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GSU, Willingway partner to create addiction center
Willingway Gift 2
Pictured, left to right, are: professor Karl E. Peace, Dean Charles Hardy, Carole Smith, senior director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, provost Linda Bleicken accepting the gift from Jimmy Mooney and Dr. Robert Mooney, members of the Willingway Foundation. - photo by Special
    The month of April was designated Alcohol Awareness Month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration since 1987 in order to call awareness to alcohol abuse as a treatable disease. That designation takes on greater meaning at Georgia Southern University as the Task Force for the Center for Addiction Recovery continues to develop its focus.
    The Task Force is an interdisciplinary group of Georgia Southern faculty, Willingway Foundation board members and representatives of other Statesboro community organizations. They are meeting regularly to develop programs focusing on research, evaluation and service to members of the Georgia Southern University community who are in recovery from problems with alcohol drug and other forms of addiction.
    The Center for Addiction Recovery is the result of a gift from the Willingway Foundation to the university. The foundation gave an initial gift of $25,000 per year for three years to create the center, which will help recovering students minimize the risk of relapse during their college experience. The center will offer educational resources, opportunities for faculty and student research and a way to encourage community-wide partnerships in alcohol education.
    “Many of the patients treated at Willingway Hospital choose to remain in Statesboro, and many of those people end up pursuing higher education,” said Dr. Robert W. Mooney, medical director of the hospital and a board member of the Willingway Foundation. “With this gift, the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health can take steps to develop a cutting-edge program that will support those in addiction recovery in the Georgia Southern community.”
    Kimberly Coleman, assistant professor of community health and health behavior at Georgia Southern University, is a member of the Task Force. She holds a joint faculty appointment from the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health and the College of Health and Human Sciences, two areas of the university that will be involved in operation of the Center for Addiction Recovery. She expects the center’s first programs and services to be available during the next academic year.
    “The Center will emulate a successful federally funded program currently in place at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas,” said Coleman. “Texas Tech has developed a program model for a recovery community that other colleges and universities can implement and design to fit their particular campus culture. Their research shows that students in the Texas Tech program are more likely to graduate, carry a higher GPA, and have an overall seven percent relapse rate. This is definitely a good program model to implement at Georgia Southern.”
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