Take our health survey for a chance to win up to $500 Giving Away: -One $500 gift card -Two $250 gift cards -Five $100 gift cards 5-15 minutes long Survey Link in Post Description

Take the Rural Health Needs Survey, Win Up to $500

Take our health survey for a chance to win up to $500

Giving Away:
-One $500 gift card
-Two $250 gift cards
-Five $100 gift cards

5-15 minutes long
Survey Link in Post Description

Community Education Group & Rural Health Service Providers Network Launch Rural Health Needs Survey

Focuses on Rural COVID-19 Preparedness and Vaccination

LOST RIVER, W.Va. and RIVERSIDE, Calif. January 11, 2021 – The Community Education Group (CEG), TruEvolution, Inc., and the Rural Health Service Providers Network (RHSPN) have partnered to launch the nationwide Rural Public Health Needs survey.

The Your Rural Health Needs Survey is designed to seek input from community members, organizations, and healthcare providers on what the greatest public health needs are in their rural communities, what educational, training, and technical assistance resources are needed to address these issues, what issues they have accessing essential services, and how communities are working to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

“No matter who I speak to – individuals, health departments, organizations, or physicians – they’re all worried about how we’re going to get rural Americans vaccinated against COVID-19,” says A. Toni Young, Founder & Executive Director of CEG and Co-Founder of the RHSPN.

As America prepares to roll out the various COVID-19 vaccines, Rural Health Service Providers (RHSPs), Local/County Health Departments, and other clinical and non-clinical healthcare organizations face numerous issues, including the fact that few rural providers have existing storage containers that reach the -70º C (-94º F) required to store the vaccine made by Pfizer. In addition, suppliers of dry ice, which can be successfully used to store the vaccine, are concerned that they will be unable to keep up with the increased demand, which may lead to shortages.

The findings of this survey will be used to craft CEG and the RHSPN’s educational, training, and technical assistance offerings through 2021.
Survey participants can enter to win one of eight Amazon Digital Gift Cards (One $500 gift card, two $250 gift cards, and five $100 gifts cards).

Individuals, organizations, and providers can take the survey by visiting the following link:


The Community Education Group (CEG) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with offices in Lost River, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., working to eliminate disparities in health outcomes and improve public health in disadvantaged populations and under-served communities.

Event poster for the December 2020 national meeting of the West Virginia Statewide Stakeholder Coalition and Rural Health Service Providers Network entitled "Deconstructing Silos - Increase Access in Rural Health" and featuring speakers Tom Morris (Health Resources Services Administration), Sean Bland (O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law), Michelle Perdue (Cabell Huntington Health Department Harm Reduction Program), and Daphne Kackloudis (Equitas Health). The event will be held on Monday, December 14th, 2020, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern

Community Education Group to Co-Convene National Meeting with Rural Health Service Providers Network

Event poster for the December 2020 national meeting of the West Virginia Statewide Stakeholder Coalition and Rural Health Service Providers Network entitled "Deconstructing Silos - Increase Access in Rural Health" and featuring speakers Tom Morris (Health Resources Services Administration), Sean Bland (O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law), Michelle Perdue (Cabell Huntington Health Department Harm Reduction Program), and Daphne Kackloudis (Equitas Health). The event will be held on Monday, December 14th, 2020, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. & RIVERSIDE, Calif. November 13, 2020 – The Community Education Group and the Rural Health Service Providers Network (RHSPN) will be co-convening a National Day of Advocacy on Monday, December 14th, 2020 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM Eastern.

Deconstructing Silos – Increasing Access in Rural Health will be convened in collaboration with the West Virginia Statewide Stakeholders Coalition (WVSSC), a project of the Community Education Group (CEG) based in Shepherdstown, WV. The WVSSC’s mission is Deconstructing Silos Between HIV, Substance Use Disorder, and Viral Hepatitis testing, treatment, services, and care.

This will be the first national meeting of the Rural Health Service Providers Meeting, which will begin convening regular monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of every month (excepting federal holidays), beginning in January 2021. These meetings will bring together speakers from federal, state, and local agencies to discuss issues relevant to RHSPs. More information will be released in the coming months, as the RHSPN plan for the first meeting of 2021.

Registration for the December meeting is separate from the regular RHSPN meetings, and interested parties may do so using the following links.

