2011 Ohio State University Nominated Programs

2011 Ohio State University Nominated Programs

From many outstanding programs, Ohio State chose its nominees for the regional Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award and the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award. The scope and quality of these programs represent the broad spectrum of Ohio State's partnerships with communities and industry.

Faith Mission Outreach Eye Clinic

Partners: Dr. Joan Nerderman, OD, The Ohio State University College of Optometry; Faith Mission; Prevent Blindness Ohio: Mount Carmel Outreach; J.O.I.N. (Joint Organization of Inner City Needs); TB Clinic; Physicians Free Clinic; Breathing Association; Alcon Humanitarian Outreach; Select Optical

Purpose: To serve a community of need with quality eye care and provide the next generation of optometrists with firsthand experience in not only clinical care, but also in the value of engaging communities to improve society.

The Ohio State University College of Optometry initiated a partnership with the Faith Mission homeless shelter in downtown Columbus, Ohio, in 2000, matching patients demonstrating need with an outlet specifically designed to help. It also gave rising senior students preparing to graduate and build new careers eye-opening opportunities to learn life lessons about the challenges in others' lives, how to adapt care for the patient's setting, and the importance of providing care to all people, regardless of their ability to pay. Some of the patients had not undergone an eye examination in more than 10 years.

The Outreach Eye Clinic now treats more than 1,200 patients annually. More striking, however, are the results of a recent survey that found optometry graduates who completed a rotation through an outreach clinic as a student donated 94% more of their professional services to underserved individuals in their communities compared to graduates who did not have outreach experiences.

Transforming Communities from the Inside Out

Partners: Susan H. Colbert, MS, The Ohio State University Extension; Ohio State's Fisher College of Business, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University Medical Center, College of Nursing, and Community Access to Resources and Educational Services (OSU CARES); Weinland Park Community Association; Godman Guild Settlement House; Ohio Community Development Corporation Association; Nationwide Children's Hospital; Grace Baptist Church

Purpose: To craft an innovative, multi-disciplinary, urban-focused model for university-community engagement that transforms what was once considered a neighborhood of last resort into a neighborhood of choice that affords residents options in desirable housing, quality schools, viable employment, and thoughtful retail.

Ohio State Extension created an Extension Educator position in 2002 based in Weinland Park to lead a holistic, asset-based, community development approach to neighborhood revitalization that utilizes the facilities, community organizations, and skills of the area's residents to create a library of programming and services that have both saved people money and provided optimism and hope. All programs have been developed hand-in-hand with community residents to address specific needs.

The program's achievements include:

  • Creating Microsoft-Certified Community Technology Centers at the Godman Guild Association and the Columbus Urban League to offer free computer classes for workforce development;
  • Establishing a Community Outreach Center for residents to obtain information on housing, education, employment, and other community opportunities;
  • Engaging Ohio State faculty, students, and staff in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which has contributed more than $1 million of community service time and generated approximately $3.5 million in tax credits and refunds for low-income, working taxpayers since 2003;
  • Founding the Weinland Park Environmental Health Steering Committee to confront issues of litter, trash, and brownfields in the community; and
  • Hosting workshops on proper food and nutrition to pregnant women to support healthy, full-term babies and address the area's high infant mortality rate.