West Virginia U., Greater Morgantown Link Efforts to Become Accredited Safe Community

Designation marks the first time a region – not a single community or university alone – receives accreditation from the National Safety Council.

​Itasca, IL – A region in West Virginia that includes West Virginia University and the City of Morgantown was named a designated Safe Community June 21 by the National Safety Council. It is the first time a Safe Community has been comprised of more than one entity, drawing resources and stakeholders from 45 local groups in Monongalia County, WVU and Morgantown. The West Virginia University and Greater Morgantown Safe Communities Initiative is the 18th accredited Safe Community through the Safe Communities America program.

"It is inspiring to see this level of collaboration to save lives and prevent injuries," said Carrie Nie, director of Safe Communities America at NSC. "We are thrilled to welcome West Virginia University and Greater Morgantown into the Safe Communities America network."

The accreditation is the culmination of a three-year effort to identify and address the leading causes of injury and death in the WVU and Morgantown area. 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:

  1. Developing the Simulation Training & Education for Patient Safety (STEPS) program to teach law enforcement how to administer naloxone, an overdose antidote
  2. Implementing a suicide screening tool developed by the Department of Emergency Medicine
  3. Creating the LoveWELL program, which uses a peer-to-peer format to empower students to help prevent sexual assault and harassment
  4. Developing a virtual emergency center to allow first responders, law enforcement and campus personnel to assemble and distribute resources
  5. 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

"Our vision is to build the safest, healthiest community on the globe," said Dan Shook, director of the WVU Greater Morgantown Safe Communities Initiative. "We intend to use a rapid-cycle process to find approaches that work, spread them across the region, and measure their impact."

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 road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities. Safety+Health magazine, the Council's flagship publication, is a leading source of occupational safety and health information.

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