Outreach and Engagement Awards

2010 Ohio State University Nominated Programs

From 45 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.

2010 University Finalists

Appalachia Community Cancer Network (ACCN)

ACCN video in Windows Media Video format
ACCN video in Real Player format

Ohio State Partners: Comprehensive Cancer Center, Population Sciences Division; College of Public Health; College of Medicine, James Cancer Hospital; OSU Extension; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Community Partner: Cancer Concern Coalition (Muskingum, Morgan, and Perry Counties), Fight Cancer, Save Lives Coalition (Scioto County), Meigs County Cancer Initiative (MCCI), Partners of Hope Cancer Coalition (Gallia County) and the Women in Action against Cancer (Jefferson County). These coalitions extend their reach beyond county lines and often include projects in neighboring counties. Additional partners include American Cancer Society, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Partners for Cancer Control, Ohio Breast & Cervical Cancer Coalition, Holzer Center for Cancer Care, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Genesis Healthcare System, along with local health and human service agencies.

The goal of the Ohio Appalachia Community Cancer Network (ACCN) is to collaborate with community coalitions and partners from the Ohio Appalachian region and The Ohio State University to conduct cancer education and awareness activities and community-based participatory research projects, and to provide training opportunities. Building upon outreach efforts since 1999, Ohio ACCN focuses on prevention and early detection of cervical, lung, and colorectal cancers, all of which have disproportionately high incidence and mortality rates in Appalachian Ohio.

The Appalachian Ohio region is a socioeconomic disadvantaged community with more geographic isolation, higher poverty rates, lower health insurance rates, and fewer medical care facilities and staff than other parts of the state. The ACCN program addresses cancer health disparities in Appalachian Ohio through a comprehensive approach including teaching, research, and service to the community. In the last 5 years, ACCN has provided numerous teaching opportunities. ACCN has mentored and provided practical work experiences for 5 undergraduate, 20 master degree and 10 doctorate students. ACCN staff have served as preceptors and worked closely with an additional 22 master’s in Public Health students enrolled in the Program Planning & Implementation course to develop six theory-based health programs in Appalachian Ohio. Additionally, ACCN conducted presentations on the Appalachian Culture to help improve cultural competency among medicine residents at OSUMC and provided copies of a pocket guide to encourage culturally appropriate behaviors and attitudes.

The research activities conducted through ACCN are products of extensive collaborations between academic and community partners that have resulted in identification of community health priorities, development of programs to be evaluated, and facilitation of planning for community implementation. A few examples of research efforts include the CBPR Strategies to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening in Ohio Appalachia (R24) to test CRC screening interventions in 12 Ohio counties and the Reducing Cervical Cancer in Appalachia (P50) to gain insight on cervical cancer disparities in 15 Ohio and 1 West Virginia counties. To disseminate research findings and encourage future collaborations, ACCN presents an annual Research Update to highlight community-based cancer education and research programs conducted through our academic and community partnerships in Appalachia Ohio.

The Ohio ACCN provides service to the Appalachia Ohio community through on-going technical assistance and grant writing support to secure a total of $191,994 in funding directly to the community coalitions to support 22 projects. Some of these projects have included a HPV and cervical cancer program for community college students; a media campaign to promote colon cancer screening; a tobacco prevention program for students to build refusal skills; a faith-based physical activity program to increase physical activity; a worksite wellness program to increase cancer screening; a minority initiative to connect residents with local resources and health screenings; and an outreach effort to provide breast cancer screening in remote areas. This work in Appalachia Ohio is a priority of the division and work will continue in Appalachia to reduce cancer health disparities among residents in this underserved community.

OHIO Project: Uniting University and Community with Smile

OHIO Project video in Windows Media Video format
OHIO Project video in Real Player format

Ohio State Partner: College of Dentistry, Primary Care

Community Partners: Columbus Health Department; Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department; East Central Family Health Center; Coshocton Dental Clinic, Coshocton; Nisonger Center, OSU; Third Street Family Health Services, Mansfield; Geriatric Rotation OSU; Johnston Road, Nisonger Center; Nationwide Children’s Hospital; Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dayton; McMickin Dental Clinic, Cincinnati; North Side Dental Clinic, Cincinnati; Wilmington; Lincoln Heights, Cincinnati; Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton; Dental Center Of Northwest Ohio, Toledo; St. Elizabeth’s Health Center, Department Of Dental Education, Youngstown; Metrohealth Medical Center, Cleveland; Stark County Health Department, Canton; Veterans Affairs Hospital, Chillicothe; Lima Dental Center, Lima; Faith Mission; Walnut Hills Evanston Health Center, Cincinnati; Mercy Hospital, Canton; Veterans Affairs Hospital, Columbus

Links: OHIO Project website 

Oral diseases and disorders affect health and well-being throughout life. The majority of oral problems may be particularly severe in vulnerable populations. They include tooth decay, periodontal disease, and infections such as cold sores that can occur at any stage of life. Then, there are birth defects in infancy and chronic facial pain conditions and oral cancers seen in later years. Many of these conditions and their treatments may undermine self-image, discourage social interaction, and lead to chronic stress and depression. They may also interfere with activities of daily living such as work, school, and family interactions. Most oral diseases are easily and inexpensively prevented with routine care.

