College Initiatives

Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health

A groundbreaking new initiative focused on working collaboratively to improve the health of all Ohioans. Uniting the resources and expertise of some of the state's premier universities, researchers, hospital associations, health care providers and public health experts we are working collaboratively to solve the most complex and pressing health problems in the state. Priorities include mental health and substance abuse, maternal and child health issues such as infant mortality, and chronic diseases like heart disease, asthma, diabetes and cancer. OAIPH was created by an alliance between the Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions, University of Toledo College of Health and Human Services and the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service and is continually adding new partners.

Appalachian Institute to Advance Health Equity Science (ADVANCE)

Working with local rural health departments in accreditation, data management, survey research, and community engagement. Involving rural health professionals across the state in rural health improvement planning.

Athens HOPE 

Halting Opioid Abuse through Prevention and Education is a community group founded in 2017 to aid in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The group is committed to preventing opioid abuse by educating children, parents and college students about the realities of opioid addiction and encouraging treatment by reducing the stigma surrounding addiction. Founded through a university/community partnership between the Athens City-County Health Department, Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and Professions and OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital, the group now encompasses a number of area educators, health professionals and local leaders. Fliers are available for download outlining facts about opioid abuse and community resources.

Atrium Cafe 

The cafe, an independently-run public eatery that is part of the College of Health Sciences and Professions, offers fresh, organic, local foods. All meals are produced daily by a variety of student team members, including Dietetics and Nutrition students. Labs are also run out of the kitchen to provide students in related courses of study with hands-on lessons about contemporary food service management, and food and wellness. The Atrium Cafe proudly partners with local businesses and farms to provide delicious, healthy, homemade meals to the Ohio University community as well as offering quick and easy snacking options.

Kids on Campus 

The cornerstone of CHSP's community engagement and outreach for over 20 years, KOC provides summer and after-school programming that offers educational, nutritional and recreational opportunities to the region's children. Hundreds of OHIO students each year take advantage of employment, volunteer, and internship opportunities to work with the area's economically disadvantaged and academically at-risk children.

Kids on Campus Support

CHSP staff organizes annual drives for basic needs such as coats, boots, school supplies and other items needed by children attending Kids on Campus.


The area's premier fitness program, WellWorks serves both Ohio University employees and members of the surrounding community. In addition to fitness programs, WellWorks offers a wide array of wellness services including massage, nutrition and personal training. Wellness programming combines academic and experiential learning for students, as well.

Show Me the Money – Innovation Financing Solutions for Population Health in Uncertain Times

Partnering with the University of Toledo, Health Policy Institute of Ohio and Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus as well as individuals from several OAIPH organizations and state agencies to host an annual conference to empower population health groups to pursue funding from a broad array of sources. In many cases, attendees either have not heard of the opportunities or do not know how to access them. The inaugural event was held in April 2018.

Social Determinants HUB

Working with the Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus and InXite Health Systems to build a hub for a continuum of care including social determinants of health in Union County, Ohio. The program is beginning with a limited number of schools and the local Health Department and plans to expand from there. The objective is to coordinate school, clinical and social services to intervene more broadly and effectively for at risk youth.

Hocking Prison Repurposing

CHSP and Voinovich faculty and staff members are working with fifteen community organizations to re-purpose the recently closed Hocking Prison in Nelsonville, Ohio. The goal is to make the facility a model for providing the continuum of care and wrap-around services to individuals under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system for drug-related offenses.

Outreach Initiatives by School/Department

Department of Social and Public Health

American Red Cross Disaster Relief: Emergency preparedness for Athens County.

Study Abroad Paraguay: This is a 2.5 week program where students live with host families and students from the National University of Asuncion (La Universidad Nacional de Asuncion). The group visits neighborhoods, agencies and community organizations, and indigenous communities to learn about social and health problems and how they are being addressed. They then spend three days in a community working with the youth-led organization Un Techo Para Mi Pais, building a house alongside of Paraguayan volunteers and neighbors. Ohio University has also cultivate a relationship with the Maka indigenous community and endeavor to be responsive to community needs such as clothing drives. This program is a designated Service Learning course.

Service Learning in Social Work: Seniors are placed in a wide variety of agencies in Athens and provides thousands of hours of direct service under supervision form agency staff and faculty.

Other classes require students to research area organizations, receive orientation and training, meaningfully contribute and reflect on their service contributions.

School of Applied Health Sciences & Wellness

High School Athletic Training Outreach: The Division of Athletic Training places licensed athletic trainers in 14 southeast Ohio high schools. These individuals provide health care service to high school student-athletes and others, many in designated medically under-served communities. Undergraduate and graduate students both provide services at areas schools.

Live Health Appalachia/Live Healthy Kids: Combined Master of Science and Dietetic Interns are involved in teaching 22 weeks of the Live Healthy Kids curriculum to schools throughout southeastern Ohio, specifically in the Athens City School district. All students are trained as Food Educators and attend a 1.5 day training sponsored by Live Healthy Appalachia in an effort to train for program implementation. The Live Healthy Kids (LHK) curriculum teaches 2nd grade students about physical activity and healthy eating habits as well as basic culinary skills. Students also use the LHK curriculum to teach students about food and culture.