Speakers for the December National Day of Advocacy include:

Tom Morris
Associate Administrator
Office of Rural Health Policy
Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Photo of Sean Bland

Sean Bland
Senior Associate
O’Neill Institute for National
and Global Health Law
Georgetown University

Photo of Michelle Perdue

Michelle Perdue
Harm Reduction Program Coordinator
Cabell-Huntington Health Department

Photo of Daphne L. Kackloudis

Daphne L. Kackloudis
Chief Public Policy
& Administrative Officer
Equitas Health

Logo for the Rural Health Service Providers Network

The Rural Health Service Providers Network is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for and meeting the technical assistance needs of essential service providers serving rural Americans.

You can learn more about the Rural Health Service Providers Network by visiting their website and following them on social media using the following links

New River Bridge Bridge Day Celebration

Community Education Group Forms West Virginia Statewide Stakeholder Coalition


Public Health and Community Organizations Join Forces to Combat Triple Threat of Substance Use, HIV, Hepatitis Outbreaks in West Virginia

New Coalition Will Take on Rising Infection Rates and Drug Overdose Deaths in the State

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 – The West Virginia Statewide Stakeholder Coalition (WVSSC) convened for the first time on September 1, 2020, to address West Virginia’s growing “syndemic” of HIV/Hepatitis C (HCV) outbreaks and drug overdose deaths. The group’s primary mission is to break down technical, regulatory, and administrative barriers that limit testing, treatment, and support across HIV, viral hepatitis, and substance use disorder [SUD] programs. Such barriers create “treatment silos” that fail to reflect the medical and social realities behind the interrelated health crises—and thereby impede effective intervention.

The meeting was convened by the health advocacy organization Shepherdstown-based Community Education Group (CEG). CEG formed the new statewide coalition aimed at stemming the rising tide of fatalities and HIV and viral hepatitis infections driven by West Virginia’s ongoing opioid crisis. 

“We are facing an unprecedented Substance Use Disorder epidemic in West Virginia,” said A. Toni Young, Founder and Executive Director of CEG. “An epidemic that is directly linked to our state’s highest-in-the-nation rates of Viral Hepatitis, to three HIV outbreaks in the past four years, and to the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation. It constitutes an immediate and ongoing threat to public health, requiring a proportional response. The West Virginia Statewide Stakeholder Coalition assembles the expertise and collaborative strategy to spearhead that response.”

The WVSSC will focus on expanding awareness, education, rapid testing for HIV and Viral Hepatitis, treatment for SUD, and linkage-to-care networks which refer those recently diagnosed with HIV or Viral Hepatitis to treatment resources. 

The first WVSSC meeting brought together 65 individuals and organizations including state government and public health officials, healthcare providers, national organizations, school board officials, community-based organizations, and others from across West Virginia. 

Representatives attendees for WVSSC include: West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources; the Bureau for Public Health; the Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services; the Office of Laboratory Services; the Office of Drug Control Policy; the Doddridge, Marion, Marshall, Mid-Ohio Valley, and Monongalia County Health Departments; Berkeley County Schools; the Hancock County Commission; the Jefferson Berkeley Alliance on Substance Abuse Prevention; the United Ways of Central WV, Marion, and Taylor Counties; Community Connections; David Medical Center; the Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council; Eastridge Health Systems; EnAct, Inc.; the Family Resource Networks in Fayette, Gilmer, and Jackson Counties; the Morgan County Homeless Coalition; the Regional Intergovernmental Council; the West Virginia Institute of Community and Rural Health; West Virginia University; and many other private and public community members from across the state.

WVSSC’s primary goals include: 

1.)   Working to deconstruct disease state silos between Substance Use Disorder, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis by increasing awareness, education, and building linkages to care and treatment networks;

2.)   Working to expand HIV screening, rapid testing, surveillance, treatment, and linkage to care throughout West Virginia, reaching into hard-to-reach and hard-to-treat parts of the states;

3.)   Helping to develop statewide elimination plans for HIV and Viral Hepatitis;

4.)   Developing statewide working groups focused on SUD, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis;

5.)   Offering educational opportunities to Providers, Organizations, and Consumers centered around HIV, Substance Use Disorders, and Viral Hepatitis

NEXT MEETING: The next open meeting of WVSSC will be held on October 13, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET.  All are invited. Sign up by filling out the form at this address

Community Education Group & WVU to Host Statewide HIV Meeting

Presenters to include NIH and community health leaders
Monday, September 14, 2020

MORGANTOWN, W.VA.: Great strides have been made in recent years in the field of HIV and AIDS prevention and research. On September 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. national and community health leaders will be leading a virtual discussion on these advances and challenges that remain in West Virginia communities.

