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McEachin announces VCU, Swim Healthy! Virginia grants

Donald McEachinCongressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced two National Science Foundation grants to Virginia Commonwealth University totaling $489,118.

“NSF grants are very competitive and illustrious,” said Congressman McEachin. “To have VCU awarded two of them, for almost half a million dollars, in different department areas, speaks to the ground-breaking research happening at this first-class university.”

Three other grants to VCU came from HHS. The first HHS grant is awarded to study diabetes and other metabolic research for $515,090.

“Over half a million Virginians, nearly one in ten, struggle with diabetes and in 2013, 1635 deaths in Virginia were attributed to the disease,” Congressman McEachin said. “In 2013, over $11 billion health care dollars went to diabetes treatment. Research that could bring us closer to a cure or to prevention would ease the lives of so many and alleviate the health care burden. These dollars are going to a valuable and needed cause.”

The second grant is awarded for VCU’s National Center for Excellence in Youth Violence Protection for $1,189,176.

“VCU is one of a very few universities to be honored with a funded Center for Youth Violence Prevention,” Congressman McEachin said. “In Richmond, in 2009, the percentage of youth living in poverty was 48%, three times the Commonwealth’s average. Moreover, the homicide rate was nearly three times the national average. The majority of homicides is among youth ages 15-24, making it the leading cause of death in this age group. Surely, these statistics demonstrate the gravity of the problem and the importance of the work being done by this Center. We are very fortunate to have VCU hosting such a critical program.”

The third grant is for $314,381 for study of alcohol and the final grant award is for $512,318 for mental health research.

“Once again, VCU demonstrates their prominence as a research university and center. These are two critical areas of study that could make a significant difference in the lives of so many,” Congressman McEachin said.

McEachin (VA-04) also this week announced a grant from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to the Virginia Department of Health for $250,000 for Swim Healthy! Virginia. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.

Since 1999, an average of more than 815 children ages 14 and under have died as a result of unintentional drowning each year.

Swim Healthy! Virginia is a program that will help train pool personnel, produce a safety manual for pool staff and provide guidelines for safer pools,” said Congressman McEachin. “In most cases drowning is completely avoidable. This grant which will assist this program, is an incredibly valuable resource to keep Virginia’s children safe from drowning,”