Midland Sets the Standard for Safe Communities in Michigan
Midland's Safe Communities Focus
Based upon a review of community safety data and input from area organizations, the Safe Communities Coalition identified three key issues to be addressed through the Safe Communities America program:
- Fire and fall safety for senior citizens
- Drug abuse
- Mental health and suicide
Fire and Fall Safety for Senior Citizens
The Safe Communities Coalition is working diligently with MidMichigan Medical Center, Midland County Department of Public Health, 1016 Organization, and the Midland Police Department to learn more about the abuse of drugs in Midland, as well as potential programs that would be effective in reducing or eliminating sales and distribution of illegal drugs and drug use. In addition, the Coalition is working with programs currently existing in the community to identify ways to strengthen and promote these resources.
Mental Health and Suicide
Mental health and suicide prevention became an important topic to the Coalition when community data revealed significant gaps in care and support for this issue. As many organizations in Midland deal with mental health needs and see the impact of these issues, the Midland Area Community Foundation spearheaded a needs/gaps analysis and is currently working with Safe Communities and partner organizations to address those gaps in Midland.
Our Plans in Action
In the last year, the program has been presented to more than 135 Midland residents and over 75 home safety inspections have been conducted. And with the support of “Team Handyman,” a volunteer group that helps seniors maintain their homes, dozens of grabbars, hand rails and free smoke alarms have been installed.
Kelli Jankens, Injury Prevention Specialist for Trauma Services at MidMichigan Medical in Midland, will be presenting Midland’s results at the annual Remembering When Conference in early November in San Antonio, Texas.
The following individuals and their organizations have contributed to achieving the Safe Community designation and have committed to addressing the issues in our community:
Bill Allen - President and CEO, Midland Business Alliance
Paul Barbeau - Michigan Baseball Foundation
Cliff Block - Chief of Police, Midland Police Department
Jenifier Boyer - Director, Midland County Emergency Management
Alan Brown - Midland County Council on Aging
Chris Coughlin - Fire Chief, Midland Fire Department
Jill Dougherty - Great Lakes Safety Training
Ann Fillmore - Midland County United Way
Kelly Juday - Great Lakes Safety Training
Michael Krecek - Midland County Health Director
Fred McNett - Dow Corning
Sharon Mortenson - Midland Area Community Foundation
Dr. John Pfenninger - Midland Procedures
Diane Postler-Slattery - CEO, MidMichigan Medical Center
Katie Romo - The Dow Chemical Company
Michael Sharrow - Superintendent, Midland Public Schools
Scott Stephenson - Midland County Sheriff
Jack Telfer - Editor, Midland Daily News
Selina Tisdale - Midland Downtown Business Association
About Safe Communities America Injuries - both intentional and unintentional - are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, injuries in the home have been steadily increasing since 1992. The Safe Communities America program seeks to improve safety and reduce the number of injuries and injury-related deaths by encouraging communities to engage with local safety partners, explore safety and injury data, and make plans to address these concerns as a community.
Founded in 2007, Safe Communities America is an accreditation program of the National Safety Council and a founding member of the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network (PPSCN). PPSCN works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) pending designation as an NGO with official relationship with WHO.