This virtual event will be divided into two segments. The first segment will begin at 11 a.m. and will feature a keynote address by Maureen Goodenow, PhD, who serves as the associate director of AIDS research and the director of the National Institute of AIDS Research. Goodenow will be followed by Ming Lei, PhD, who serves as director of the Division of Research for Capacity Building at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Following their remarks, a panel of West Virginia health leaders will weigh in on current research efforts and how they directly affect the Mountain State. In addition to Goodenow and Lei, Judith Feinberg, professor and vice chair of research with the West Virginia University School of Medicine will serve on the panel, with additional panelists to be announced. Attendees will be able to ask questions of the panelists.

At noon, the discussion will turn towards community efforts, led by a panel of health department and community experts who work daily to educate and treat West Virginians with HIV. Confirmed panelists include: Terrence Reidy, MD, MPH, health officer, Berkeley/Morgan and Jefferson Counties Health Departments, Michael Kilkenny, MD, physician director, Cabell Huntington Health Department and Laura Jones, MSW, executive director of Milan Puskar HealthRight. More panelists will be added as they are confirmed.

This event is the first installment of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s “In Focus” series, which will center around specific health topics in fall 2020. The first session will be hosted in partnership with the Community Education Group, an organization working to foster community engagement in community-based research programs while giving a voice to people whose lives are directly affected by HIV/AIDS and other health crises.

This event is free and open to the public, particularly those involved in clinical care and HIV and AIDS research.

Attendees must RSVP at the event webpage. A link to the ZOOM webinar will be shared one week prior to the event.

Logos of Astho and the National Coalition of STD Directors

National Health Organizations Announce COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) announced the launch of a free, on-demand training for entry-level COVID-19 contact tracers.

The course, Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers, will support ongoing public health agency efforts to prepare new contact tracers for their work of helping identify COVID-19 positive cases and those with whom they have been in close contact.

Contact Amanda Dennison (adennison@ncsddc.org) with any questions on the training.

Community Education Group cog and organization name

Community Education Group Receives $500,000 Grant to Bolster Fight Against HIV in West Virginia


Community Education Group Receives $500,000 Grant to Bolster Fight Against HIV in West Virginia

Sherpherdstown, WV (March 9, 2020) – Local West Virginia organization, Community Education Group (CEG), has been awarded $500,000 dollars in funding by Gilead Sciences to combat the spread of HIV in West Virginia. This new grant will support CEG’s efforts to improve HIV prevention, testing, screening, and treatment in the state.

“The goal is to help local communities and groups working in public health to understand how the three epidemics are linked,” explained CEG’s executive director, A. Toni Young, “and then get everyone working together to shape West
Virginia’s response to the syndemic in practical, effective, and cooperative ways.”

The $500,000 grant from Gilead Sciences will enable CEG to coordinate community response to the state’s growing HIV crisis by funding programs that use and integrated approach to preventing HIV, viral hepatitis, and opioid usage.
West Virginia is currently experiencing its fourth HIV outbreak in three years, part of a growing syndemic of HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) driven by the state’s ongoing opioid crisis. As a result, West Virginia has been confronting a multi-faceted public health emergency without the necessary infrastructure or effective coordination among service providers, public health agencies, and policymakers.

Both CEG and Gilead Sciences have been involved with the fight against HIV/AIDS for many years. CEG originally established its reputation not far from West Virginia, mobilizing community response to HIV/AIDS in the District of
Columbia. Gilead has long been developing HIV medications and therapeutic options, including working to expand access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries.

“Gilead is pleased to support Community Education Group’s work to address and eliminate health disparities, especially HIV related disparities in the state of West Virginia. We believe this is a critical time to bring all community stakeholders together, to align with the Administration’s End the Epidemic Plan in order to prevent new HIV infections and improve the health and wellness of those living with HIV.” said Korab Zuka, Vice President of Public Affairs for Gilead Sciences.

Since the spike in HIV cases is connected with injection drug use, CEG plans to work with established regional coalitions that are already addressing the opioid epidemic. The organization’s goal is to integrate HIV education, training, and policy development into those ongoing community efforts. Simultaneously, CEG will build an overarching statewide coalition that can mobilize advocates, researchers, policymakers, and experts to meet with legislators and contribute to future planning for leveraging federal resources, such as funding from the Trump administration’s “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiative.

Community Education Group
A. Toni Young
(304) 278-4420