West Virginia

Department of
Health & Human Resources

Inaugural WV PREVENTION FIRST Awards Announced

9/22/2015

​The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, today announced West Virginia PREVENTION FIRST awards for individuals and organizations with a proven track record of success in the field of prevention. 

PREVENTION FIRST is a positive-action, community-based initiative funded by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, through a federal grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The focus is to reward and recognize individuals, organizations and communities that are making extraordinary efforts to provide outstanding services and opportunities that support youth, family, and community.

Prevention is defined by SAMHSA as creating communities where individuals, families, schools, faith-based organizations, and workplaces take action to promote emotional health and reduce the likelihood of mental illness, substance abuse including tobacco, and suicide.

“These individuals and organizations have demonstrated their ability to strengthen community-based partnerships and have implemented effective programs and practices that are the first line of defense against behavioral health disorders,” said Kathy Paxton, Director of the DHHR’s Division on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.

Prevention advocates in each of West Virginia’s 12 Partnerships for Success counties were given the opportunity to be nominated for the first annual PREVENTION FIRST awards.  The 12 counties are: Berkeley, Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Jefferson, McDowell, Mingo, Monongalia, Roane, Tyler, Wayne and Wyoming counties. Nominations were accepted in five categories: individual, community/county, school, faith-based organization, and business/agency.

The 2015 WV PREVENTION FIRST award winners:

AWARDEE                                                           CATEGORY                               LOCATION
Mateen Abdul-Aziz                                               Individual                                    Clarksburg, WV
Mary H. Weir                                                        Public Library Community          Weirton, WV
Bethany College                                                   School                                        Bethany, WV
The United Methodist Church                               Faith-Based Organization          Clarksburg, WV
Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle        Business/Agency                       Martinsburg, WV

For information about the West Virginia PREVENTION FIRST Campaign, visit www.preventionfirstwv.org.

Contact Information

For more information, contact DHHRCommunications@wv.gov or (304) 558-7899.

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