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Itasca, IL – On June 1, 2016, New Lenox, Ill. received reaccreditation as a Safe Community – one of just 17 communities in the U.S. with this distinction, given by the National Safety Council. New Lenox initially was accredited in 2010 through the Council's Safe Communities America program after evaluating community members' efforts to use proven, data-driven programs to save lives and prevent injuries.
Since 2010, New Lenox has focused efforts on older adult falls, safe disposal of prescription drugs and emergency preparedness. Between 2009 and 2011 there were, on average, 145 fewer hospitalizations a year in New Lenox compared to the 10-year period prior to accreditation.
"New Lenox really embodies what it means to be a Safe Community," said Carrie Nie, director of Safe Communities America for the National Safety Council. "Community leaders have worked very hard to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents, and we could not be happier to recognize those efforts."
New Lenox, the only accredited Safe Community in Illinois, has had consistent and sustained collaboration among stakeholders, which has driven much of its success. Community leaders will begin focusing on suicide prevention in addition to continuing efforts around other leading causes of preventable death. New Lenox is implementing fall prevention classes for older adults, creating a safe medication disposal program and will continue its nationally recognized Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. More than 300 residents have received emergency preparedness training because of the CERT program.
Safe Communities America is structured around a broad coalition of community partners - businesses, civic organizations, local government, non-profits and local residents. Safe Communities identify the leading causes of preventable injury and death within their communities and take steps toward eradicating those deaths. To be considered for accreditation, communities must prove they have sustained collaboration, data collection and application, effective strategies to address safety issues and evaluation methods.
For more information, please visit safecommunitiesamerica.org.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas that can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
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