Dr. Jay Shubrook

Dr. Jay Shubrook supports HCOM, WOUB and OHIO Athletics.

Photographer: Ben Siegel

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HCOM doc says his support for OHIO mirrors the generosity he sees in Southeast Ohio

Fact: many parts of Ohio, including the state’s Appalachian region, are deemed “medically underserved” because of economic, educational and medical inequities that affect the quality of life. Jay Shubrook, D.O., a faculty member and 1996 graduate of OHIO’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (HCOM), has helped to mitigate some of these inequities found in the southeast Ohio region by giving back to OHIO’s programs that support the community’s wellbeing.

Shubrook has supported and established several programs that treat diabetes—which is widespread in the region—promote healthier lifestyles, and generally improve medical care. He also supports HCOM by filling funding gaps in its Heritage Community Clinic, a free clinic program that serves uninsured adults in Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Morgan, Perry and Washington counties.

Despite the region’s struggles, Appalachia, Ohio is a special place, Shubrook said.  

“People are friendly. They take care of each other and they are invested in each other,” he said in an e-interview. “This is unique. When people visit they are amazed at how friendly people are.”

Shubrook has focused his career on caring for patients with diabetes, a very present enemy for doctors who treat it. A report by the Ohio Department of Health estimates that as many as 13 percent of adults in some Ohio counties were diagnosed with diabetes type 1 or 2 in 2008.

“I feel that obesity and type 2 diabetes are some of the most important, preventable diseases in this region,” Shubrook said. “Working to reduce the impact of these conditions on our families and our communities is my passion.”

Despite these challenges, Shubrook said the support and care he sees people give to one another has made an impact on the quality of life in the region and is something area physicians should embrace.

“Appalachian, Ohio does have a lot of issues with limited financial and educational resources… people may not have access to basic health care and they have extremely limited access to specialty care,” he said. “I have seen that the investment people make in the community helps because people are more likely to help each other in health-related issues. If we help these lay caregivers, it could have a dramatic impact.”

Athens: Home Sweet Home

Like many who have attended OHIO, Shubrook stayed in Athens after graduating and serving his residency at Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky, Ohio.

“We have loved living in Athens. It was a fabulous place to raise a family and invest internally,” Shubrook said. “This is and has been the perfect place for this time in our lives.”

Shubrook has also given back to OHIO by supporting WOUB Public Media. He started giving to Athens’ public radio and television outlet in 1994 while he was in medical school.  

“We love public radio, ” Shubrook said. “We feel the content is what we want and it is focused on our community. This is an important part of our life.”

Shubrook also gives to the OHIO Bobcat Club, which supports OHIO Athletics.

“We have enjoyed watching OHIO sports grow and it represents a significant entertainment value to me and my family.”

Shubrook’s generosity combined with his remarkable community work has allowed him to make a difference in the community he calls home. For him, he says, the goal has always been simple.

“We just want to leave this place better than we found it.”

Shubrook’s support is a part of Ohio University's The Promise Lives Campaign, which seeks to raise $450 million by June 30, 2015, and already has secured more than $447 million toward its goal in support of students, faculty, programs, partnerships and select facilities at Ohio University. Learn more at www.ohio.edu/campaign.