Newswise — TOLEDO, Ohio, September 17, 2014 – Staying healthy is determined by a lot more than how often an individual sees a doctor, care provider or their family health history. Overall health is also impacted by where individuals live, work, their education and whether they have access to nutritious food.
An estimated 46 million Americans are living in poverty without access to high quality resources and services, including healthcare, nutritious food, quality education and housing. To punctuate that point, Toledo has one of the fastest growing poverty rates in the nation.
ProMedica has partnered with Philanthropist Russell Ebeid to address poverty and other social issues in Toledo. Mr. Ebeid donated $1.5 million to establish the ProMedica Ebeid Institute for Population Health. With the approval of Toledo City Council, the first initiative of the Ebeid Institute will be working to establish a full-service market and community hub in central Toledo at Madison Ave. and 18th St.
Plans for the four-story facility include a food market, kitchens and education workstations for nutrition classes, and basic health screenings. ProMedica anticipates having other services offered via partnerships, including mental health counseling, dental care and literacy training, among other services. The Institute will bring together nutrition, job training, education and health care in a model unique to Toledo that will, in turn, serve as a model for other communities.
“The goal of the Ebeid Institute is to improve the health and well-being of our community by engaging local, regional and national organizations to address social determinants of health with an intense focus on hunger and nutrition,” said Randy Oostra, ProMedica president and chief executive officer. “It will also promote a sense of personal responsibility for one’s health through increased access to resources such as nutrition education and job training.”
Adds Mr. Ebeid, “With a focus on job training and nutrition education, as well as the food market, the model is intended to enhance neighborhood sustainability by focusing on a “hand up” rather than a “hand out” philosophy.”
The location for the Ebeid Institute was based on a sound scientific approach. Many parts of Toledo, including the central city, do not currently have a full-service market where individuals can purchase high quality, nutritious foods at an affordable price. Through consultation with Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group, ProMedica conducted a block-level study of food access and health outcomes that helped determine the most underserved areas and the most appropriate location for the project in Toledo.
In Ohio, more than 1 in 4 children live in food insecure households and in Toledo Public Schools, the number of children eligible for free and reduced breakfast and lunch is nearly 80% with some schools as high as 98%. Toledo has also been identified as having the fastest growing rate of poverty for a city of its size in the nation.
As the healthcare industry continues to move toward a population health model – taking care of the whole population rather than simply caring for those who access it during a time of illness or need – ProMedica is looking outside of its four walls to develop programming that successfully improves the health and well-being of our communities.
ProMedica will have management and oversight of the Institute, but is working collaboratively with civic leaders and community partners for this project and for the revitalization of Toledo.
For more information about ProMedica, visit www.promedica.org.
About ProMedica Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica is a mission-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization formed in 1986. ProMedica has more than 15,000 employees and nearly 1,900 physicians with more than 600 healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians. Its 12 hospitals and more than 300 facilities offer comprehensive diagnostic, medical and surgical specialties in heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, and women and pediatric services. ProMedica’s mission is to improve health and well-being, with a strong focus on wellness and clinical excellence, as well as innovative, community advocacy programs that address health-related issues such as hunger and obesity. For more information, please visit www.promedica.org.