June 25, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Columbus City Schools are teaming up to help improve educational performance and increase opportunities for children living in the Near East Side neighborhood.
The collaboration, approved last night by the Columbus Board of Education, will lead to creation of Health Sciences Academies at East High School and its six feeder schools. By design, even elementary students will be able to set their sights on a curriculum emphasizing medicine and health as they prepare for the increasing demand for workers in the health care industry. The initiative is scheduled to launch in 2015.
This effort is part of the Partners for Achieving Community Transformation (PACT) goal to revitalize the Near East Side community.
“We are proud to be part of this neighborhood through our community health centers like University Hospital East and CarePoint East,” said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, CEO of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center and senior vice president for health sciences at Ohio State. “We’re dedicated to improving the health and wellness of people who live in this community, and that includes a focus on education and career development of our children.”
Part of PACT’s strategy is to help families break the cycle of poverty by providing a holistic culture of health and well-being through its Blueprint for Community Investment. By design, the health sciences themed pipeline within the schools is aimed at improving outcomes for students and families in the neighborhood through high-quality early learning experiences and exposure to a common culture of excellence and high expectations at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
"The extensive community participation and detailed planning for the Health Sciences Academies will truly change the future for students at East High School, as well as our feeder elementary and middle schools nearby. Now they will learn in a special community where powerful partners can help them nurture career opportunities in the health sciences, with the full support of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and community groups committed to their success," said Dan Good, Superintendent of Columbus City Schools. "This is an exciting commitment to lifelong learning and opportunities for our students."
Unique educational experiences available to students of the Health Sciences Academies will include creation of a “Med-Town” immersive learning experience, strategic placement of centers devoted to community engagement and wellness in participating schools, professional development for Columbus City School teachers and Ohio State Wexner Medical Center faculty, as well as internship opportunities for East High School students at OSU Wexner Medical Center.
“This partnership with Columbus City Schools aligns with the university's land-grant mission,” said Joseph A. Alutto, interim president of Ohio State. “There is a growing need in our society for a highly trained health care workforce. This initiative enables us to prepare students for this growing field while enhancing the quality of life in this historically important area of Columbus.”