March 30, 2015 - Ohio’s youth often find their future and career paths intimidating. They may not know all of the options available to them or where to look to find opportunities. In some rural or urban areas, youth may not think there are any opportunities and they move away, decreasing the valuable human capital in some areas.
To help introduce youth to health care career opportunities and balance the workforce distribution, The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio has invested in organizations that provide education and funding to Ohio youth who are interested in continuing their education in health disciplines.
Two such projects are Health Professions Affinity Communities (HPAC) and Building Bridges to Careers. HealthPath is currently funding three universities to establish HPACs in our service area: Northeast Ohio Medical University (featured below), the University of Cincinnati, and Youngstown State University.
Programs like HPAC and Building Bridges to Careers strive to find the next generation of professionals who want to better serve their communities and become role models, helping HealthPath further its goal of improving workforce development.
To raise awareness about health, HPAC students wrote positive messages and health facts outside of their schools.
Northeast Ohio Medical University’s (NEOMED) HPAC is a program designed to support and guide high school students who have an interest in a career in the health profession. The program offers a variety of academic and community-based experiences with the goal to empower students to take charge of their future and their academic and career development, and to make a difference in the health of their communities in Northeast Ohio. NEOMED is using the HealthPath funding to establish HPACs at Marietta Senior High School in Washington County and Shenandoah High School in Monroe County.
Established in 2011, the NEOMED HPAC program brings student’s ideas to life operating in five stages utilizing the “IDEAS” concept.
Since its inception, more than 2,000 Ohio students have participated in NEOMED HPAC’s five-step program. Additionally, each program is enacted in the local communities and schools and is shared online and in person. NEOMED estimates that more than 10,000 people in Ohio have been impacted by its HPAC.
For more information on HPAC, visit HPAC.me or Facebook.com/NEOMEDHPAC. For more information on Building Bridges to Careers, visit BuildingBridgesToCareers.org.
The HealthPath Foundation recently approved $390,000 in grants to 8 organizations for projects related to workforce development. Projects represent work in all three result areas, and focus on developing a health care workforce pipeline or increasing skills of the existing workforce.
CINCINNATI, OHIO (January 30, 2017) — The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio is now accepting letters of intent (LOI) for workforce development projects related to our three result areas: Cavity-Free Kids, Healthy Ohioans, and Safe Elders. From these letters of intent, HealthPath will invite selected organizations to submit full proposals. Grant awards may range from a minimum
of $10,000 to a maximum of $100,000 with a grand total of $400,000 in 2017.
HealthPath has invested in health care workforce development for over five years through our Strengthening Ohio’s Safety Net focus area. This work was limited to the primary care and oral health care workforces. As a result of our 2016 strategic planning process, we have expanded the scope of our workforce development initiative and will be investing in workforce projects related to our results areas of Cavity-Free Kids, Healthy Ohioans, and Safe Elders. These projects can establish pipelines of future workers or enhance the skills and capacity of existing workers.
Of the more than 100,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors in the United States, nearly one-quarter are aged 85 or older, and one in four lives in poverty. Many live alone and are at risk for social isolation, depression, and other physical and mental health conditions stemming from periods of starvation, disease, and torture.
Jewish Family Service of the Greater Cincinnati area plays a vital role in responding to these challenges and stresses for the estimated 400-500 Holocaust survivors in the Cincinnati and Dayton communities by offering programs that promote dignity, strength, and empowerment.
One such program, Tablets and Technology: Alleviating Isolation in Holocaust Survivors, teaches Russian- and English-speaking Holocaust survivors, many of whom live at 200% of the poverty level or below, how to use a variety of tablet-based programs to stay connected to friends, family, and the world. The program was funded through a grant from The Jewish Federations of North America through the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care, as well as additional funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio. Jewish Family Service also partners with Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
“The care management team at Jewish Family Service helps Holocaust survivors in their homes and at our office by addressing challenges this population encounters as they grow older,” said Liz Vogel, CEO of Jewish Family Service. “Our tablet-based program, Tablets and Technology, combats feelings of isolation and depression by assisting survivors remain connected to their friends and family.”
This program ensures that survivors stay connected to loved ones, while also respecting their need for independence, by teaching them how to communicate and interact with the world electronically through email and video chats, including Skype and Facetime.
