Campbell Gets $10.5M for Health, Workforce Center

LOWELLVILLE, Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine said he expects a new community health center to be built on the campus of Campbell’s Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center will serve as a model for other such centers statewide.

Site work should be underway by midsummer on the new Campbell Health and Community Development Center, Campbell Schools Superintendent Matt Bowen said following a news conference at the community literacy and workforce center.

DeWine, accompanied by his wife, Fran, announced the award of $10.5 million Friday for the new health and community development center on the first stop of a two-day tour to announce health care projects to be funded through the Appalachian Children’s Health Initiative.

The $10.5 million award to the Campbell project represented the largest single allocation from the health initiative. The funds are being awarded through the $500 million Appalachian Community Grant Program, which the Ohio General Assembly and DeWine established using American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“I’ve learned over the years that one of the great models is to have school-based health care, DeWine said. The places where the community gathers for school sports, plays and other events are “trusted spaces.” The new center “can be a model for others,” he said.

In collaboration with several community partners, including Stark State College, Education Service Center of Eastern Ohio, Mahoning County Green Team and United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, the Campbell City School District will construct a 55,000-square-foot facility on the grounds of its K-6 school, adjacent to the region’s only STEM school, the Northeast Ohio Impact Academy, and Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center.

The new center and its partners will offer a range of health care services not only to students, but also to the broader community, including pediatric primary care and pediatric mental health counseling on-site and via telehealth. The center also will feature an on-site food pantry, a greenhouse and workforce development and educational programming related to the medical field, including but not limited to medical coding, medical assistants and other high-need and emerging areas of health care.

Stark State College will partner with both the schools and health care providers to provide academic programs and “pathways from school to work,” President Para Jones said.

The college already has “a deep partnership” with Akron Children’s Hospital called Career Launch, she said. The hospital hires people in the community in entry-level positions and sends them to the college for education in fields such as nursing, medical assisting and respiratory therapy.

“They support their employees while they’re gaining the education, and then they allow them to continue learning and earning inside of the hospital,” she said.

Another partner is Sight for All United, a local nonprofit that provides people with vision services regardless of their ability to pay. The new campus will not only offer optician assistant training but also will feature a telehealth vision van that can screen for serious eye diseases in adult patients, said Dr. Sergul Erzurum, a pediatric ophthalmologist and co-founder of Sight for All United.

“With a photograph that can be reviewed by a doctor, we’re going to be able to diagnose macular degeneration diabetic eye disease, retinal detachments, glaucoma and cataracts, and then be able to get those patients to care before they lose their sight,” Erzurum said.

A total of just over $64 million in projects was being announced during the tour, including more than $800,000 for in-school and telehealth projects for schools in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.

The Campbell project, which Bowen estimates to be around $12 million to $13 million, will be built on a “very aggressive construction schedule, he said.

“As the governor spoke, it was a bit overwhelming,” he acknowledged. “To hear him cite Campbell City Schools so often and for him to say that this is potentially a model is something that is amazing.”

Communities in the Mahoning Valley region are awaiting a response to the ARGP grant requests submitted last year for $155.7 million. DeWine said announcements would be coming in the next month to six weeks.

Pictured at top: Gov. Mike DeWine, accompanied by his wife, Fran, announced the award of $10.5 million for the new health and community development center Friday.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.