Wellness and Prevention

N.O.E.L. (Navigating, Outreach, Education, Linkages)

A community-based prevention and early detection program offering free outreach, education and cancer screenings, specifically colo-rectal, cervical and breast, to underserved and hard-to-reach populations.

Admission and eligibility: All services are open to men and women between 40-64 years of age who are residents in Springfield communities. Education and outreach open to public who are residents in Springfield and surrounding communities.

Location: 476 Appleton Street Holyoke, MA, 01040
Contact: Tai Guzman tguzman@gandaracenter.org 413-788-4649

PREP and PREP+ (teen pregnancy prevention)

Gandara’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) encourages youth to explore their goals and dreams. We help youth look at how teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) can get in the way of achieving those goals. PREP is a 12-hour program for youth ages 15 to 19. Interested youth are invited to assist in co-leading future groups.

The PREP Program uses Making Proud Choices, a sexual health education curriculum that helps youth to explore and learn how to stay healthy, strong and committed to their own personal growth. The group also covers three topics that are important to becoming successful adults:

  • Healthy Relationships
  • Adolescent Development
  • Financial Literacy


Gandara’s PREP+ Program PREP+ groups meet weekly after school during the school year in several locations and are open to youth ages 11 to 14. The program also promotes youth involvement in supporting the community through community service learning.

PREP+ is an interactive, team-work and leadership skills-building program that uses the curricula Making Proud Choices on sexuality-education and Help Increase the Peace on violence prevention/conflict resolution. Youth work with group leaders to choose an issue in their community to work on and come up with a project that will help the community.

For more information about the PREP or PREP+ Programs, please call Sharon Hall-Smith at 413-733-0261 or send an e-mail to shall-smith@gandaracenter.org.

Program uses evidence based programs including:  Cuidate and Making Proud Choices and includes additional life skills/positive youth development curricula to help under-resourced minority youth with multiple high risk factors for teen pregnancy. It will work with youth groups in several targeted Springfield Schools, the YWCA, and youth involved in DCF, DYS, DMH or CBHI services in the greater Springfield/Holyoke region.

Closed Referral but interested individual/groups may call for more information: 413-285-4988.

Prevention Needs Assessment Survey

The Stop Access Drug Free Communities Coalition is pleased to present the results of the Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (PNAS) that was conducted with 8th, 10th and 12th grade students in Springfield Public Schools in April 2016. The coalition took the lead in planning the survey administration, with support from individual coalition community members and from community agencies, including Springfield Public Schools, Springfield Partners for Healthier Communities, the Springfield Department of Health & Human Services, Tapestry Health, New North Citizens Council, MLK Jr Family Services, and the Springfield Police Department (South End & Forest Park C3 Units).

We offer the data with the following clarification. Student data is most useful when looked at in terms of trends seen over time. Springfield is in the early stages of establishing this type of trend data. Student survey results can be affected by a variety of factors, including student truthfulness, student confidence in survey confidentiality and the number and representatives of students who are in school on the day that the survey is administered. Bach-Harrison, who developed the survey and produced city-wide and individual school reports from the data, used standardized protocols to delete survey responses that appeared to be untruthful. These protocols are described in the introduction to the survey report. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the survey administration or validity measures.

The Stop Access Coalition is excited to be working with the Springfield Public Schools and other community partners to establish trend data with increasing validity over time. We look forward to exploring trends that emerge in the years ahead which should assist us in program planning and evaluation to support Springfield youth. The PNAS data show that there is a lot of work that we as a coalition and community can do to support Springfield youth in staying drug free and becoming healthy, successful adults. These data offer important insights into future directions for our work.

For more information, please contact Stop Access Drug Free Communities Coalition Coordinator, Sharon Hall-Smith at shall-smith@gandaracenter.org or at 413-733-9024.

For Survey Results Click Here: (PDF Link)

Stop Access: Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention

Stop Access Springfield works to reduce substance abuse in the Mason Square, South End and Forest Park communities. The Coalition works to create positive vital communities and implement city wide strategies that highlight substance abuse prevention and move it to a priority status in Springfield. The Coalition focuses on collection of underage drinking and other data, community capacity building, public health planning to reduce and prevent substance abuse and implementation of these strategies.

A project of the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, the federal DHHS and SAMHSA; Stop Access is coordinated by the Gandara Center.

The Stop Access Coalition invites the participation of all interested residents and organizations of the city of Springfield.

120 Maple St, Suite #305, Springfield, MA; 01104
Contact: Sharon Hall-Smith: at 413-733-9024 or send an e-mail to shall-smith@gandaracenter.org.

Responsive Support For Violence Program (RSVP)

RSVP works in partnership with the YWCA to provide direct intervention and related services for African American and Latino youth who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Services include safety planning, counseling and/or 6 month follow up flexible services to assist young people with vocational and educational goals using a positive youth development model.

Admission Requirement: Youth must be between the ages of 13 and 24, live in Springfield or be placed in a residential program in Springfield.

Referral: Open

Location: 120 Maple St, Suite #305, Springfield MA 01105

Contact: Sara Moriarty, smoriarty@gandaracenter.org , 413 733-1015 x 357, Fax: 413 788-0929