Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Biographies

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Office of Prevention and Wellness provides statewide leadership for Ohio’s 10 Ohio county Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services/Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ADAMHS/ADAS) Boards.  The Ohio Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership For Success (SPF-PFS) was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). 

Dawn M. Thomas, PhD, MEd, OCPC, ICPS

Dawn Thomas

Dr. Thomas is a Prevention Systems Manager with the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). She is highly experienced in event planning, program development, coordination and implementation as well as fostering and promoting close working relationships between state, county and local social service systems/agencies.  She has been in public service for more than 20 years focused on prevention, training, mental health and other social services programming for adults and students. Currently, Dr. Thomas serves as Project Director for Ohio’s Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) State and Tribal Initiative Grant.   Ohio’s SPF-PFS is a five year (2014-2019) $8 million grant awarded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health and Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA CSAP).  Dr. Thomas is an, Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant and a Certified Meeting Professional with a M.Ed. in Health Education/Community Health Promotion and received her Ph.D. in Health Education at the University of Cincinnati.

Molly Stone, LSW, OCPC, ICPS

Stone is the Chief of the Bureau of Prevention in the Office of Prevention & Wellness at OhioMHAS. She has over 22 years of experience in prevention project development and management. She has provided training and technical assistance to prevention professionals across Ohio in the areas of program planning, design and implementation, evaluation, budgeting, data collection and youth development. She assisted the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium with item writing. She is a trainer for the Substance Abuse Prevention Skill Training (SAPST) curriculum. She also serves on many state and federal level committees in addition to being a federal reviewer for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) exemplary prevention programs, a Central CAPT Associate, the Ohio National Prevention Network (NPN) representative and the past president of the National Association of Teen Institutes. She is an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist II, Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant and a Licensed Social Worker. She attended The Ohio State University, and has a B.S. in Education.

Lara M. Belliston, Ph.D.

Dr. Belliston works in the Office of Prevention and Wellness as the State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup Lead and Ohio Healthy Youth Environments Survey - OHYES! project coordinator. Lara began with the department in 2006 in the Office of Research and Evaluation as a researcher for the Transformation State Incentive Grant (TSIG). Lara transferred her research skills to the Office of Prevention and Wellness to be Ohio’s Safe Schools Healthy Students Project Director before becoming involved in OHYES!. She previously worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence at Kent State University. Dr. Belliston’s research focused on child and adolescent development, including: evaluation of a program to help young children who witness violence; evaluating a longitudinal school-based violence prevention program; investigating the relationship between adolescent emotional development, family process, internalizing behaviors (e.g., anxiety and depression), and externalizing behaviors in rural African-American youth; working on a project studying adolescent development across international cultures, Ohio African-American’ girls’ assets and risks, and behavioral health program effectiveness. She obtained her education at Brigham Young University, earning a B.S in Family Studies; Auburn University, M.S. and her Ph.D. in Human Development.