Oral health is the greatest unmet health need of all Ohioans, according to the 1998 Ohio Family Health Survey as well as the Ohio Department of Health 2007 report. The College of Dentistry responded to this unmet health need by creating the OHIO (Oral Health Improvement through Outreach) Project. Dental students are exposed to populations they are being trained to help and bolster the fragile statewide network of safety net clinics with providers. To create the OHIO Project, the college forged numerous partnerships across the state of Ohio with community health centers, health departments, hospitals (community and VA), and private practices.

One of the rather unique sites is the Dental H.O.M.E. Coach, which is a state-of-the-art, 42-foot vehicle equipped with three dental chairs, nitrous oxide, digital radiography, ultrasonic cleaner, and autoclave for instrument sterilization. In effect, a dental office on wheels! The primary purpose of the Dental H.O.M.E. Coach is to provide dental care to children at Columbus City Schools where significant numbers of low-income children are in need. The coach remains scheduled at one location until all potential children from the school are served. Through the OHIO Project a win-win relationship has been created. Our partners contribute education and direction, OSU provides additional care providers to address basic dental needs of the underserved. Our data show a tremendous increase in services to roughly 60,650 Ohioans.

A sense of partnership and professional fulfillment as well as satisfaction has been expressed by our more than 21 community partners and the 598 dentistry students involved over the 6 years of the project. Students have improved confidence in their abilities and time management skills. In addition, they are gaining knowledge and appreciation for alternative career paths. The data also suggest these experiences have a positive impact on their understanding of ethical and social issues related to oral healthcare. The college has integrated a fundamental change to the clinical education of its students by incorporating a minimum of 50 full days of direct dental care to underserved populations into the curriculum. Within the university, the OHIO Project strengthened relationships between dentistry and other units in areas of diversity, outreach and admissions. The OHIO Project has leveraged additional funding totaling $860,000 for diversity initiatives and novel care delivery systems partnering with school, mental health, and faith-based communities in addition to the dental community.

Honorable Mention

Lima, Ohio Community Outreach

Ohio State Partner: Department of Geography, Ohio State Lima

Community Partners: Lima Police; Kibby Corners Development Corporation

Since coming to Ohio State Lima in 1993, Dr. Ackerman, a geographer, has maintained a productive engagement partnership with the Lima Police Department. This partnership has led to the publication of a number of research papers on the spatial aspects of crime in Lima and recognition by the police department, city officials, and policy makers of the importance of better understanding the spatial dynamics of crime. For example, results of Dr. Ackerman’s research contributed to the Lima Police Departments decision to implement a strategy of community policing and his research was further employed to help determine locations for neighborhood substations. Lima Police Chief Greg Garlock and Dr. Ackerman have made joint presentations to state-level law enforcement research forums to highlight the productive nature of this university-community partnership.

In 2005, Dr. Ackerman used his expertise and this partnership with the Lima community to engage undergraduate students in outreach and service-learning experiences. Since 2005, three such projects have been completed. In the first, in Spring 2005, Dr. Ackerman’s Urban Geography class completed an analysis (South Lima: Residential Decay, Crime Hot Spots and Neighborhoods in Transition) with the goal of evaluating the potential for success of a plan to build sixty new single family homes in South Lima, a blighted and downward transitional area. Students mapped the location of the planned new homes, did substantial field work for a block level analysis of existing housing quality in South Lima, mapped rates of violent crime and property crime by city block and evaluated the amount of suitable open space for additional new housing in the area.

Findings indicated that housing quality surrounding the new home sites was reasonably good, major crime hot spots were several blocks removed from the building sites, and attractive open space was available for additional new construction. Students presented this study to community leaders in Lima including the Mayor and Chief of Police, members of the planning department, City Council, and representatives of the home builders. In 2008 Police Chief Garlock asked Ackerman to do a study of youth violence in Lima. The Urban Geography class was again involved in the completion of (Spatial Aspects of Youth Violence in Lima, Ohio). In this study students evaluated youth violence data by city block for 2005, 2006, and 2007. Results were averaged and mapped by standard deviation to develop the spatial pattern of youth violence in the city. In addition, the addresses of perpetrators of youth violence from 2007 were mapped by standard deviation by city block to identify neighborhoods with the most violent youth.

A social area analysis was completed to evaluate neighborhood demographic characteristics. Students did field evaluations and took pictures of the neighborhoods with the most youth violence and those where the violent youth resided. The results of this study were presented to community leaders including most of the above mentioned group. Research results clearly identified problem neighborhoods, youth violence hot spots, and the relationship between aspects of place (socioeconomic, demographic, land use, and environmental structures) and the clustering of youth crimes. In the Winter of 2008, Ackerman was contacted by the Kibby Corners Development Corporation, a private not-for-profit corporation, with the goal of redeveloping a large segment of South Lima.

This group wanted a parcel by parcel land use quality analysis for their target area. Dr. Ackerman organized a group studies course and enrolled honors students interested in this community outreach opportunity. Students first met as a group with Ackerman and officials from the City of Lima Community Development Department for a training session on how to properly complete a property analysis. Appropriate evaluation forms were provided by the Lima/Allen County Regional Planning Office. Following training, students were divided into four teams and each team assigned a specific part of the target area. Each group then evaluated each assigned property and took digital photographs of each property coded to the specific evaluation form. Students earned valuable first-hand field experience and provided a quality product to a community redevelopment group.

These examples of outreach and engagement demonstrate the community benefit from local university expertise applied to local problems. Moreover, these examples show the value of service-learning to help students answer the question “What is the community and how do we understand it?”

Past Award Recipients

2012 Awards

2011 Awards

2010 Awards

2009 Awards

2008 Awards

2007 Awards