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Harris-Stowe Receives Community Partnership Grant

ST. LOUIS, MO (September 27, 2013) – Harris-Stowe State University’s Office of Counseling Services is the recipient of a grant issued by the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention. The $802,414 award will be paid over three years with the project period to begin September 30, 2013. The opportunity to be funded by this grant was only open to minority-serving institutions (MSI) and those partnering with community-based organizations (CBO). 
The MSI/CBO collaboration is designed to prevent and reduce substance abuse and transmission of HIV/AIDS among young minority adults between the ages of 18-24 on college campuses. To meet this mission, Harris-Stowe will partner with Williams and Associates to provide integrated substance abuse and HIV-prevention programs on campus and to the surrounding communities.

Williams and Associates is a minority non-profit community agency that has been in operation for 11 years, and is aimed at addressing minority health disparities in St. Louis. Since its existence, Williams and Associates has provided preventative health screenings/testing in the areas of HIV/AIDS, STDs, hypertension, Hepatitis C and cholesterol, to name a few. The agency has experience working with residents in the community who live below federal poverty guidelines and are uninsured or underinsured. Client demographics consist of African American men and women ages 13 and older of various gender identities and sexual orientations.

Additionally, this award will aid HSSU in educating students on making responsible decisions regarding substance abuse, relationships and sexual health.

“I am so excited and grateful to have received this Community Partnership Grant from SAMHSA and equally happy to work with Williams and Associates to prevent the spread of HIV among 18 to 24 year olds in our community” said Dr. Vicki Bernard, director of Counseling Services at Harris-Stowe. “I have been involved in HIV-prevention work at various levels since 1995 and while we have made progress, I am saddened by the fact that young African Americans are infected at such high rates.”

SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Harris-Stowe State University, located in midtown St. Louis, is a four-year institution that offers 15 degree programs in the areas of Accounting, Business Administration, Biology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Health Care Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Information Sciences and Computer Technology, Mathematics, Educational Studies, Middle School Education, Professional Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education and Urban Affairs. Ranked by U.S. News as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, the university, which has been in existence for more than 150 years, offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in the metropolitan area.