Tuesday, October 29, 2013
For the 10th consecutive year, the University of West Georgia Health Services Department received a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The overall goal of this $11,570 grant is to empower students to choose healthy, responsible lifestyles while creating safer, healthy campus environments and traditions.
More specifically, this year’s grant will be used for continued participation in the GOHS Georgia Young Adult Program which utilizes peer education to bring awareness to highway safety issues including alcohol abuse, impaired and distracted driving, underage drinking, addiction, safety belts, speeding and pedestrian safety. This program originated in 2000 with participation from two colleges, Georgia Southwestern and Paine College, and has expanded to more than 17 colleges and universities in Georgia.
Programming, provided through the collaborative efforts of many offices and coordinated by Ron King, Lead Health Educator, includes diverse prevention classes and activities as well as the distribution of educational incentives. Student Services staff and student leaders are certified to teach these classes.
“The grant will provide the capacity for a wide-spread enlightenment of our university’s safety awareness culture,” said King. “In short, the grant would save lives and build better ones.”
One of the most popular projects, which is a collaboration with University Police, includes the use of Fatal Vision Goggles, which simulate intoxication for students. By participating in this project, students experience firsthand impairment to their motor skills, vision, reflexes and judgment by driving an all-terrain vehicle through an obstacle course under the supervision of a trained officer. A driving simulator for students to experience highway hazards, including impaired driving is also provided each semester during the annual observance of Health and Safety Week and National Alcohol Awareness Week.
"Mr. King and I are very excited that our grant with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety has been renewed for the 10th consecutive year,” said Jill Hendricks, UWG Health Services patient advocate. “This grant provides valuable funding for diverse, interactive activities presented by very well-trained students. Mr. King and the Peer Educators welcome opportunities to speak to any student group."
King and the certified Peer Educators are available to do presentations in local area high schools as well. The grant provides funding from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014. For more information on these and other projects, please visit www.westga.edu/health.