Safe Communities Erie Honors LECOM

LECOM administrators walked away with the top Awards presented at the Safe Communities Erie Annual Meeting on February 13, 2013. Awards were presented by Patty Puline, Safe Communities Erie Coordinator and education specialist for the Erie County Health Department (ECDH).

Pictured L-R with their awards, Silvia Ferretti, DO, Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, Kim Burns, RPh, JD, Associate Professor and Hershey Bell, MD, Vice President and Dean of the LECOM School of Pharmacy.

The Safe Community committee presented its Award of Distinction to the College of Medicine and to Provost Silvia M. Ferretti, DO. This award was presented to Dr. Ferretti for her continued work with ECDH, ongoing education for public health, and as a founding member of Safe Communities Erie. Dr. Ferretti has been an example to the community, a role model for its citizens, and for both faculty and students. She has been a force for change through tirelessly promoting a culture of safety and injury prevention through education.

School of Pharmacy Dean Hershey S. Bell, MD received the Safe Communities Award of Achievement. Dr. Bell spearheaded a project for LECOM using the White House Drug Policy for a prescription drug abuse project over the past two years. He collaborated with ECDH, Erie County Drug and Alcohol, Coalition Pathways and several community leaders to address the problem. This Award of Achievement is to recognize Dr. Bell as a leader, a visionary, and a role model for the School of Pharmacy and for all Erie citizens.

The committee recognized pharmacy school faculty member Kimberly Burns, RPh, JD, with the Distinguished Leadership Service Award. She has had a significant role in her partnership with ECDH – as Chairman for the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, state committee work with the Injury Prevention Planning Group, and national member of the Safe States Alliance. She has conducted excellent work on adult death review, prescriber surveys, professional trainings, school education, oversight of Medication Return Boxes to prevent drug diversion, access, and accidental or intentional poisoning.

LECOM's involvement with Safe Communities is an outgrowth of the College’s participation in the Safe Kids Coalition of Erie County.  While community service is a pillar of the LECOM mission, the college has focused on children’s issues and services since the earliest days of the college.

Through Safe Kids, LECOM expanded the Poison Prevention Program with pharmacy and medical students taking this important message out into the community on a regular schedule.  With the start of Safe Communities, the School of Pharmacy began working with the county on stopping the poisoning and addiction of children and adults by prescription medication. The faculty and students organized medication take back events where citizens could safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.

LECOM students spend countless hours volunteering as Mentors with the YMCA/Erie City Housing Authority youth centers.  They visit schools to read in the Books for Kids program.  They are active in the Erie Youth Leadership initiative for minority students.  In an effort to bring an osteopathic and healthy living message to children, LECOM underwrote the Healer Within Exhibit at expERIEnce Children’s Museum for 10 years, recently moving the key components of the osteopathic health displays to the new north entrance to the LECOM Grandview Campus.


The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine offers innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania,Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM believes that when mind, body and spirit come together the impossible becomes suddenly possible. It is a calling each and every one of our students embodies to become the best they can be. To prevent disease and treat it. To give hope. Can you hear the calling?

February 15, 2013
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