PHCS News

Princeton HealthCare System Receives American Medical Association Foundation Healthy Lifestyles Grant

Sep 24, 2012

Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) will establish a new program to prevent prescription drug abuse among youth, funded by an $8,000 grant from the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s Healthy Living Program.

Supported by an unrestricted grant from Purdue Pharma LP, the Healthy Living Program works to address urgent healthy lifestyle issues by providing mini-grants to implement grassroots health education in communities nationwide. This year, PHCS was one of 25 nonprofits to receive funding for programs promoting prescription medication safety among youth.

"It is a serious public health issue and of great concern that one in six children has abused prescription medications," stated AMA Foundation President Clarence Chou, MD. "These grants provide critical support for communities and organizations to combat this problem on a local level by funding innovative programs tailored to each of their specific needs.”

The new PHCS program—the Community Alliance for Medication Safety—will be managed by the PHCS Community Education & Outreach Department with assistance from Princeton House Behavioral Health, another unit of PHCS. Recent studies suggest that prescription drug abuse among New Jersey teens is about one-third higher than the national average.

“Our needs assessment identified this issue as a priority in our community,” said Carol Norris-Smith, PHCS Vice President for Marketing & Public Affairs. “So we developed a multifaceted approach to reduce prescription drug abuse by older, at-risk youth and also to prevent accidental ingestion by younger children.”

Princeton House’s leading experts in diagnosing and treating prescription drug abuse will select proven patient education materials and create customized teaching modules for healthcare professionals, staff members of community-based organizations, parents and youth.

Community Education & Outreach staff will disseminate educational materials, provide training sessions and host Community Alliance meetings to coordinate ongoing, community-wide prevention and intervention strategies.

PHCS is one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems in New Jersey, providing rehabilitation, home care, outpatient surgery, and fitness and wellness services, in addition to behavioral healthcare and substance abuse treatment through Princeton House Behavioral Health and acute-care hospital services through University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. For more information, visit www.princetonhcs.org.

The AMA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation, is dedicated to improving public health by raising funds and providing philanthropic support to high-impact health and medical scholarship programs. Visit www.amafoundation.org to learn more.