School of Nursing

Athens Race for the Cure: Partner with Susan G. Komen Columbus to annually raise approximately $100,000.00 to support breast cancer research and treatment.

Bloody Nursing Challenge: Partner with The American Red Cross to hold the largest blood drive on the OHIO campus, collecting 168 units in October 2017.

Immigrant/Refugee Collaborative: Faculty from OHIO and Columbus organizations that serve immigrants and refugees discuss ways to meet the needs of the communities through research, service and education. Members from the community organizations identify the needs within their communities and OHIO faculty, staff and students work to help meet those needs.

Nelsonville Parade of the Hills Community Festival Health Fair: Nursing students screen community members for health education needs, blood pressures, blood glucose checks, teach people how to figure BMI and provide connections to local services.

The Purple Gala: Partner with community members and local professionals to raise awareness of opiate addiction and abuse in the region. This educational and social event supported the opening of Serenity Grove, the first women's recovery house in Athens County.

Skin Cancer Screening Clinic: Students and faculty working with OhioHealth/O'Bleness Hospital and Oakview Dermatology to provide skin cancer screenings.

Staffing the ER during Halloween Block Party and #Fest: Under supervision, nursing students help manage the tremendously increased census and acuity levels seen during both events. Student assistance presence reduces wait times, contributes to safe staffing of the overflow unit; facilitates a culture of safety by covering patient loads during nurses' scheduled breaks; and helps to monitor and provide nursing care for a variety of patients.

School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences

Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences

COSI Deaf Awareness Day: HSLS students volunteer at COSI Deaf Awareness Day to coordinate children's ASL games and activities for participants. The goal is to increase awareness of ASL and Deaf Culture.

Creative Expressions: Strives to work with children on communication through organized activities which focus on areas such as problem solving, teamwork, daily communication and cognitive tasks at the appropriate age levels of the children. Partners are Beacon School, Athens City Schools, Child Development Center and Sycamore Run.

Service Learning: Service Learning in HSLS 6400 Augmentative Communication-Partnership with Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living (SOCIAL) High School students in Fairfield County who have assistive technology needs and are planning for what they will do after graduation work with the OHIO class of speech-language pathology graduate students through a two part summer workshop with their instructors and parents discussing strategies to be proactive and to explore different assistive technology options particularly useful for college.

Physical Therapy

Athens Marathon: Physical therapy students, athletic training students, OUTA staff and PT faculty in conjecture with Athens community members work with Dr. Tim Law, DO, medical students, nursing students and staff from First Settlement physical therapy provide massages and stretching to the marathon runners.

Battle of the Blitz: Annual event that raises funds for the Buckeye Blitz, a semi-professional wheelchair rugby team from Columbus. The event also serves as a mechanism to raise awareness of adaptive sports for the University and Athens community.

Community Balance Screen: PT students screen local Athens residents for balance and postural deficits and provide general education of balance wellness activities. OHIO PT currently partners with United Seniors of Athens County to provide this service once per year during fall semester.

For Pete's Sake – Be an Organ/Blood Donor: In honor of Pete Mosher, who passed away while waiting for a lung transplant, PT programs in the region promote organ and blood donation registration and awareness.

Help Me Grow Playgroups in Vinton County: Students interact with children and their families in a natural environment through play. They are responsible for designing age appropriate gross motor activities and for providing educational materials on the importance of being active through play.

Parkinson's Exercise Project (PEP!): Free exercise class run by PT students for people with Parkinson's disease that offers disease-specific physical activities. Offered to individuals living in Athens and surrounding counties

Respite Program: Respite volunteers offer social interaction and care for individuals for people with cognitive or mental disabilities so their care partners can have short respite from their caring duties. Participants are located within approximately 15 miles of campus.

ROTC Clinic: PT students provide consultative services to ROTC cadets once per week during fall and spring semester.

Runner's Strength Class: Learn a basic program to help minimize risk of injury and become a stronger runner! Led by physical therapist Robert Wayner, PT, DPT, director of the Walking & Running Clinic, representatives from the clinic and students within the Division of Physical Therapy direct runners through the workshop. Each participant will have a running form screening and assessment of strength and mobility in order to help personalize a strength routine. Strength and mobility will be assessed while integrated in to running routines.

Stroke Support Group: Monthly meeting to support community members with social opportunities, discussion of a variety of stroke issues and 10-15 minutes of exercise.


GivingWorks: Working with a variety of campus and community partners to engage members and student employees to the greater community through wellness related service activities. In 2018, members and students will partner with Women for Recovery, Chrysalis Farm and Athens Beautification Day to help build, fill and mulch around raised garden beds at the Serenity Grove house. Movement breaks are also incorporated!