With the recent news of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, access to quality healthcare is top of mind for many Ohioans. The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio supports organizations such as the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center (JCFSHC) that work to improve health care access for underserved populations.
Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center’s “Free to be Healthy” Diabetic Education Program provides patients an education on their illness and collaboratively makes a plan with them, helping them change unhealthy aspects of their lives.
“Our Free to be Healthy Diabetic Education Program was formed in 2012 after our team realized 24% of patients had been diagnosed with diabetes or metabolic syndrome,” said Ann Quillen, executive director, JCFSHC. “Diabetes is a huge health concern in Ohio, as the Central Ohio Diabetes Association estimates that more than 897,000 Ohioans have the disease.”
The grant from HealthPath helped provide initial health screenings for patients, including blood glucose testing, blood pressure reading, HBA1C, lipid and triglyceride profiles, weight and abdominal girth measurements, and a quality of life assessment. Nurses and doctors have also been able to provide patients with an interdisciplinary care plan to include medication therapy management, patient education, obesity treatment, meal planning, foot and eye care, and follow-up appointments.
As a result of the program, lives have been saved, 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 the patients of JCFSHC.
Ohio is a rapidly aging state. In fact, projections for the year 2020 suggest that in 86% of Ohio’s counties, 1 in 4 residents will be aged 60 or older. For Warren County, the senior population (ages 65+) grew by 54.4% from 2000 to 2010. As senior citizens age, loneliness is one of the major factors that contribute to a decline in physical and mental health. Being alone, without social support, can lead to depression and self-neglect among the elderly.
The Warren County Friendly Visitor Program began in 2007 after a coalition of professionals interested in helping older adults age safely decided that they
needed extra help to provide their clients with the best support and service. The group’s answer was to solicit individuals equipped to handle a variety of situations and to act as an extra set of eyes and ears, as well as to be a senior’s friend.
Warren County’s Friendly Visitor program is comprised of 22 volunteers who go through a significant selection and training process in order to be prepared to help clients. Through training, they learn about the aging process, the emotional and social changes seniors go through, HIPPA and other regulations, how to identify elder abuse, and home safety, among other topics.Volunteers visit client homes a minimum of once a month and just talk with the seniors. They do not help them clean their homes, deliver them food, or fix items – they sit and have a conversation with them.
“We once had a client who said that their volunteer was the only person to truly look them in the eye and have a conversation with them,” said Karen Hill, aging services director, Warren County Community Services. “It’s a simple act – just to visit with someone. But our volunteers who visit them at least once a month mean the world to them and it’s the highlight of their day.”
To help care managers, volunteers provide a report after each visit. Volunteers have been confronted with many situations that would not have been taken care of if it wasn’t for the trust clients had in them or their frequent visits to their homes. For example, one volunteer was visiting a client and found that she hadn’t been visited by any home care professionals in three days; the instance was reported and she was immediately provided help. Another client trusted her volunteer enough to confide in that the family and neighbors who were supposed to be taking care of her instead were taking advantage of her. She was scared to call the authorities because she was afraid she would be taken out of her home and lose her independence. However, she felt safe to tell her volunteer, and the problem was resolved.
To learn more about the program and other services that the Warren County Community Services offers, visit www.wccsi.org.
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.
During National Mental Health Month in May – and every month – Partnership for Violence Free Families (PVFF), a coalition comprised of individuals representing more than 50 organizations in Allen County, works to support safe and healthy communities through awareness, education and prevention of important issues, such as mental illness.
“Many individuals don’t have the mental health literacy or know what to do when they see someone suffering from a mental illness – but they understand and are even trained to perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR),” said Donna Dickman, PVFF executive director. “Our goal is to create the same level of understanding within our community and provide similar structured training to address mental health issues.”
PVFF supports evidence-based programs to address abuse and mental health problems in five prevention focus areas, including child abuse, teen dating violence, child sexual assault, mental illness and suicide. One of these programs includes the highly-interactive Mental Health First Aid program, which is an eight-hour course that teaches community members (aiders) how to identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.
In the adult Mental Health First Aid program, aiders learn about anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses. Specifically, they learn to be health literate and how to react when they see someone with a mental illness. The program has a five-step action plan to help someone with a mental health problem or how to react in a crisis:
Funding provided by The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio has allowed the Mental Health First Aid program to train nine instructors in a 40-hour course for adult mental health. Additionally, in the last 18 months, more than 380 aiders have been trained.
For more information about the program, visit www.pvff.org.
(February 24, 2015) February is National Children’s Dental Health Month – a month dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of oral health.
CINCINNATI (May 24, 2018) - The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio (HealthPath) recently awarded $125,057 in
grants to 18 organizations dedicated to improving community health in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas.
The grants are part of HealthPath’s Community Connections initiative, which awarded 22 grants this
year totaling more than $155,057 to Ohio nonprofit organizations. The grants will be used over a twoyear
“We recognize that changes in health and healthy behaviors depend on solutions built upon the
strengths and needs of the individuals living in the community,” said Eric DeWald, president of
HealthPath. “The Community Connections initiative was designed to do just that, and we are proud to
partner with exemplary nonprofit organizations to help all Ohioans reach their fullest health potential.”
The 2018 grantees serving the southwest Ohio region include:
Serving Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties:
Serving Clark County:
Serving Clinton County:
Serving Greene County:
Serving Hamilton County:
Serving Scioto County:
Serving Warren County:
Since the Community Connections program began in 2012, HealthPath has awarded more than$1.45 million through 176 grants to organizations throughout Ohio.
For more information or for a full list of 2018 grantees, visit www.healthpathohio.org.
About The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio
The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio (HealthPath) is committed to helping all Ohioans, regardless of status, wealth or circumstances, achieve their fullest health potential. HealthPath works within a 36-county region to achieve the results of Cavity-Free Kids, Healthy Ohioans and Safe Elders. Since 1999, HealthPath has invested more than $18 million in community projects that address health issues faced by Ohioans. For more information, visit www.healthpathohio.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Diane Hurd, 614.532.5279, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Cincinnati, OH 45202
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