February 9, 2021

Interview with Brad Friday, COAST Grant

Today we are talking with Brad Friday, Implementation Coordinator for the County Opioid Abuse Suppression Taskforce (COAST) Grant, Ventura County Behavioral Health, Substance Use Services - Prevention.

Hi Brad. Please describe your work with the COAST grant.

Brad: My work with COAST includes collection, dissemination, and publishing of pertinent County Opioid-related data via Public and Internal Dashboards, as well liaising between the requirements of the grant and our key stakeholders/partners.

How did you get interested in the field of prevention?

Brad: While serving as an Active-Duty Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, I was assigned to Marine Corps ground forces as a Field Medic. The prevention bug first bit while preparing/educating Marines prior to operational deployments rather than being strictly reactionary. After that tour I became a “Preventive Medicine Technician” within Navy Medicine which specialized in overall safety, health, and wellness of deployable forces within the Navy and Marine Corps.

What is your passion for working in the community?

Brad: It’s validating to contribute toward providing our diverse population a safe place to live and grow despite the challenges we face. This only happens by being at the ground level and interacting with the community along with our multi-agency partners who are working hard to achieve this mutual goal. My passion is to keep these threads tied together, to enhance these relationships and to maintain a unified front in suppressing the opioid crisis.

What are the areas that you hope to make changes in?

Brad: My goal in working within the COAST Project is to act as a conduit toward reducing opiate abuse, overdoses and overdose deaths via immediate communication of real-time data. This communication will then guide prevention, health care, and community leaders who join us in tackling the opioid crisis toward making more informed decisions.

Tell us one thing about you that helps us get to know you better?

Brad: I am originally from the Midwest but felt deeply connected to Ventura County upon being stationed in Port Hueneme some 20 years ago. While my career took me out of the county for a while, the attachment to this area never left. I’m not only happy that I get to live in this amazing area with so much to offer; I’m also increasingly proud I’m able to serve this community in this capacity.

Thank you Brad for sharing your experience with us. Your commitment and passion is inspiring.

Learn more:

Opioid Data Dashboard

www.coastventuracounty.org