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Community and medical organizations are teaming up to prevent the tragic consequences of drug misuse and preventable cancers by educating their communities about safe practices and healthy behaviors.

Through the AMA Foundation’s Healthy Living Grants program—which now is accepting applications—community programs with limited budgets are able to be an important part of the solution for prescription drug misuse and preventable cancers.

This year’s grant program has allocated funds for community projects by programs with annual operating budgets of less than $2 million that are partnering with medical organizations to educate their communities on these two pressing public health issues.

Among the dozens of projects executed by past awardees were programs such as:

  • At-risk youth in Portland, Maine, took a hands-on approach to prescription drug safety by educating their peers via a television special and public service announcement as part of the Yes! Program in 2014.
  • Youth Think of Wasco County Oregon organized a prescription drug take-back event in 2013 to help keep medications out of the hands of people for whom they were not prescribed.
  • Underserved families in Salt Lake City received assistance with smoking cessation by the group Pediatricians Against Secondhand Smoke, thanks to a grant in 2009.
  • School children in Oklahoma City were taught about the health consequences of smoking via a Schools for Healthy Lifestyles program in 2008.

As a past awardee, the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va., noted that the program for which they used their grant “has had a great impact in an impoverished region of Appalachia where the students are at great risk for substance abuse and an area where there is the greatest increase in deaths from prescription drug abuse.”

The deadline to apply for a Healthy Living Grant is Sept. 11.

Want to contribute? If you’re interested in giving toward programs like these, consider donating to the AMA Foundation. In addition to Healthy Living Grants, the foundation offers funding for physician-led clinics that care for underserved patients, grants for medical research and scholarships for medical education.

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