MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded funding to the West Virginia Prevention Research Center.
Director and professor of social and behavioral sciences, Geri Dino says they want to reach young people at an early age.
“West Virginina is at the epicenter of the opioid crisis, and we have a number of wonderful things going in the state, but much of them are focusing on people who are already addicted,” Dino said, “So, what the Prevention Research Center wants to do is to compliment these efforts by working with youth.”
The center is one of only 25 in the country to receive CDC funding, the award is $750,000 in the first year and an additional $100,000 per year from the WVU Research Office and Health Sciences Center Office of Research and Graduate Education.
As part of the program community members to become active participants in the research process, which is a key component of its primary 2019-2024 project, the Integrated Community Engagement Collaborative – a prevention model aimed to combat the state’s devastating cycle of opioid abuse.
Dino said,”This is a five year funding that’s going to be very systematic. Data will be collected on each county and then that data will be fed back to the community every year so they if what they’re doing is working.”
Because of the high vaping rates in the state and the relatively unknown health effects the center will direct resources to awareness or intervention, based on the data from the Integrated Community Engagement Collaborative.