Press Release for AMA Foundation Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       DATE:  August 29, 2011


Okanogan County Community Coalition

 Receives American Medical Association Foundation

Healthy Lifestyles Grant

 Okanogan County – Okanogan County Community Coalition was awarded a grant from the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s Healthy Living Program.  This program addresses critical healthy lifestyle issues by providing mini-grants to grassroots community organizations. Selected projects target youth and address the topics of nutrition and physical fitness, prescription drug safety and violence prevention. Okanogan County Community Coalition was one of 37 nonprofits across the country that received such a distinction this year.  The prescription drug safety projects are supported by an unrestricted grant from Purdue Pharma L.P.

 Okanogan County Community Coalition, based in Okanogan County, Washington received a $5,000 grant for the Coalition’s efforts to reduce prescription drugs abuse and misuse in Okanogan County.  Specifically, this funding will provide continuing medical education for medical professionals working in Okanogan County.  This education will include education on proper prescribing practices, best-practice long-term prescription monitoring for patients suffering from chronic pain, identification of Rx abuse, and proper disposal and storage strategies.  Okanogan County Community Coalition will work collaboratively with Okanogan County Public Health to accomplish the grant’s objectives. 

 “These Healthy Living Grants provide necessary resources and recognition to those organizations who are on the front lines in their communities, creating change on the local level,” said AMA Foundation President Owen Garrick, MD.  “We are pleased to support Okanogan County Community Coalition’s efforts to prevent prescription drug abuse in their community.”

 The Okanogan County Community Coalition is a grass-roots, community-based organization that has been working for over a decade to prevent substance abuse and violence in Okanogan County.  For more information on the Coalition and its local activities, visit 

 The AMA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation, is committed to improving the health of Americans through philanthropic support of quality programs in public health and medical education.

Rx Drug Abuse Prevention

Today prescription drugs are the second most abused category of drugs after marijuana, with 1 in 5 young adults reporting they have abused a prescription drug.  From 2008 to 2012 Okanogan County has seen a 93% increase in tenth grade prescription drug abuse, according to the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. 


Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  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.


Here’s what you can do in Okanogan County to limit access and increase barriers to access in an effort to decrease diversion by:


·         Safely returning unused medications to the return slot at The Omak Police Department, Okanogan County’s FIRST PERMANENT Rx take back site. The outdoor drop off slot is located on the North side of the Police Department building and accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Below is a link to a list of items that are accepted and not accepted.


·         Return unused medications throughout the County during National DEA Rx Drug Take Back Days. Locations and times are posted on our website during months with Take Back Days.


·         Securely store all medications in a home medicine lock box, provided to community members for free at OmakCity Hall, The DSHS Office in Omak, Aging and Adult Care beside Mid Valley Hospital in Omak, or by calling 509-826-8483 or 509-826-8454. 

Project Sticker Shock

During April and May members of Omak Middle School SADD/TATU placed STICKER SHOCK stickers on all alcohol packaging in three local stores.  A HUGE thanks goes out to Gene's Harvest Foods, Omak Shell, and Caso's Country Foods for being partners in the fight against underage drinking!  If you have any questions about this campaign or would like to participate, click on "CONTACT US".

One of the three teams that participating in the "sticker shock" campaign.

One of the three teams that participating in the "sticker shock" campaign.