The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation recently awarded four separate grants to West Virginia University totaling $328,000. The programs and initiatives receiving grant through the WVU Foundation include:

  • Brownfield, Abandoned and Dilapidated Buildings to Bucks Program, $97,000. The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, housed at WVU's Water Research Institute, will work to restore communities containing blighted buildings that they believe have the potential for successful redevelopment. The BAD program plans to accelerate local government efforts to stabilize communities, reduce and remove blighted property and prepare neighborhoods for the associated increase in revenue that comes with revitalization.

  • West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative Model: Main Street Edition, $94,000. The West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative is a program of the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center located at West Virginia University's Water Research Institute. The WVRC plans to deploy the collaborative approach model of the Northern Brownfield Assistance Center, which matches products and service providers in the financial, technical and professional areas to local organizations undertaking Brownfield redevelopment. The WVRC will specifically focus this project in four West Virginia Main Street communities.

  • Center for Healthy Practitioners Program, $75,000. The Center for Healthy Practitioners program is a collaborative effort between West Virginia University's Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine and Dentistry. The program is focused on training health sciences students in inter-professional disease prevention. Students will choose a health goal and implement an action plan to improve their health in that area. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of applying the skills they have learned to help benefit their future patients.

  • Southern West Virginia Lifestyles Project in Wyoming County, $62,000. The SWVL is a collaborative effort by faculty and students drawn from West Virginia University's Schools of Public Health, Dentistry, Nursing, Medicine and Pharmacy, among others. The SWVL project will establish liaisons between WVU and at least four groups that are currently providing health training to West Virginia communities (e.g., West Virginia on the Move, Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health, The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Center for Rural and Community Health, The Clinch River Valley Initiative). The project will develop training modules to promote stress reduction, smoking cessation, diet and exercise, prenatal care and adolescent health in communities. The intended outcome is an increase in the number of people who report they have chosen healthier lifestyles.

“We are extremely grateful for the continued support from the Benedum Foundation,” said Wayne King, WVU Foundation president and CEO. “For several decades now, grants from the Foundation have enabled many WVU initiatives to grow and prosper, truly making a difference in the lives of West Virginians and their communities.”

Considered as one of the 100 wealthiest Americans during his time, Michael L. Benedum, a native West Virginian, acquired his fortune in the oil and gas business. While he is well-known for his drilling operations across North America, South America and Europe, he is also known for his love of West Virginia. Michael and his wife Sarah, with a desire to give back to their home state, established the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation in memory of their late son in 1944.

The Benedum family created the Benedum Foundation with the expressed wish of focusing its grant-making in the two places they called home, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Since then, it has maintained its mission of providing support to West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania and to projects where it will have the greatest impact. Grants are made to support specific initiatives in the areas of education, economic development, health and human services, and community development. To find out more about the Benedum Foundation, visit

The grants were made in conjunction with _A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. _ $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015. Visit:



CONTACT: Bill Nevin; WVU Foundation

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