More than 40 survivors have successfully completed the Tablets and Technology program since its inaugural year in 2016, and even more will benefit with extended funding in 2018. Here are some examples of how a few participants* have benefited from the program:
Janice, 80, spends most of her time caring for her very ill husband and is therefore unable to visit with friends. The Jewish Family Service Tablets and Technology program has enabled her to now use an iPad to talk with her friends via Skype. She said “I really appreciate the opportunity to learn how to use the iPad considering the age of all the participants. This program gives me hope and the feeling that I still have a lot to learn and look forward to. All of my life is not behind me.”
Simon, 80, is a low-income Holocaust survivor whose relatives live in another country. While he did not originally have any technology devices in his home, he now says “I am very excited to be getting a tablet. When I learn how to use it, I can communicate with my relatives and friends, and read more information.”
Lawrence was a musician in the former Soviet Union and had never worked with an electronic device before entering the program. At first, he did not understand why he needed to learn about email and other iPad features. At one learning session about the web and YouTube, he asked to find someone singing classical Italian music. When he heard the singing, he started to sing along. Today, he is very happy that he has learned to use YouTube and can search for the music he loves.
Through the Jewish Family Service’s Tablets and Technology program, chronic conditions have been cared for, physical health and patients’ well-being have been improved, and in many cases, a sense of hope has been restored.
To learn more about the program and Jewish Family Service, visit or call (513) 469-1188.
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.
A northwest Ohio mother of two walked to the front of a crowded room at a recent Voices for Ohio’s Children’s Kids Talk presentation and courageously shared her family’s story on how they improved their overall health through access to dental coverage. She described how obtaining access to oral health services had improved her and her husband’s overall health, employment prospects, and self-esteem. The mother also described how it had improved her children’s oral health because they were seeing the dentist on a regular basis. And, she shared how her family’s outlook on life had improved and how grateful they were to have access to such resources.
As this mother shared her family’s powerful story, the impact was clear on the faces of the policy makers in the room as they recognized the importance of children’s oral health as a priority issue for the Ohio General Assembly.
In Ohio, dental care is the number-one unmet health care need for children. In fact, 51% of Ohio third graders have experienced tooth decay and 340,000 Ohio children have never visited a dentist. A mouth left without treatment can affect a child’s health development, self-esteem, and learning.
Voices for Ohio’s Children is a non-partisan organization that helps ensure that the needs of Ohio’s 3 million children are prioritized at the local, state, and federal levels. One example of how they do this is through the Children’s Oral Health Action Team (COHAT), which is a coalition of 30 organizations – from education and advocacy to health care and dental – who have come together to address the needs of improved children’s oral health in Ohio.
COHAT works to ensure children have healthy teeth and gums by making sure quality oral health care is available to children regardless of family income. The organization does this by educating legislators and the community about pediatric oral health care through activities, such as hosting the Kids Talk series; promoting and supporting early prevention programs to reduce tooth decay; and encouraging regular dental check-ups as early as possible.
Additionally, COHAT works with pediatric and school nurses to advance their important role in screening for oral health needs, and provides education and referrals for treatment. Over the past year, COHAT has provided hundreds of school nurses with an Ohio School Nurse Toolkit, enabling them to organize an oral health program in their school. The toolkit makes a huge impact on how nurses are able to evaluate a child’s oral health, which they wouldn’t have known about without the work of COHAT.
“Often, professionals that work at schools are gatekeepers of children’s health, which is why it’s so vital we provide them with materials that educate them on dental care,” said Dustin McKee, policy and advocacy associate for Voices for Ohio’s Children. “Many of these professionals have received limited dental training. Our programs offer access to materials to provide basic understanding of the screening process and to eliminate anxiety when implementing oral health programs in their schools.”
With funding from the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, COHAT has been able to employ a part-time associate, contract a lobbyist specialist, and create educational materials. As a result, it has raised awareness of the issue and state legislators are now working to improve access to oral health.
Voices for Ohio’s Children is currently hosting several free regional children’s forums for attendees to hear updates on important state issues, share insight on issues children are facing in their communities, and to learn about federal issues impacting children. For more information on how to attend an upcoming conference, visit www.raiseyourvoiceforkids.org.
Hundreds of thousands of children are physically abused each year by someone close to them. In 2014, more than 80,000 cases of child abuse or neglect were filed with children’s services right here in the Buckeye state. Of those, more than 30,000 children (ages 0-17) were victims of a substantiated/indicated case.
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