U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-WV, Wednesday (Sept. 19) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has $1 million that Byrd added to a federal appropriations bill for West Virginia Universitys Injury Control Training and Demonstration Center. .

“More than 75 percent of the United States is rural.Rural Americans, historically, have not always had adequate access to health care. Unique approaches, therefore, are needed to address the health and safety of our rural population in West Virginia and across the country,”Byrd said.

“This funding will allow the Injury Control Training and Demonstration Center to continue its important programs, which provide training in trauma, critical care, pediatric emergencies and basic life support to more than 5,000 students each year,”Byrd explained.

The center, located at WVU s Morgantown campus, provides education opportunities, which are often lacking in remote areas, for rural emergency health care providers. These rural professionals face geographic isolation and are often called upon to provide a broader scope of medical care, including caring for critically ill patients, with limited resources and minimal opportunities for ongoing training.

“Through partnerships with rural emergency medical squads and hospital emergency departments, the center serves as a critical link between educational resources and the emergency providers who protect the health and safety of rural West Virginians,”Byrd said.

Byrd has added $10 million to appropriations bills for the center since Fiscal Year 1992.

“The cutting-edge clinical research done at the facility, such as the alcohol screening and intervention program, has led to a greater understanding of how injuries can affect the health of the residents of the Mountain State,”Byrd stated.

“These research programs will help to improve the quality and access to emergency medical care in West Virginia and across rural America,”the senator added.