Community Updates

Community Members' Commitment to Safety Inspiring

NSC is proud to highlight the work being done in Safe Communities across the nation. Collaboration brings about change.

Click on the images to learn more about these inspirational Safe Communities.

New Lenox, Illinois 

Six years since being named a Safe Community, data from New Lenox shows declines in preventable deaths and injuries. Community leaders are focused on suicide prevention, fall-prevention for older adults and medication disposal. New Lenox also has a nationally recognized Community Emergency Response Team, and piloted an NSC community education program, Surviving an Active Shooter Event.

Anchorage, Alaska

A community coalition in Anchorage delivers safety solutions for some of the unique concerns of residents, including a harsh climate and little sunlight, leading to high rates of depression and substance abuse. They also are focusing on bullying prevention and wellness for teens and young adults. Anchorage has been an accredited Safe Community since 1998.

Sullivan County, Tennessee

Dr. Croydon Siffring, professor at East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine and a member of the surgical trauma team at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, is doing his part to alter physician prescribing habits. His goal: To stem the flood of prescription painkillers entering society and reduce addiction and overdose deaths. Siffring advocates for treating post-operative trauma with ibuprofen and acetaminophen rather than relying on opioids for extended periods of time.

Midland, Michigan

On Aug. 25, 2016, Midland became the first Safe Community accredited in Michigan and the 19th Safe Community accredited in the nation. One of Midland's biggest supporters is Dow, illustrating the critical impact corporate partners can have on reshaping the safety of a community.

After reviewing local data, Midland Safe Community – made up of diverse groups like police, fire, hospitals, community foundations, public schools, health departments, faith-based organizations and more – identified three major causes of injury and death:

  • Senior fires
  • Senior falls
  • Suicides

They pulled together groups from the Fire Department, Senior Services and MidMichigan Medical Center to take the lead on programs like fall prevention events and home modifications. They developed a program called Remembering When, which addresses both falls and fire prevention for seniors.

Midland Safe Community included training for the proper handling of mental health crises by police and engaged faith-based organizations to address the issue of suicide.

With the support of major stakeholders like Dow, the proven model of Safe Communities and the dedicated people of Midland, the city has given itself the tools to fight against these preventable deaths and create a safer and healthier place to live.

West Virginia University, Morgantown and Monongalia County

On June 21, 2016, West Virginia University, the City of Morgantown and Monongalia County earned Safe Communities accreditation. It is the first time a Safe Community has been comprised of more than one entity, drawing resources and stakeholders from 45 local groups. The West Virginia University and Greater Morgantown Safety Communities Initiative is the 18th accredited Safe Community.

Research shows drug overdoses, suicide, sexual assault and workplace safety are serious issues impacting residents, prompting leaders to develop programs to combat each. Actions include:

  • Developing the Simulation Training & Education for Patient Safety (STEPS) program to teach law enforcement how to administer naloxone, an overdose antidote
  • Implementing a suicide screening tool developed by the Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Creating the LoveWELL program, which uses a peer-to-peer format to empower students to help prevent sexual assault and harassment
  • Developing a virtual emergency center to allow first responders, law enforcement and campus personnel to assemble and distribute resources
  • Adopting a workplace safety software package that tracks injuries and identifies causes; WVU has seen a drop in workplace injuries over the past five years thanks for this software