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West Virginia University and Greater Morgantown Safe Communities Initiative

 

West Virginia University and Greater Morgantown Safe Communities Initiative

Partnership Activities:

WVU-ICRC has joined a coalition of WVU, City of Morgantown, and Monongalia County representatives that has applied for a Safe Community certification from the National Safety Council (NSC). This effort involves a data collection/analysis phase to identify community injury priorities; and an effort to identify, implement and evaluate evidence-based programs to address local, high priority problems. Approvals for proceeding in this collaborative venture were obtained from local officials, and the president of WVU, the mayor of Morgantown, and the president of the Monongalia County Commission co-signed a letter of intent in April 2014. The WVU ICRC outreach director was asked to serve as initiative facilitator, and wrote a successful proposal to secure WVU School of Public Health Dean’s community engagement grant to provide funding for a communications and public affairs effort to raise awareness of the initiative in the community.

Public Health Impact of Partnership:

On average, those communities in the U.S. who are designated Safe Communities, achieve a nearly 10% reduction in unintentional and intentional injury incidence. Safe Communities also raises community awareness of both the injury issues, and the public health approach to addressing injury. Safe Communities planning is required to be data-driven, to focus on evidence-based prevention, and to demonstrate the organization of a broad and sustained local coalition and effort. The Safe Communities applicants are also required to focus upon a set of leading injury topics that include motor-vehicle-related injury, older adult falls, poisonings (especially prescription drug overdoses), workplace safety, violence and suicide prevention, and emergency preparedness. This initiative will result in the first combined campus, city and county Safe Communities designation in the U.S.

 

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