Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
This event had plenty of free close parking. Even if the lot adjacent to the event was full there were several other lots and street parking less than a block away.
Tell me about the event.
This is our nineteenth year. OSU East are the sponsors. We started this on the near east side. In fact, we used to do it at the hospital. When we acquired this building, it gave us more room to spread out. Today, we have at least thirty different health screenings from head to toe. For example, vision, dental, breast exams, etc. Our primary focus is to address those most critical health needs in our community: chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer screenings. We have a host of exhibitors with health information and organizations providing resources. I love that we offer free sports physicals for middle school and high school students. That is great for families that might not have a physician or might not be able to afford getting the physical for that student to participate in sports. If there are individuals that qualify and need a mammogram, we have those services here. We can schedule appointments today. We have healthy cooking demonstrations. Our goal is around prevention, and education. Part of our core mission is to have healthy communities. This is how we do our part by giving back. Historically, this has been one of the largest days of giveback for our organization. We are proud to continue that legacy.
This is our twentieth year at East Hospital. That is nice that it coincides with the event today. Our theme for that was twenty years and, counting. We are committed to this community and beyond. We want a healthy community and we are here for the long haul.
If a young person gets their physical today, will it be good for the whole school year?
I think most of the physicals are good for a year.
God forbid that someone finds out they have something like cancer today.
That has happened.
Do you offer follow-up services?
Yes, we do. We offer follow-up appointments. We usually get people tapped into the services right away.
If a young person wants to follow in your footsteps, what was your path to obtain the position you have?
I’m a nurse by background. When I was in high school, I took a career course as nursing assistant. I was placed on a job when I was seventeen at Children’s Hospital. I climbed the ropes as student nurse, nurse, graduate nurse, etc. My path has been mostly in administration positions. I was blessed to obtain this position (Executive Director of the East Hospital) two years ago. My advice is work hard. Let your work speak for itself. If students want to get involved with math and science, that is awesome. There are hospital administrators that focus in the business world. You can also learn the business as a managing nurse.
Tell me what is going on today.
This is Healthy Community Day put on by OSU Hospitals. We have 46 vendors that help us put on this expo tent that I am over. We have free screenings, over 400 volunteers from OSU and our partners. Our partners help us to put together a free healthy lunch, entertainment, screenings, the dental van, and demo kitchen. The sheriff’s department and fire department are also here. It is just a free and fun day to push community wellness and health and everything that makes our lives better. OSU East has been putting this on for nineteen years. I have been here for thirteen of those years. Every year it gets better.
I saw on the news that over 200 sports physicals were completed at this event last year. Any forecasts as to how many you will complete today?
We will need to wait until the end of the day to see the numbers. I do know that within the first hour they were already over 50. This event runs from 9 am to 2 pm. That’s five hours. If they keep up to forty or fifty an hour, you can do the math. We are going to surpass last year, I guarantee it.
What is up with the free food?
One plate per person. They will give you turkey hot dogs, roasted corn, roasted veggies, apple slices, and all the bottled water you can drink. We have a lot of good, free, healthy food.
How does a person volunteer for next year?
They can volunteer by going to OSU website. Most of our volunteers are employees. Get involved with the community such as the ohio housing, healthy living through the YMCA, any of the churches or health organizations can contact me and I can get you a table and get you in. There is no registration fee. Everything about this day is free.
We have a giant inflatable colon. You can walk through it. Colon health is important especially for our older gentlemen. Today is all about free stuff, learning, networking, and letting people see things that they haven’t seen before. Not too many people have seen a giant inflatable colon.
How do we contact you?
The easiest way is my phone number which is 614-257-2549.
Tell me why you are here and what you are doing.
I came because my boys are with the Life Sports program with Ohio State. Originally, we came for the sports physicals. Last year, my husband benefitted from coming here. He felt safe in the environment to complete his manly screenings. Any other time, he would have made excuses; but we were already here, so we were able to get it done.
Tell me about the Life Sports Program.
The Life Sports Program is a free summer program where each week they do a different sport. This will be my boys second year. It is an excellent program. I recommend it.
All the education and people were nice. They respected my family and it was an easy place to walk through.
What did you do today?
I had fun and got my teeth looked at. I got an Ohio State backpack. Go bucks.
I play football for the Linden Eagles, #2.
I love John’s confidence! He asked to be interviewed and appeared to be at home doing the interview.
Tell me about your organization.
On our website, you can find information about multiple programs that can help you with down payment assistance or assistance with closing costs.
Do you have to have good credit?
The credit scores can run from about 640 and 660, depending on if you want conventional or FHA. Some of the programs can be combined. Ohio Heroes is a program for first responders (police officers and firefighters), teachers, medical staff, and veterans.
