Health Services gets $109K

by Anne Renna | 11/7/94 6:00am

A new $109,000 federal grant will help College Health Services expand both its drug and alcohol education programs and staff.

The money, which comes from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), will allow the Student Alcohol Education Network to increase its educational efforts and offer funding for alcohol-free social events.

The grant will also provide half the funding to create five new positions in Health Services, including a full-time assistant coordinator of peer-education programs.

Unlike Dartmouth's two previous FIPSE grants, this one aims to provide more support and incentives for non-abusers to continue their good habits, and to increase the percentage of students who make low-risk choices concerning the use of drugs and alcohol.

Previous grants emphasized the prevention of problems related to drug and alcohol abuse.

"Thirty-seven percent of Dartmouth students have one or fewer drinks per week. We hope that this grant will allow us to support and expand the group of students who make low-risk drinking choices," Health Resources Department Director Janet Sims said.

The College submitted a proposal called "Empowering the Non-Drinker" to FIPSE last February and was awarded the grant at the end of the summer. The College made it public last week.

John Pryor, Health Services program evaluator and the primary author of the grant proposal, said the grant outlined several goals including to expand the On Campus Talking About Alcohol program (OCTAA), to educate students on the actual medical effects of alcohol, to train more students and administrators in health education issues and to provide social support to students making low-risk drinking choices. Gabrielle Lucke, director of health education services, also helped write the grant.

The grant will allow the College to increase its training and allow Health Services to involve the entire freshman class in the OCTAA program within the next few years, Pryor said.

Part of the money will be devoted to evaluating Health Service's prevention programs to determine what is and is not working.

Bart Bingenheimer '94 has been hired to act as the full-time assistant coordinator of peer-education programs, such as OCTAA. In addition, the grant will help Health Services fund three interns and a part-time administrative assistant.

"I think we received the grant because our proposal was worthy of their attention and notice," Sims said. "Our program has been evolving, expanding on each grant and improving with each one."

In the late 1980s, the U.S. Department of Education created a special branch of FIPSE to offer colleges and universities funding for the innovation of drug and alcohol prevention strategies. Dartmouth is the first institution to have received three such grants.