Thursday, October 17, 2013


On October 26th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve, Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your medications for disposal to the Cantril Village Hall, W North Street, Cantril.  The service is free and anonymous, no paperwork, no logs, no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.  The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.  DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act.  Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

You do not have to wait for a Drug Take Back event to dispose of your medication.  Lee Pharmacy in Keosauqua accepts the return of prescription medications (excluding controlled substances) during their regular hours at their pharmacy counter.

The coalition is asking for your help in promoting the event, please let anyone who may have unused medication know about this! If you would like to know more about the Prescription Drug Take Back Day or Prescription Drug Abuse please find additional details at the following link: or contact the SAFE Coalition office at 319-293-6412.

Monday, October 14, 2013

YLC Students Attend County Wide Training

On October 8, 2013 the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) held their annual training at the Roberts Building in Keosauqua. This training was for Van Buren and Harmony Community School District YLC Student Members in 7th – 12th grade.  At this training they participated in various activities to help lead teens in the county in being above the influence of the negative influences in their lives.  There were over 100 teens in attendance for the training this year. 

The youth participated in four different workshops that focused on planning, leadership, producing videos and putting on street marketing activities.  There were different activities held during the leadership session that helped YLC members learn how to work together as a team. 

An ISTEP session taught the students about a statewide organization that can be a resource for local groups.  The students learned about different street marketing activities and how to put these on in their community.    

The members planned activities they would like to do in their communities to encourage others to be drug, alcohol and tobacco free as well.  Each grade/school planned their activities for the rest of the year during this time. 

Finally, the members were trained in video development and production.  Many of the students are interested in making videos related to the issues they are addressing, but needed the training to do so. 

All of the students had fun and learned new things.  They were able to work together as a large group for the entire day, making it easy to get a lot accomplished!  This type of training allows the students to come up with new ways to influence their peers to make good decisions!  For more information on the YLC program or the training you may contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Van Buren County Selected as Finalist for RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize

Van Buren County was chosen today as a finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) second annual RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize. As a finalist, Van Buren County is one step closer to the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize which honors communities whose efforts illustrate an enduring commitment toward creating a culture of health for all residents. Van Buren County was selected along with eleven other communities from across the nation for their health improvement efforts and will now be considered for the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize, which will be announced June 2014.

“We are pleased to have advanced as a RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize finalist community,” said Heidi Bainbridge, Van Buren County SAFE Coalition, This county has been proactive in keeping the community a healthy place to live, they have a lot to proud of and deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments”

To earn Prize finalist status, Van Buren County had to illustrate how its efforts to foster healthier outcomes for its citizens reflect the six RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize criteria:

·         Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
·         Implementing a strategic approach to improving health that focuses on the multiple factors that influence health.
·         Addressing problems that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
·         Developing sustainable, long-term solutions to shared community priorities.
·         Securing and making the most of available resources.
·         Measuring and sharing results.

“Selected from more than 250 applicants, the twelve RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize finalist communities distinguished themselves with creative strategies to help people lead healthier lives,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “These communities are shining examples of a growing movement to create a culture of health across our nation.”

The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize is an annual no-strings-attached $25,000 cash prize that will be awarded to up to six of the finalist communities in June 2014. The Prize was launched to further the work of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The program provides data, tools and potential solutions to help policy-makers and the public improve the many factors that influence health in their community. The Rankings show communities where there are areas to improve and the Roadmaps show how communities can take action to expand opportunities for healthier choices. The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize honors communities that are creating a culture of health. Find out more at