The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation awarded two grants to West Virginia University in March totaling $271,500.

These grants will benefit various programs and initiatives at WVU and throughout West Virginia, including:

WVU Eye Institute West Virginia’s Eye Care Program – $145,500: The ultimate goal of WVEC is to close the gap between diagnosis and treatment of patients in the state of West Virginia. This grant will help to establish a statewide network of primary and eye care providers, aiding WVEC to work with the West Virginia Practice-Based Research Network (supported by the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute), which will better the optical health of individuals throughout the state of West Virginia by increasing access for citizens. WVPBRN sites throughout the state include locations in Huntington, Harpers Ferry and Buckhannon. Additionally, these funds will help to create an informational technology platform, keeping patient data for treatment providers, to better manage and coordinate further treatment or intervention for those in need.

Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU – $126,000: Funds received through this Benedum grant will benefit communities in West Virginia that are negatively impacted by blighted buildings. The BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Buildings Program will assist communities in creating and implementing redevelopment plans to demolish or deconstruct target properties. This award also will be used to fund the demolition of structures found to be in need of removal. The BAD Buildings Program is crucial to the future of communities throughout the state, as these types of structures come at a high social cost. The need for police and fire protection is increased by these buildings and they have a negative impact on tourism, the potential for new property owners and investors, and can also house unknown environmental dangers.

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation was established in 1944 by West Virginia native and oil and gas industry businessman Michael L. Benedum. The Benedum Foundation provides grant funding to projects and initiatives throughout West Virginia and Pittsburgh, two places that Benedum and his wife, Sarah, called home during their lifetime together.

These awards are just the latest Benedum Foundation grants, made available to projects and programs in the areas of education, economic development, health and human services, community development and civic engagement.

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation grants were made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.


hk 04/19/2016

CONTACT: Bill Nevin, WVU Foundation

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