The Robert Crown Center for Health Education (RCC) was awarded a $20,000 grant from the DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund to support one of the nation’s first heroin education and prevention projects. The goal of the program is to stop the growing trend of heroin use and death across the Chicago area and the nation.
“Research tells us the Chicago suburbs rank among the worst in the nation for heroin use,” said Kathleen M. Burke, Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Crown Center. “The problem here in the suburbs is increasing at an alarming rate. There are many social and emotional factors that influence a young person to use heroin. We welcome the participation of DuPage Medical Group to help us educate students, parents and the community about this deadly problem.”
Professionals at Robert Crown are working in three Naperville schools piloting its heroin prevention education initiative. The nonprofit organization also is working with Naperville physicians to expand its efforts to prevent heroin use in the western suburbs.
Last summer Robert Crown participated in an enlightening panel discussion hosted by U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert on stage in the Wentz Concert Center, one of many forums held in Naperville to address the alarming increase of heroin use in the community.
This recent donation was made as part of the DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund’s mission to support the healthcare needs of the community. Physicians from DuPage Medical Group will also serve on RCC’s Heroin Advisory Committee. “We are proud to contribute to such a worthy cause, especially one that has been greatly affecting the communities that we serve” said Dr. Abdel Fahmy, a physician specializing in Addiction Medicine at DuPage Medical Group.
The Robert Crown Center for Health Education will use the donation to assist in its effort to raise community awareness of the growing heroin problem in the suburbs. RCC and DuPage Medical Group physicians will work together developing materials that will educate physicians about heroin use as a public health challenge, and give them the tools they need to help parents and young people who might be at risk, or who are already struggling.
Click on photo to enlarge. Barbara Szczepaniak, Director of Programs, DuPage Community Foundation; Kathleen M. Burke, CEO, The Robert Crown Center for Health Education; Peri Todd, Director, Clinical Research/Charitable Giving, DuPage Medical Group; and Kristina Sharkey, Director, The Spine Center of DuPage Medical Group, are pictured during the check presentation on Sept. 20.
About DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund / The DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund of the DuPage Community Foundation was founded in 2010 as a way of coordinating the group’s charitable giving efforts through both volunteer programs and monetary donations. The Charitable Fund has aligned its giving with the three greatest needs of DuPage County: food, shelter and healthcare related services. The DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund is the philanthropic arm of DuPage Medical Group which is the largest independent physician group in the Chicagoland area.
About Robert Crown Center for Health Education / The Robert Crown Center for Health Education is the nation’s first health education center and the largest provider of health education for school-aged youth in the Chicago region. Over the past half-century more than 5 million students have participated in RCC’s science –based programs on healthy eating, puberty, human reproduction, tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse prevention. Each year more than 85,000 young people from eight counties take part in RCC programs. RCC educators customize learning experiences for audiences according to their age, gender and developmental needs. RCC operates facilities in Hinsdale and Chicago.
Submitted by Joan Drummond Olson, Director of Communications, Robert Crown Center for Health Education
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