Cincinnati Health Department and Interact for Health
2014 — Partnerships Create Health Center At Riverview East to Serve Students and Community
Any neighbor with any health problem is welcome at Riverview East Academy’s new health center — whether they seek healthier lifestyles, smoking cessation or medical care, the clinic is equipped to deliver.
Prevention and wellness are the goals of the new clinic’s family practice physician, Dr. Anisa Shomo.
“I would like them to know my passion is to prevent illness,” Dr. Shomo said, who already had treated a six-month-old infant and a number of adults by the time the clinic officially opened Sept. 30, 2014.
The clinic will serve “anybody in the community,” a Riverview East second-grader told the standing-room-only crowd at the clinic’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Decked out in medical scrubs, the smiling student joined a long list of officials from the Cincinnati Health department, the community and the school in dedicating the new center. Riverview East’s new school-based health center fills the void created when a neighborhood clinic closed recently, leaving many residents without easy access to health care.
The Cincinnati Health Department operates Riverview East’s new clinic, which is estimated to cost $300,000 annually. The center bills insurance companies for services provided, according to Dr. Marilyn Crumpton, with the Health Department’s Division of School and Adolescent Health. In three years, the center’s cost is expected to be covered by insurance billing.
Partnerships Support Health Center
In addition to the health department, Riverview East’s Health Center is a partnership among Interact for Health (formerly, The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati), which provided a $300,000 grant; the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine; Growing Well Cincinnati, a children’s health management organization; and the East End and Columbia Tusculum community councils.
Riverview East, a $17.6-million building opened in 2006 at 3555 Kellogg Ave., is known as the school on stilts because of its eye-catching design that lifts the building above the flood plain on the banks of the Ohio River. One of CPS’ first Community Learning Centers, Riverview East offers the unusual grade range of preschool through 12th grade and continues to expand its list of community partners.
Number of School-based Clinics Growing
Cincinnati Public Schools now operates 22 school-based health clinics within its school buildings. Most serve elementary schools; Riverview East’s Health Center will have a broader range, serving a wider range of students and the wellness needs of the community.
On Oct. 21, CPS opened its newest, and largest, school-based health center — a facility to provide primary care and dental health care on the Western Hills / Dater high schools campus in Westwood.
“Every child who is in Cincinnati Public Schools now has access to primary and preventive care,” Dr. Noble Maseru, Cincinnati Health Commissioner, announced at Riverview East’s dedication. For more than 30 years, he said, this has been a health department mission.
“It’s been a vision….we turned a situation where we had nurses whose job was basically early dismissal (for sick students) (to where) we now have medical staff,” Dr. Maseru said.
Health-Care Focus Suits Riverview East
At Riverview East, a health clinic is a natural fit because of the high school’s focus on introducing students to careers in health care. Juniors and seniors can nurture interests in the careers of nursing, health care and health-care technology. Graduates who successfully complete Riverview East’s nursing program and pass state requirements can be certified as nursing assistants.
Riverview East Principal Charlene Myers said it was her theatrical instinct to put the younger students in scrubs along with their older counterparts who are studying nursing and health care. It was more than effective — students politely greeted visitors and directed them to the press conference before guiding them on clinic tours.
The school, described by CPS as an anchor for the eastside neighborhoods of Columbia Tusculum, the East End and Linwood, is a “civic school,” said CPS Board President Eve Bolton. “The neighborhood owns it. It’s theirs,” she said.
The facility and resources share the vision of what the neighbors wanted. “The school will be served. Students will be served. Community will be served,” Bolton said.
Dr. Camille Graham, vice-chairman of the City of Cincinnati Board of Health, called Riverview East’s Health Center a “coming together of the whole community….I love the fact that it responded to the needs of the community.”
Woodward Bicycle Club Teaches Problem-Solving
2014 — The Urban League, Time-Warner Cable, GE Aviation and the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative get the CPS Woodward Bike Club rolling.
Piece by piece, students at the Woodward Career Technical High School are dismantling and re-assembling bicycles under the careful supervision of some of Greater Cincinnati’s top engineers.
The weekly Bicycle Club shows the 7th and 8th grade students how things are made and teaches problem-solving skills. The 17 members of the club will keep their bicycles at the end of the school year in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles.
Briearra Kennedy, 13, was too busy working on a crank wheel to stop and talk but she said she was having a good time. GE Engineer Andrew Yung showed her how to use a wrench with enough pressure to loosen a stubborn wheel nut.
Abraham Kanteh, 13, said today’s challenge was to “take the bike wheel apart and re-grease the chain.”
The Bicycle Club is sponsored by The Urban League, Time-Warner Cable, GE Aviation and the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative. STEM volunteer Mary Adams said Walmart donated the 30 bikes for the program, which promotes student interest in science, technology, engineering and math.
Volunteer Chad Ross looked around the room crowded with students, mentors, half-assembled bikes and plenty of tools and said “This is the future.”
The GE employee volunteers because he knows the importance of role models. “I have to give back. I’ve been blessed. I was able to go to college and then earn a master’s degree,” Ross said. He smiled and added: “These kids are smart. I don’t know if I was that smart at this age, so this is good for me, too.” Then it was time to help student Anthony Duncan put the right pieces in the right place on a pedal assembly.