A Team located in New London County, Connecticut

The MPTN Primary Prevention Project is located in New London County, Connecticut. The county has a population of 270,772, of which 7,034 individuals identify as American Indian/Alaska native (Race alone or in combination with one or more other races). It includes the rural communities that are home to three of the five Native American tribes in CT and the only two federally recognized tribes in the state. It is the most densely populated county of the state’s 8 counties with Native American youth and families. There continue to be significant inequalities in income and poverty rates for Native American families in the target area. Poverty rates are more than double the New London County and State of Connecticut rates for the three major towns that have the highest concentration of Native American Families with at least one child between the ages of 9 and 20.


Mission Statement

The Primary Prevention Project is a 5-year, Federal Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnerships For Success grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also known as SAMHSA, a part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The goal of the Primary Prevention Project is to enhance the current insufficient prevention infrastructure by expanding the capacity to identify current and emergent prevention populations and concerns and to address those concerns with culturally appropriate evidence-based programs, practices, and policies

Our Process

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Performance Assessment

Data on partnership events, activities and services were obtained from initial bi-monthly and later monthly meetings with the Project Director. Performance data is tracked by the evaluation team using the Workplan Progress Document

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Data on changes in community level indicators. Annual review of regional and tribal substance use/protective indicators.

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Data monitoring community changes and practices will be assessed using Advisory Board meeting minutes; online constituent surveys about the significance of the program and community changes; as well as the attainment of workplan goals

Project Lead

Cliff Sebastian, IV

Specializing in public speaking, project management, marketing, and more.

Prior to this, Cliff oversaw the marketing department for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. He lives and works at Mashantucket and have worked for both Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MPTN government in a number of roles over the years.

Receiving his undergraduate degree in Advertising from St. John's University and am currently enrolled in a Native American Leadership-concentrated MBA program from Southeastern Oklahoma State University . Cliff is also an Upstander Academy and Pequot Academy alumnus.

Evaluator/Epidemiologist Team

Gretchen Vaughn, Ph.D.

Dr. Vaughn is a licensed clinical psychologist and program evaluator who has devoted her career to community-rooted prevention and mental health services for under-served populations.

Gifty Ampadu Adjei, Ph.D

Gifty Ampadu Adjei, Ph.D., is an Attending Clinical Psychologist at Montefiore Health System in New York and Program Evaluation Consultant for Vaughn Associates.

Advisory Board

Our advisory board consists of a  number of community members from across New London county, which meet once a month for an hour over Zoom. During this time we promote Primary Prevention Project events, workshops, and training seminars and collect relevant data. Our aim is to reduce alcohol and substance use in children and teenagers.  One way we are doing this is by connecting community members with each to share information and promote events hosted by the PPP.  

If you are looking for additional positive, educational programming to share with your community or to help fill out a calendar of events, reach out.

Youth Council

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Youth Council is an elected leadership body that represents Tribal Members age 24 and under. As a voice for the Tribe’s younger generations, the Youth Council ensures their inclusion within internal and external conversations regarding the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

Goals of Youth Council

To identify the unique needs and perspectives of Tribal Youth within the context of leadership values that encourage understanding, respect, integrity, and empowerment

To ensure that the voices of Tribal Youth are included in conversations about community issues—both inside and outside of Mashantucket

Assisting  the Tribe in strengthening its social, cultural and economic foundation so that they can never be undermined or destroyed, in accordance with the Tribe’s Mission Statement

To develop and strengthen relationships with youth leadership from other Tribal Communities


UCONN Health

Research with UCONN Health

Center for Prevention Evaluation and Statistics (CPES) was established to support the Prevention and Health Promotion (PHP) Unit of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) in its efforts through the identification, collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of data pertaining to substance abuse prevention, mental health, and health disparities


Funding through SAMHSA

SAMHSA’s efforts reflect a commitment to upholding the federal government’s historical and unique legal relationship with American Indian tribes through consultation, outreach, education, and engagement. SAMHSA’s mission is to provide efficient and effective delivery of resources and services to ensure that American Indians and Alaska Natives have access to prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.