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White House announces grant for Muskegon Community Health Project

For Immediate Use

Laura Fitzpatrick
Phone 231-672-3207

White House announces grant for Muskegon Community Health Project
Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon County Receives $625,000

Washington, D.C. - The White House Office of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) announced Tuesday, August 31st, the Muskegon Community Health Project's Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon County will receive the Drug Free Communities Support Program grant funding of up to $625,000. This five-year, $125,000-per-year grant will help support the coalition's efforts to reduce alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse among youth in Muskegon County. Senator Debbie Stabenow will present a check to members of the Muskegon Community Health Project coalition. Members of the press are welcome.

Check Presentation with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
Friday, September 10, 2010 at 3:45 p.m.
Mercy Health Partners' Mercy Campus (click for map)
Conference Room C

Press members: Please park in area 2. Enter through the Outpatient and Inpatient Entrance. "I applaud the hard work of local community leaders, youth, parents, educators, healthcare professionals, faith-based leaders, law enforcement officials, and others who are working together daily to strengthen communities and save kids' lives." Said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in his announcement on Tuesday.

Awardees must have at least a six-month history of working together on youth substance use reduction initiatives, have representation from 12 required sectors of the community, develop a long-term plan to reduce youth substance use, and participate in the National Evaluation of the Drug Free Communities (DFC) program. Founded in 2005, the Coalition has been active in ensuring a databased, decision-making process involving over forty local organizations and individuals to implement comprehensive substance abuse reduction strategies in community. The funding will support several subgroup activities, including the following:

  • To implement an intensive alcohol enforcement and education campaign directed at youth through the Coalitions' Alcohol task force, the Muskegon Alcohol Liability Initiative. Comprised heavily of law enforcement, businesses, schools, and public health, this group will continue to enhance retailer education, have targeted local enforcement, and work with schools and parents to inform youth about the consequences of drinking and driving.
  • To reduce the number of teen smokers through education, awareness and cessation programs.
  • To mobilize the community to reduce the number of youth using prescription drugs through education, awareness, and support of programs like the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program.

"This grant shows the confidence of the public and private partnership in Muskegon County," said Coalition Chair and Muskegon County Commissioner I. John Snider. "Our strategies involve schools, law enforcement, businesses, health and human service agencies, youth, and parents. Working together, we can accomplish something that is far reaching."

"We are thrilled to receive this funding to support the coalition's work," said the Coalition's Coordinator, Laura Fitzpatrick. "Our members have worked hard to implement their strategies, but we have much more work to do to prevent alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse among our youth."

About Muskegon Community Health Project

The Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon is a collaborative of the Muskegon Community Health Project (MCHP), the community benefit organization of Mercy Health Partners hospital. MCHP has a long history of convening community members on a myriad of health issues including substance abuse and prevention.

About Mercy Health Partners

Mercy Health Partners is a teaching hospital and the second largest health system in West Michigan with more than 4,000 associates, and some 21,000 inpatient discharges and 137,000 emergency/urgent care visits annually. The system has four hospitals and 375 physicians and offers a number of exclusive specialty physician care services for the region.