This event had plenty of free close parking. Even if the lot adjacent to the event was full there were several other lots and street parking less than a block away.
Tell me about the event.
This is our nineteenth year. OSU East are the sponsors. We started this on the near east side. In fact, we used to do it at the hospital. When we acquired this building, it gave us more room to spread out. Today, we have at least thirty different health screenings from head to toe. For example, vision, dental, breast exams, etc. Our primary focus is to address those most critical health needs in our community: chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer screenings. We have a host of exhibitors with health information and organizations providing resources. I love that we offer free sports physicals for middle school and high school students. That is great for families that might not have a physician or might not be able to afford getting the physical for that student to participate in sports. If there are individuals that qualify and need a mammogram, we have those services here. We can schedule appointments today. We have healthy cooking demonstrations. Our goal is around prevention, and education. Part of our core mission is to have healthy communities. This is how we do our part by giving back. Historically, this has been one of the largest days of giveback for our organization. We are proud to continue that legacy.
This is our twentieth year at East Hospital. That is nice that it coincides with the event today. Our theme for that was twenty years and, counting. We are committed to this community and beyond. We want a healthy community and we are here for the long haul.
If a young person gets their physical today, will it be good for the whole school year?
I think most of the physicals are good for a year.
God forbid that someone finds out they have something like cancer today.
That has happened.
Do you offer follow-up services?
Yes, we do. We offer follow-up appointments. We usually get people tapped into the services right away.
If a young person wants to follow in your footsteps, what was your path to obtain the position you have?
I’m a nurse by background. When I was in high school, I took a career course as nursing assistant. I was placed on a job when I was seventeen at Children’s Hospital. I climbed the ropes as student nurse, nurse, graduate nurse, etc. My path has been mostly in administration positions. I was blessed to obtain this position (Executive Director of the East Hospital) two years ago. My advice is work hard. Let your work speak for itself. If students want to get involved with math and science, that is awesome. There are hospital administrators that focus in the business world. You can also learn the business as a managing nurse.
Tell me what is going on today.
This is Healthy Community Day put on by OSU Hospitals. We have 46 vendors that help us put on this expo tent that I am over. We have free screenings, over 400 volunteers from OSU and our partners. Our partners help us to put together a free healthy lunch, entertainment, screenings, the dental van, and demo kitchen. The sheriff’s department and fire department are also here. It is just a free and fun day to push community wellness and health and everything that makes our lives better. OSU East has been putting this on for nineteen years. I have been here for thirteen of those years. Every year it gets better.
I saw on the news that over 200 sports physicals were completed at this event last year. Any forecasts as to how many you will complete today?
We will need to wait until the end of the day to see the numbers. I do know that within the first hour they were already over 50. This event runs from 9 am to 2 pm. That’s five hours. If they keep up to forty or fifty an hour, you can do the math. We are going to surpass last year, I guarantee it.
What is up with the free food?
One plate per person. They will give you turkey hot dogs, roasted corn, roasted veggies, apple slices, and all the bottled water you can drink. We have a lot of good, free, healthy food.
How does a person volunteer for next year?
They can volunteer by going to OSU website. Most of our volunteers are employees. Get involved with the community such as the ohio housing, healthy living through the YMCA, any of the churches or health organizations can contact me and I can get you a table and get you in. There is no registration fee. Everything about this day is free.
Tell me why you are here and what you are doing.
I came because my boys are with the Life Sports program with Ohio State. Originally, we came for the sports physicals. Last year, my husband benefitted from coming here. He felt safe in the environment to complete his manly screenings. Any other time, he would have made excuses; but we were already here, so we were able to get it done.
Tell me about the Life Sports Program.
The Life Sports Program is a free summer program where each week they do a different sport. This will be my boys second year. It is an excellent program. I recommend it.
All the education and people were nice. They respected my family and it was an easy place to walk through.
What did you do today?
I had fun and got my teeth looked at. I got an Ohio State backpack. Go bucks.
I play football for the Linden Eagles, #2.
I love John’s confidence! He asked to be interviewed and appeared to be at home doing the interview.
Why do you volunteer at this event?
We are at Outpatient East, it used to be Carepoint East at 543 Taylor Avenue. It helps out the community. We have free screenings, fun times, food, and laughter. It just helps out the community. Everybody is about helping out the community.
If you do not have a primary care physician come to 543 Taylor Avenue (Outpatient East- Ohio State University) and get a primary care physician.
What is going on?
This is the James mobile education kitchen. It was initially given to us by the Celebration for Life fund through the James. It is a grant for us to go out into the community and teach people about a healthier plant based lifestyle that works with cancer risk reduction. We are teaching people how to have a healthier life with plant based food. It doesn’t mean vegetarian and it doesn’t mean vegan. It means better portion control and eat more plant based foods in your diet.
Tell me how you made the vegetables. They were delicious!
They are two parts Lawry’s low sodium season salt, and one part Splenda brown sugar. It is extremely good for you to eat any vegetable with it. Today, we are giving a corn mango salsa and a healthier dill dip. We are using raw vegetables for the dill dip. The corn mango salsa is made with the free vegetables we are giving away in the tent. It is just a different way to show you how to do something with them.
Sidebar: Those were the best vegetables I recall eating. I asked the people on the grill who made the vegetables and sought Chief David Brue out. I was prepared to talk to him until he gave up the recipe. I couldn’t taste the difference between the dill dip and ranch dressing.
I talked to Felecia Lucas of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Julialynne Walker of the Bronzeville Growers Market, and members of Divine Impact Fitness.
My take: I was surprised with how much fun a person can have around health screenings, exercise, and eating healthy. I did not go to any of the health screenings inside the building however; everyone I saw appeared to have a great time. I was impressed by the number of people they fed and the portions they were giving out. Many times when an event is offering free food, it MIGHT be a little bit of something. Definitely not a meal where a person can get full.. This event was well thought out and executed.