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(left to right) Jack Brose, D.O., dean of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Nancy Schell, Community Health Programs (CHP) community outreach coordinator; State Rep. Jimmy Stewart. Schell received an employee award from CHP honoring her contributions to community service and direction of ComCorps, a community-based, volunteer AmeriCorps program, at the annual CHP Recognition Breakfast, held Dec. 7. Schell will be retiring next year.



Local optometrists, staff, physician and program director honored for their service in Southeastern Ohio

by Kevin M. Sanders
Dec. 12, 2007

The snowy morning of Friday, Dec. 7, was a day of celebration for Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (OU-COM) Community Health Programs (CHP), which honored its community partners and its staff at its annual Recognition Breakfast. Among those honored were Susan Quinn, O.D., who directs CHP’s Student Sight Saver Program; Gerald Rubin, D.O., for his work with OU-COM’s Free Clinic; and Nancy Schell for her work with ComCorps, a community-based, volunteer AmeriCorps program.

“You demonstrate the power of community,” said Richard Greenlee, Ph.D., who delivered the keynote address to the more than 50 health care and community service providers who attended the ceremony. Greenlee is the Ohio University associate provost for Appalachian Access and Enrichment. “You’re a wonderful example of that. I thank you for all you do every day throughout the year.”

Quinn was recognized for her efforts coordinating CHP’s new Student Sight Saver Program, a glaucoma screening initiative funded by the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation.  Quinn manages the monthly screening clinics staffed by OU-COM students and other local optometrists and ophthalmologists.

“Dr. Quinn believes in community service, and our students feel very fortunate to have her directing them. She’s a great leader who ensures that this is a quality program,” said Kathy Trace, R.N., director of Community Health Programs.

Rubin, an OU-COM associate professor of family medicine who serves as a physician volunteer for the Free Clinic, received special thanks for his service to CHP over the years as a physician, and a teacher to OU-COM medical students who participate in community service.

“Dr. Rubin deserves our heartfelt thank you for his compassionate care of our clients. He genuinely cares for people and is genuinely interested in the medical students’ learning,” said Trace.

A major thrust of CHP’s efforts over the past year has been the expansion of its Free Clinic, which provides no-cost medical services and referrals for the uninsured. Trace thanked partner organizations, which included O’Bleness Memorial Hospital, Doctors Hospital of Nelsonville, University Medical Associates, the O’Bleness Family Practice Residency, Tri-County Mental Health and Counseling Services, the Ohio Association of Free Clinics, and the Organization for Health Improvement for Appalachia, who have contributed to the successful operation and expansion of the Free Clinic. 

 “What sticks out first and foremost in my mind,” said State Rep. Jimmy Stewart, who spoke at the recognition ceremony, “is the big role OU-COM plays in bringing health care not only to those in the city but throughout the Appalachian region.” Many rural residents would much rather see a doctor or nurse closer to home, said Stewart, and OU-COM provides that.

More than any other time in his five years in the legislature, said Stewart, it has been easy to see the importance of CHP because that has been brought home by the testimony of other agencies, health care providers and constituents to his human services subcommittee.

“I want to thank all of you for the work that you do,” said Stewart.  

“It’s been a wonderful year for us, and all of you have been a major part of the success of our community services,” Jack Brose, D.O., OU-COM dean, told the audience.

Also recognized for excellence in service was Nancy Schell, CHP community outreach coordinator. Under her leadership, ComCorps was the only one of 27 Ohio programs to receive a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the only Ohio program to receive a peer-review score of 100 percent. In the past year, ComCorps members gave more than 25,000 hours of service through various health care initiatives around Southeastern Ohio.

“I want to thank the staff and department for honoring me,” said Schell. “It’s been great, and seeing this group of people here makes me want to reconsider my pending retirement. I’ve worked with wonderful people, and I’ll always remember the lives we’ve touched. It’s been awesome.”

CHP, the community outreach health care and health education arm of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, collaborates with various allied health care agencies, organizations and institutions to provide a broad range of services to those in need — the poor, uninsured and underserved — of Southeastern Ohio.

CHP has served the region for more than a decade, helping to transform the face of the region’s rural health care through various programs, including the Free Clinic, ComCorps, the Childhood Immunization Program, the Breast and Cervical Cancer program, the Healthy Adult Program, Well Child/Well Families and the Healthy Child Care Ohio-Nurse Consultants program.

CHP has been highly praised for its service to rural Ohio and in 2005 was named an “Ohio Hero” by Ohio magazine. Trace recently received the Ohio Department of Health’s 2007 Distinguished Rural Health Administrator Award.

 
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