Paine College Awarded $887,000 Competitive Community Partnership Grant to Address HIV and Substance Abuse

Posted by painewebmaster | 03/13/2015 03:30 AM

Today, Paine College officials held a press conference to announce a grant award of $887,796 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to address substance abuse, HIV, and HCV infections on campus and in the surrounding community. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) officially gave notice of the proposal’s acceptance in September 2014 with funding spanning 3 years to allow program development and intensive intervention work. The program, Paine College: Informing, Developing and Educating through Active Learning (PC-IDEAL), seeks to bring fresh and relevant health education and intervention to the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).

The PC-IDEAL project uses a collaborative model to build community capacity to reduce substance abuse and the incidence of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C infection and related problems. Additionally, these funds allow further integration of intervention services on the Paine College Campus and within the surrounding community.   

Paine College has partnered with the New Bethlehem Community Center, Inc. to extend the scope and effectiveness of services provided to 18-24 year olds through the grant. Since its founding in 1912, the New Bethlehem Community Center has provided social services to residents and improved the daily lives of families and individuals in the CSRA.

Among the attendees were representatives of the New Bethlehem Community Center and officials from the City of Augusta.  Mayor Hardie Davis applauded the collaborative mission and stated, “Our community is reminded of the role Paine College and the New Bethlehem Community Center have historically played to support the community and people who live beyond the boundaries of the College.”  “It is important that these institutions continue to thrive as their successes are integral to the fabric of the greater success of our community.”   

Dr. Lawanda Cummings, the principal investigator of the PC:IDEAL project and chair of the Social Sciences Department, said that she hoped to bring the expertise of the department into spaces where it benefited Paine and the larger community. “Through efforts of faculty, students, health educators and relevant partners, we are creating spaces and opportunities that promote better health outcomes and choices among young people in the CSRA,” said Dr. Cummings.”

Ms. Millicent E. West, an experienced health educator and counselor, will serve as the Program Coordinator for the PC-IDEAL project.  Ms. West, the former Director of Student Activities and Residence Life at Paine College, stated that she understood first-hand how peer pressure impacted risky behavior that led to chronic diseases in young people.  “We must continue to have conversations with college students and young adults about taking responsibility and thinking beyond the moment,” said Ms. West. 

“Millicent West’s role is critical to the daily operations of the project and as the former Executive Director of the New Bethlehem Community Center, Inc., she brings a wealth of skill and knowledge that will benefit this initiative,” said Dr. Cummings.

Mr. Geno Clark, Director of Sponsored Programs, negotiated the award process and participated in the collaboration. “The SAMHSA grant will strengthen the participating partners’ mission to address, prevent, and reduce substance abuse and HIV in the community,” commented Mr. Clark. “I look forward to developing additional opportunities for external funding that build collaborations in support of addressing health disparities in the CSRA.”

 

 

For more information about the PC-IDEAL project, please contact the Office of Communications & Marketing at 706.396.7591 or via email:tjwilliams@paine.edu.