Rural Network Orientation

New Member information, overview, and background.


Who We Are


Connecting and supporting rural Washington to build resilience and prevent youth substance misuse.


Healthy, thriving rural communities free of substance misuse. Together we’ll discover what strategies work in rural areas.


A gathering of rural people who support youth on their journey to whole health.


The Rural Network is an online community of like-minded stakeholders who care about youth and work towards rural substance misuse prevention and education. We uplift one another and empower rural voices. We meet monthly on Zoom and host many additional opportunities.


This work is funded through cannabis sales tax and is part of the YCCTPP “Youth Cannabis and Commercial Tobacco Prevention Program” of Washington State Department of health. This network is facilitated by Prevent Coalition, and supported by the fiscal agent Educational Service District 112.

Who We Serve

We engage people in small, rural communities who are interested in substance misuse prevention and looking for a supportive source of ideas, inspiration, tools, and strategies. Anyone who self-identifies as rural is welcome.

We also involve those who may not identify as "rural" but serve rural communities and want to know how to do so in effective ways.

We're a warm and welcoming group of rural professionals from all walks of life, coming together to support and empower one another.

We're made up of prevention coalition coordinators and volunteers, educators, non-profits, community health workers, and more.

In 2021-22, we represented 37 counties in Washington, had 145 members on our contact list who collectively donated 1082 volunteer hours.

What We Do

We aim to reduce rural youth substance misuse, and increase rural collaboration. We do this by:

The Rural Network hosts monthly online meetings, offers several trainings throughout the year, sponsors network members to attend professional conferences, and connects members to key leaders. We convene voices and resources, bringing them to a rural audience, and remove barriers to prevention work whenever possible.

How We Do It

On the right is the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF). We achieve these goals by treating the Rural Network as a statewide coalition. We engage diverse community sectors, have a Steering Committee, and follow this scientific approach.

  • Rural Network: meets monthly to implement the plan.
  • Steering Committee: meets monthly to evaluate progress and plan towards our goals.
  • Toolkit Workgroup: meets once per month, as needed, to create our online toolkit.
  • Conference Workgroup: temporary group that meets monthly to plan for our training event.
  • Office Hours: monthly placeholder for members to receive support, ideas, guidance, and problem solve with staff.

In 2021-22 we offered 27 Office Hours, held 11 trainings, had 16 lawmaker meetings and hosted 86 meetings or events.

Common Questions

What's in it for me?

  • Free training
  • Sponsorship for professional prevention conferences
  • Reduced isolation
  • A safe space to brainstorm solutions to barriers
  • Group of peers to turn to when you need help
  • An audience who understands you
  • Low-effort opportunities to have a voice in tools that are being designed for you
  • Routine prevention updates and resource sharing

What are meetings like?

  • Friendly and warm
  • Strategic and prepared, yet casual and enjoyable
  • 1.5 hours, including a mid-meeting stretch break
  • Optional subcommittee meetings are 1 hour
  • We mix between breakout groups and large group discussions
  • Not required to have a camera or talk at all, observation and listening is participation
  • No “homework” or experience necessary
  • There are opportunities to help outside of monthly meetings but everything is optional
  • Planned by Steering Committee

What's the time commitment?

Everything is optional! We don't worry about attendance. You can support our cause in many ways:

  • We meet on the last Tuesday of every month from 2-3:30 for a virtual zoom call
  • Optional subcommittee meetings are held monthly for an hour
  • Training events pop up throughout the year
  • Additional discussion or queries may be forwarded through email on occasion

You can also support us without ever attending a meeting:

  • Read our newsletter
  • Use the Rural Toolkit (password: "ruralrocks!")
  • Forward this to a friend
  • Let people know we exist
  • Share the data we've collected, to educate people about our experiences
  • Write letters to decision makers and legislators on our behalf
  • Attend trainings we offer outside of monthly meetings
  • Submit ideas and connections by email after seeing the agenda

What's on the website?

The Rural Network website is the hub for all our work. At this page, you can find:

  • Agenda
  • Minutes
  • The "Rural Toolkit" containing rural stock photos, success stories, and more
  • Needs Assessment reports and data
  • A list of partners
  • A map of rural coalitions
  • Bio's for our Steering Committee leaders
  • Monthly newsletter

What are members saying about the network?

  • "This is long overdue!"
  • "This is really needed."
  • "Having statewide, full time advocates for rural is so important."
  • "We’re frustrated when rural communities are handed a to-do list with money that they don’t have the capacity to implement. This network is actually helpful."
  • "We represent a variety of communities across the state. I appreciate that we’re staying true to our authentic rural life and values."

Get Involved

Recurring Meetings

Rural Network Meeting

Last Tuesday of every month

2-3:30 p.m.

Online conference call

For rural volunteers, representatives & leaders across Washington.

Rural Office Hours

First Wednesday of every month

1-2 p.m.

Online conference call

For members to receive Technical Assistance and consultation.

Steering Committee Meeting

First Wednesday of every month

3-4:30 p.m.

Online conference call

Meeting for guiding leaders of the Rural Network to drive the action plan.

Toolkit Workgroup Meeting

As needed / monthly

Rotating times

Online conference call

Sub-committee of volunteers gather (usually monthly) to build online tools and resources.

Click for full calendar of coalition and community events.

Membership Agreement

This optional form outlines participation and support for our cause. Grant funders require collecting this agreement from as many ongoing partners as possible. It's acceptable to attend meetings and get a feel for things before signing.


Upcoming Events

CCPH Healthy Youth Survey Training

How to talk about HYS data, information about reliability, trustworthiness, and how to be effective advocates of the tool.

November 15, 2022

2-3 pm

Virtual 1 hour training

Youth Advocacy Training (Hybrid In-Person and Virtual)

Learn skills related to using your voice, policy change, and being effective youth advocates.

December 7 & 8, 2022

5:30-7:30 pm both days

@ ESD 112 Conference Center as well as a virtual component

Register for day 1

Register for day 2

Let's Connect!

Get in touch by contacting one of our staff, or visiting the website.
Thank You

"Connection is the best prevention."

The Rural Network is part of Prevent Coalition. Our mission is connecting and supporting communities to build resilience and prevent youth substance use. We envision a healthy, thriving community free of substance abuse.