in the prevention field to create community change. Today, almost every community in Norfolk County has a Substance Use Prevention coalition (despite many of these coalition not having funding) and the DA’s office serves as a connector to provide ongoing training for coalitions.


Off air insight from Jen: Although HIPPA does not allow doctors to talk to someone other than the patient (without a waiver), this does not prevent the parent (spouse, grandparent etc) from talking to the doctor and giving them information. Many people do not understand that HIPPA does not prevent them from calling their loved ones doctor. Although the conversation will be a “one way street”, a “one way street” is still better than a “no way” street.


Next Episode: Subscribe now for free and you won’t miss episode 013