Go to www.myohiohome.org and complete the quick assessment. The assessment can tell your eligibility status. Contact your realtor, and financial instituition to see if they work with OHFA programs.
Bronzeville Growers Market is an urban farm stand located at Seventeenth and Mt.Vernon Avenue. We have a kick off July 11, 2019, then it will be every Thursday after that until the end of August from 3:00 pm to 6:00pm. We are putting fresh produce back on Mt. Vernon Avenue.
Is it free?
No. It is about economic sustainability. At this table, we are showing individuals how to grow certain produce. Everybody should grow something. You should also buy. We will have four or five different types of tomatoes, peppers, okra, all kinds of herbs, squash and all kinds of things. It will be different every 2 or 3 weeks because we harvest what we grow. We will not have the same thing the first week of July as the end of August.
We will have family activities so everybody should come out.
What are you doing?
We are with the chief in me campaign. That is a community engagement survey on the characteristics they want the next police chief to have.
How long does the survey take?
The survey takes about 2 minutes. It doesn’t ask anything personal other than your age range, ethnicity and maybe your zip code. The rest is your opinion to get your input.
Why do you volunteer at this event?
We are at Outpatient East, it used to be Carepoint East at 543 Taylor Avenue. It helps out the community. We have free screenings, fun times, food, and laughter. It just helps out the community. Everybody is about helping out the community.
If you do not have a primary care physician come to 543 Taylor Avenue (Outpatient East- Ohio State University) and get a primary care physician.
What is going on?
This is the James mobile education kitchen. It was initially given to us by the Celebration for Life fund through the James. It is a grant for us to go out into the community and teach people about a healthier plant based lifestyle that works with cancer risk reduction. We are teaching people how to have a healthier life with plant based food. It doesn’t mean vegetarian and it doesn’t mean vegan. It means better portion control and eat more plant based foods in your diet.
Tell me how you made the vegetables. They were delicious!
They are two parts Lawry’s low sodium season salt, and one part Splenda brown sugar. It is extremely good for you to eat any vegetable with it. Today, we are giving a corn mango salsa and a healthier dill dip. We are using raw vegetables for the dill dip. The corn mango salsa is made with the free vegetables we are giving away in the tent. It is just a different way to show you how to do something with them.
Sidebar: Those were the best vegetables I recall eating. I asked the people on the grill who made the vegetables and sought Chief David Brue out. I was prepared to talk to him until he gave up the recipe. I couldn’t taste the difference between the dill dip and ranch dressing.
Tell me what you just did and where you are at.
I am at the Healthy Community event at Carepoint East for Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. I was just jamming with the Divine Impact Fitness crew. I am a member of their workout crew. I work out with them 3 to 5 times a week.
Have you seen any results?
I have seen lots of results. I am healthy. My numbers are great. It is just the best way to get fit.
What did you think about the fair?
The fair is awesome. I work at The Ohio State University. I am supportive of all the things we do for our community, in addition to our faculty and staff. The event is well attended and we had great weather for the event.
Good to see you and any other Mifflin alum around town.
Sidebar: I love that she said she supports events in our community. We are all busy! Sometimes we just have to MAKE time to support events. And I agree it is good to see a Mifflin graduate from the 1980s. “Ain’t no pride like Puncher pride”. (Puncher is our high school mascot).
Tell me about what you do.
We are Divine Impact Fitness. Currently, we are using the space inside of Next Level Fitness which is located at 7020 Cross Point Rd., Gahanna, OH. We do high impact cardio dance fitness, Monday thru Thursday 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday 10:00am to 11:00am. From 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm, we do strength conditioning classes to help tone and tighten and lift those things that might be loose. We also do moods and mindfulness, which is our high impact cardio classes followed by 15 minutes of mindfulness which is a body scan. It is something like meditation which is led by Shekyra Decree who is a licensed clinical therapist.
You ended your session with something. Tell me about it.
We say different things every class. We encourage people to look at their neighbor and congratulate them and say, “we made it.” Not you made it or I made it but, “we made it through this together.” Then we say different things to encourage one another. We ladies have a tendency to be beat down every day by the world. We wear so many hats. We are mothers, wives, nurses inside of our homes, we are cooks, housekeepers, we hold a 40 hour a week job, some of us are business owners. We do a lot of things. We look at each other and say, “you are beautiful, you are loved, you are strong, you are powerful, you are resilient, you are enough just as you are right now.”
My take: I was surprised with how much fun a person can have around health screenings, exercise, and eating healthy. I did not go to any of the health screenings inside the building however; everyone I saw appeared to have a great time. I was impressed by the number of people they fed and the portions they were giving out. Many times when an event is offering free food, it MIGHT be a little bit of something. Definitely not a meal where a person can get full.. This event was well thought out and executed.