Deans highlight the power of collaborations to impact the health of Ohioans

Three of Ohio University’s colleges have a significant impact on the state’s healthcare system. By working together and with a variety of external partners, they show how powerful such collaborations can be.

The Deans of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Health Sciences and Professions, and the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Service shared some examples of this collaboration with the Ohio University Board of Trustees during its Friday meeting.

“Together, our colleges with our partners are working on a range of health, infrastructure and support services that will enable our communities to thrive for decades to come,” said Kenneth Johnson, DO, Heritage College’s Executive Dean and Principal. of OHIO Medical Affairs, mentioned.

The innovative organizational structures of the three colleges, as well as collaborations with external partners, provide the opportunity to influence health care in a variety of ways. Heritage College anchors health care in an academic health system; CHSP organizes impact programs through an Ohio Health Alliance; and the Voinovich School operates as a public-private partnership. The efforts are reflected in the more than three-year collaborations of their faculty, staff, professionals, and partners through the Ohio University Health Collaborative.

“Our structure and our external partners allow us to address the social determinants of health across the state, and in some cases nationally and globally,” said the acting dean of the College of Health Sciences. and Professions, John McCarthy. “Ohio University offers a number of great programs, and our collaborative efforts serve to amplify our impact and make a real difference in the lives of Ohioans and more.”

One of the examples highlighted is the immunization clinics that took place at Heritage Hall, the new headquarters of Heritage College in Athens, during the pandemic, in partnership with the Athens City Health Department. Students from the College of Health Sciences and Professions worked with children aged 5 to 11 to help ease their anxiety about getting vaccinatedwhile medical and nursing students gained practical experience by administering vaccines.

All three colleges have done tremendous work to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heritage College delivered vaccines to area counties through its mobile clinics; the Voinovich School has helped businesses and local governments access emergency funding; and the College of Health Sciences and Professions worked with Voinovich to track COVID data by county.

More broadly, the Voinovich school was recently chosen to coordinate a new center of excellence focused on building infrastructure and capacity to address mental, emotional, and behavioral health by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The school will coordinate with county alcohol, drug and mental health councils, faith-based organizations, prevention agencies, schools and community service organizations to help prevent overdoses, substance abuse and the suicides.

The University was also recently receives $500,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission to help people in recovery learn soft and hard skills, develop entrepreneurial abilities and find meaningful employment. OHIO will partner with a number of agencies and work with makerspaces in Athens and Perry counties to provide training in recovery-supportive environments. The project is carried out through the OHIO Population Health Alliance at the College of Health Sciences and Professions, with support from the Voinovich School in training and assistance through its LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network and Social enterprise ecosystem.

“Collectively, we have such a strong network of partners and collaborators that we have the opportunity and the responsibility to do all we can to ensure our citizens and communities have the resources they need to stay healthy and healthy. dynamic,” said Voinovich School Dean Mark Weinberg. noted. “This not only gives our students, faculty and professionals the opportunity to put their education into practice, but demonstrates the impact that public service can truly have on our region and our state.”

Going forward, the collaboration has three areas to focus on next.

  • Workforce Development: Colleges focus on identifying needs, growing the local healthcare workforce, and improving access to workforce readiness programs. work.
  • Data collection for community needs: Colleges want to leverage data and analytics to advocate for the effective and efficient targeting of medical and health interventions that meet community needs.
  • Expand services: Focus is on prioritizing investments that expand and refine service delivery methods.

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