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AmeriCorps program provides health care assistance

OU-HCOM branch seeks applicants for full- and
part-time positions

 

By Richard Heck

May 18, 2009

 

Greta Black was unsure of her plans upon earning a bachelor’s degree, but she knew she wanted to work in the health care field.

 

After nearly two years serving as member of the Ohio University eritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) Community Health Program’s ComCorps program, she now is looking at graduate programs in health care and at opportunities to become a physician assistant.

 

“I was prone to community service opportunities and health care, so this was a good opportunity,” Black said. “It’s been all really rewarding. Whether working with children or adults, I enjoyed giving them time and attention.”

 

ComCorps is a branch of AmeriCorps, out of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency created to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and the nation. The goal of ComCorps, according to coordinator Nancy Schell, is to provide health education, access to health care and health screenings in Athens County. Recruiting community volunteers, mentoring and building ComCorps member skills are also important components of the program.

 

“Without the ComCorps program, it would be even more difficult for Athens County residents to find adequate health services,” Schell said.

 

Black worked for OU-HCOM’s Community Health Programs, helping to organize blood drives, assisting with patient intakes for the college’s mobile health van and various other free clinics, and working with the breast and cervical cancer screening program.

 

“I would definitely recommend this to anyone, especially people in my age group who can take the time now to give back to their community,” Black said.

 

Members also conduct health screenings for lice, vision, hearing, gross motor skills and immunizations. They provide access to health care by supporting partner site social service programs, providing gas vouchers to community members to help them keep medical appointments, conducting home visits for families needing case management, and connecting families with health care resources and providers.

 

ComCorps members work in a variety of schools and agencies in Athens County, dealing with issues such as dental health, poison prevention, tobacco prevention, and breast and cervical health, Schell said. Some members include Athens, Alexander, Trimble, Nelsonville York and Federal Hocking schools; the Athens-based homeless shelter Good Works; the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities-Beacon School; ATCO; and OU-HCOM’s Community Health Programs.

 

The Office of Community Health Programs currently is recruiting both full-time and part-time ComCorps members for next year, with service starting on Aug. 10. Those selected for full-time service receive a living allowance of $11,400 and an education award of $4,725. Part-time members receive an allowance of $6,035 and an education award of $2,362.

 

Applicants must be at least 17 years old, have at least a high school diploma or GED and have their own reliable, insured transportation.

 

“Never would I have thought that this opportunity to be an AmeriCorps volunteer would have made such a difference in my life,” said Emily Eschmeyer, a ComCorps member who worked for OU-HCOM’s Community Health Programs. “It has opened my eyes to the people and the culture of Athens, Ohio, the place I have called home for the past five years. It has further developed my passion to help others and has opened my eyes to new experiences and opportunities.”

 

For further information, or to apply, contact Schell at 740-593-2293 or schelln@ohio.edu, or visit the ComCorps website at www.oucom.ohiou.edu/csp. Additional information and applications are also available at the AmeriCorps website at www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/ready/index.asp. 

 
 
 
EDUCATION RESEARCH COMMUNITY DIVERSITY HOME
 
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Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Grosvenor Hall, Athens, Ohio 45701
Tel:
740-593-2202
Last updated: 09/14/2011