Community Health Programs is one of the 19 organizations receiving aid from this year's United Appeal campaign, which has served the less fortunate of Athens County for 57 years.
Photographer: John Sattler
Offered through the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Community Health Programs works to provide communities in southeastern Ohio with access to top-notch health care services.
Photographer: John Sattler
Nov 9, 2012
By Holly Coletta
Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, the Ohio University community is participating in United Appeal's "United 2 Give, United 2 Help" fundraising campaign. Through this editorial series, Compass seeks to highlight some of the community agencies that will benefit from OHIO's giving.
Amid the busy, lively atmosphere of Ohio University's Athens Campus, it is easy to forget that, as members of one of the poorest counties in Ohio, some people in the community suffer from lack of affordable health care.
Ohio University's Community Health Programs (CHP), which is offered through the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), recognizes this need and aims to provide communities in southeastern Ohio with access to top-notch health care services. Some of these programs include free diabetes and dermatology clinics, free screenings for breast or cervical cancer, free or low-cost immunization clinics and counseling services.
CHP is one of the 19 organizations receiving aid from this year's United Appeal campaign, which has served the less fortunate of Athens County for 57 years. To date, Ohio University's 2012 United Appeal campaign has raised XX, with X to go toward its campus-wide fundraising goal of $50,000.
Kathy Trace has been the director of CHP for 12 years. Trace recently spoke with Compass about the program's mission, its positive influence on the OHIO community and its first year participating in the United Appeal campaign.
For those unfamiliar with the program, how would you describe CHP?
Trace: OU-HCOM Community Health Programs develops and delivers quality medical and health care services for children and adults throughout southeastern Ohio. Our services are initiated in response to unmet health care needs and are often geared toward clients and patients who lack adequate medical and health care alternatives.
How do the programs benefit OHIO and the Athens community?
Trace: In addition to dedicated staff members, our services are made possible through the generosity of the physicians, optometrists and other health care professionals who volunteer their expertise. We provide experiences in support of medical and health-related education programs at Ohio University. We also support and encourage those who are exploring careers in medicine and health care.
What is the value of the United Appeal fundraising campaign?
Trace: United Appeal provides a venue for individuals and organizations to give back to the community. Also, I admire United Appeal for getting the 2-1-1 system off the ground. In the past, I would go to meetings out of town and listen to counties that had access to 2-1-1 and I was jealous. Now we have our own. United Appeal does provide education to the community about the availability and value of the existing services—this helps get the word out.
How can students, faculty and staff reach out to the community?
Trace: This makes me think of a statement that one of our Free Clinic Physicians said to me after she was called to volunteer her time for a monthly specialty clinic. After I thanked her, she said, "That was always the plan, after I got established, to give back to the community that gave me so much."
If donating money is not an option—donate your time. There is such a need out there. For example, visit a shut-in; pick up litter; run an errand for someone; paint a house. There is really no reason to be bored.
United Appeal's "United 2 Give, United 2 Help" fundraising campaign runs through Dec. 24. For more information, visithttp://www.unitedappeal.org.
Did you know you can specify which partner organization receives your United Appeal donation?
For your donation to be used by a specific program or out-of-county united fund, simply indicate the organization on your pledge form under "Donor Choice."
Click here to download a pledge form.
Athens County Food Pantry
Jessica Wingett, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Jennifer Kirksey, President's Office
Monica Chapman, University Communications and Marketing
Chris France, Psychology
Jim Harris, Alumni Relations
Mark Sutton, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Andrew Stuart, Libraries
Eileen Theodore-Shusta, Libraries