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COMCorps’ outstanding service award celebrates community impact

(ATHENS, Ohio— Dec. 10, 2013) COMCorps, the AmeriCorps program at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, received the 2013 Outstanding National and Community Service Program award as part of the ServeOhio Awards.

“It is an award we can share with everyone: alumni, supervisors, members and volunteers. They all rally around us. This award is not just about us, but it is about everyone who has worked to get us to this point,” Lauren Borovicka, COMCorps program coordinator, said. The ServeOhio Awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that make outstanding contributions to their communities and the state through service and volunteerism.

The Outstanding National and Community Service Program award honors the program that best exemplifies the spirit of national and community service and demonstrates high impact. In its 13-year history, COMCorps has partnered with schools, government and nonprofit agencies, and Ohio University to provide services that promote health, prevent disease and improve access to medical care in the Athens County area. COMCorps’ mission is to provide health education and access to health care and health screenings for children and families in Athens County.

 “This program is the strongest it has ever been as far as true measurable impact,” Borovicka said. “We have joined forces with a number of organizations in the area to bring about change in this community where health is concerned, and we have been a strong partner in that movement.” 

ServeOhio Award winners are chosen based on the nominee’s accomplishments, quantifiable data to demonstrate impact, and letters of support from individuals who are familiar with the nominee’s service activity.

William Hall, executive director of ServeOhio, said, “COMCorps is a quintessential example for an effective AmeriCorps program. Great community impact, strong local partnerships and members that truly value the ethic of service – it is exactly what the ServeOhio Award is designed to represent.” 

Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, presented the award to Borovicka and COMCorps member Ryan Leach. Borovicka said receiving the award from Spencer, her role model, was a great moment for her personally, but the highlight was reading letters of support for COMCorps. “Hearing the stories about the impact we have had in this community touched me deeply, and that alone has been enough to validate everything we do,” Borovicka said.

Working alongside long-term supervisors and volunteers, COMCorps members serve 11-month service terms during which they supervise volunteer efforts and deliver health-related programs and implement health-related projects in schools and agencies.

Borovicka attributes the overwhelming volunteer and member support to strong relationships with Ohio University, Hocking College and other area educational institutions. “As we start to tackle issues facing this community, we know that we can’t do it alone. It takes a force. These volunteers are willing to work in meaningful ways alongside our members, and both come out with a whole other vision of the hurdles we are facing in Appalachia.”

 
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Last updated: 12/10/2013