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West Side News & Notes

11/8/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Summit County Felony Drug Court awarded grant

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Summit County Felony Drug Court has been awarded two grants that will fund ongoing programming, along with enhanced treatment for individuals with trauma-related symptoms or opiate addictions.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded a one-time grant for $300,000, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded a grant in the amount of $325,000 per year for three years. The project period is October 2012 through September 2015.

The Summit County Felony Drug Court is a specialty court that has been given the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-dependent, nonviolent offenders through comprehensive court supervision, including sanctions and incentives, case management, drug testing and treatment services.

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Teodosio presides over the court, while Oriana House Inc., a nonprofit community corrections and chemical dependency treatment agency, serves as the implementing agency.

“We are seeing an increasing number of people who have drug addictions that stem from post-traumatic stress disorder or abuse of prescription drugs,” Teodosio said. “These grant monies allow us to add more intense programming that helps these individuals learn how to address specific barriers and prevent future relapses.

“In order to address the higher needs that come with these addictions, the grant funding also allows the addition of intensive case management services, increased research components and specialized training for crisis counselors,” he added.

Since the 2002 inception of the program, 465 people have successfully completed the Summit County Felony Drug Court Program. County government officials anticipate the grant will allow the court to better serve 340 new clients over the life of the project.

Collaborative partners of the court include: Oriana House Inc.; the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board; Summit County Common Pleas Court; Summit County Executive’s Office; Summit County Legal Defender Office; the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, the Akron Police Department; and other local law enforcement agencies.


Summa reports $106.7 million in community benefit

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summa Health System President and CEO Thomas Strauss announced Oct. 31 that Summa provided $106.7 million in community benefit to area residents in 2011.

Strauss announced the results while unveiling Summa’s Community Benefit report during its 2012 Community Leadership Briefing event.

“Throughout our organization, there is great pride in knowing that what we do makes a difference in the lives of the people who reside in the communities that we serve,” said Strauss. “As the nation continues to navigate through health care reform, we embrace our role as a leader in shaping the way care is delivered and ensuring that our communities continue to thrive.”

As the region’s largest safety-net provider, Summa delivered $106.7 million in community benefit — including $14.3 million in the net cost of traditional charity care and $37.8 million in unpaid costs for Medicaid patients, according to Summa officials. In addition, Summa reported $20.9 million for education, $5.1 million for research and $24.9 million in subsidized health services, such as senior health, HIV/AIDS care and dental heath.

“We believe in our mission to improve the health of the people who comprise our neighborhoods and communities,” Strauss said. “We approach our work not only as health providers and administrators, but also as members and stewards of the region.”

The Community Leadership Briefing also featured remarks by David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser; Louis Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Greg Moody, director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation.


Hunger-Free Families offers ways to donate during holidays

AKRON — This holiday season, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s Hunger-Free Families campaign seeks to inspire families to come together to take action and help provide food to families struggling with hunger.

Local companies, nonprofit organizations, governmental bodies, schools, social clubs and faith-based organizations will host food and funds drives to feed families facing hunger. According to Foodbank officials, coordinating a food and funds drive is a great way to promote community involvement and team building while helping those in need.

Locally, one in seven people face a daily risk of hunger and more than one in four children is food insecure, according to Foodbank officials.

“Many people are surprised when they discover how widespread the problem is and how many households are in need in our community,” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. “These families have children, just like I do, and they worry about putting food on the table. We want to ensure that every family that needs food can access it during the holiday season and all year long.”

As the holiday season approaches, the goal of the Hunger-Free Families campaign is to inspire the community to get involved, whether that is through volunteering, holding a food and funds drive or making a donation.

Many local partners are getting behind the campaign by holding events to raise money and collect food for the Foodbank, according to Flowers:

• 98.1 WKDD, My 101.7, Rock 106.9 and 640 WHLO will host the Long Haul Against Hunger Nov. 16. This drive-by-and-donate event will have live broadcasts from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and a variety of activities all day. On-air personalities of WKDD will be at the Plaza at Chapel Hill on Howe Avenue in Akron and of WHOF at Thursday’s Plaza in Belden Village.

• Double Your Dollar Day is an online promotion on Cyber Monday, Nov. 26. While making holiday purchases online, visit www.akroncantonfood bank.org and make a donation. Any dollar donated on Cyber Monday will be matched by a Canton-area family.

• The Foodbank Facebook Challenge will start Nov. 29, and each new “Like” the Foodbank receives will result in a donation of four meals.

• At participating restaurants Dec. 16-22, order a specially selected item from the menu and that restaurant will donate four meals to the Foodbank. Visit the Foodbank’s website for participating restaurants.

For more on the campaign, visit www.akroncantonfood bank.org/hff.aspx or contact the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank at 330-535-6900.


Silver Creek Metro Park dam lauded

NORTON — The Silver Creek Metro Park Dam has been named an Ohio Dam Safety Organization’s (ODSO) 2012 Best Maintained Dam award winner.

The award will be presented at the Water Management Association of Ohio’s annual awards luncheon Nov. 14 in Columbus, according to ODSO officials.

Silver Creek Metro Park is owned by Metro Parks, Serving Summit County. The dam was constructed in 1990 and provides a normal pool surface area of 47 acres for public recreational use. The earthen embankment is 1,900 feet long, has a maximum height of 25 feet and contains more than 110,000 cubic yards of fill, according to the OSDA.

“Ohio is indeed fortunate to have dam owners like Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, with the commitment and resources to properly maintain their dam to protect lives and property downstream of the dam,” said Daniel Hill, the awards committee chair.

The ODSO was formed in 1995 as a division of the Water Management Association of Ohio and is affiliated with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials at the national level. ODSO’s activities include a newsletter available to all dam owners in Ohio, plus the awards program to encourage proper maintenance of dams. Additional information is available at the website www.ohiodamsafety.org.


Kathleen Folkerth and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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