LSS receives $100,000 Vaping Prevention and Treatment grant from Wisconsin DHS

For Immediate Release

LSS receives $100,000 Vaping Prevention and Treatment grant from Wisconsin DHS

Funding will go to programs in four school districts throughout the state of Wisconsin

WEST ALLIS, Wis., Feb. 16, 2024 – Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS) was awarded a $105,354 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to reduce and prevent vaping among adolescents, an activity that has seen a steep rise in recent years.

LSS will use the funds over two years to endow programs in three school districts in western Wisconsin and one in Milwaukee County. The project will include three primary programs: small group intervention, parent intervention, and student-led advocacy groups.

With small group intervention, schools will refer students that have struggled with vaping use. LSS staff will lead a discussion using evidence-based education in an environment that empowers change instead of punishing mistakes.

Additionally, LSS will empower parents by providing access to an online support platform. This will give parents resources and education for working with their child to either prevent or stop substance abuse.

Finally, students will have the opportunity to create their own student-led events and programs that promote healthy behavior.  LSS and school staff will support youth in taking leadership roles, and the grant will provide funding for student-led events.  Héctor Colón, LSS President & CEO, believes empowering youth is the key to lasting change:

“LSS strives to support the youth and families in our communities,” said Colón.  “This project allows us to reach youth and empower them to make choices that will set them up for success.”

Colón says the grant is a good start, but stresses more must be done to stem the tide of youth vaping:

“Addressing this issue is going to take effort from a variety of places, schools, parents, and community organizations. LSS tries to bring together as many as possible, but the issue of ease of access still needs addressing.”

Funding for the grant comes from a $14.7 million settlement between Wisconsin and JUUL Labs, a leading manufacturer of vaping devices. The settlement addresses harm caused by JUUL’s predatory marketing practices.


Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS) is made up of nearly 800 Servant-Leaders including licensed therapists, professional social workers and counselors, and certified peer specialists located throughout our two-state reach. Every year, our colleagues strengthen families, inspire recovery, and empower independence & belonging for nearly 30,000 individuals and families at every stage of life. Driven by the belief in the infinite worth of every person, LSS provides affordable housing & homelessness services; public adoption & foster care; long-term care & disability services; refugee resettlement; residential treatment for substance use disorder & mental illness; and additional supportive community-based services.


George Kmetty, Public Relations Specialist

Gov. Evers, Héctor Colón Speak at LSS Aspen Center About Opioid Treatment

Waukesha, WI — On July 6, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers held a press conference at the LSS Aspen Center site regarding a new law that would help fund opioid abuse treatment services and funding through Act 57.

Héctor Colón, LSS President and CEO, kicked off the press conference in front of a host of TV, radio and print media, many of whom included LSS in their stories. Colón also spoke with WTMJ-TV and was featured on their story, which you can see below:



Aside from Colón and Gov. Evers, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow and Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley also spoke during the approximately 20-minute media gathering.

You can see the full press conference below, as posted on Milwaukee’s CBS 58 news site:

You can also find additional information from the using the links below: