Making a difference on Columbus’ Near East Side by working together with the community.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will open a healthy community center in early 2024 on Columbus’ Near East Side.
The Healthy Community Center will provide access to a variety of community-centered programs and services to improve the health and wellness of the Near East Side community and its residents.
With a higher prevalence of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and overall lower life expectancy in the community, the center seeks to address the barriers to health and wellness — from economic, physical, mental and emotional health to workforce and housing — that negatively impact its residents.
The Healthy Community Center will be located in the former Columbus Metropolitan Library Martin Luther King Jr. branch at 1600 E. Long St. and will consist of a teaching kitchen, a healthy café, wellness activities and conference rooms for community gatherings.
Learn more about the timing and roadmap for the Healthy Community Center
Download the presentation from Healthy Community Center March 6, 2023 – community meeting.
Image: Rendering of the Healthy Community Center.
“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Culturally diverse and rich legacy, a symbol of Black strength
The Near East Side has a rich legacy as a cultural center of the Black experience. But like other urban communities nationwide, the once vibrant neighborhood experienced a slow, devastating decline for decades due to range of factors including redlining, lack of accessible and affordable health care and other forms of systemic racism.
The community is now home to the Lincoln Theatre, King Arts Complex, Martin Luther King Library Maroon Arts Group BoxPark. The community also has the oldest Black faith congregation in Columbus and boasts ﬁve community gardens.
By partnering with those in the community to build the Healthy Community Center, we want to be part of the ongoing transformation of the community and improve health and wellness through education, hands-on experience, mentorship and community building.