Local agencies give updates at February Community Services meeting
By Randa Wagner -
Eighteen area agencies attended the February Community Services meeting, held Feb. 25 in the Morrow COunty Hospital’s Assembly room.
Janet Berardi, RideSolutions Sr. Outreach Coordinator from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, gave a presentation on Ride Solutions, a commuter service that provides transportation to and from the workplace. She explained the program coordinates car and van pooling by matching up people in a database with other riders in similar areas. RideSolutions services are provided at no charge to commuters traveling to worksites within the 11-county service area. Interested persons can call 1–888-742‑7433 or fill out a form on the website www.morpc.ord/ridesolutions.
Morrow County Hospital Public Relations Manager Lois Peoples reported Dr. Tejas Lodhawala, specializing in Hematology and Oncology, is coming to Morrow County Hospital and is accepting new patients. He will be at the Medical Specialty Center West location.
The hospital’s Tuesday/Thursday Aqua Strength class at the Cardinal Center was so well received, Peoples said, a Monday/Wednesday class has been arranged. This is a six week/12 session program requiring pre-registration and there is a cost.
Hospital volunteers will be having a Book Fair March 28 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Assembly Room A at the hospital. A portion of the proceeds will benefit patient care.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the hospital performed 414 $25 blood profiles. The profile includes a battery of 27 tests, with a thyroid profile available for an additional $25. The next date for the blood profiles is March 16, 2013 in Assembly Room A (use ‘Receiving’ entrance). You must fast 8–10 hours before the profile. Medications can be taken with a moderate amount of water.
Morrow County Recorder Dixie Shinaberry said Marketing Morrow is in the process of starting the new Morrow County Visitor’s Guide for 2014.
Kylee Smith with the Economic Development office announced she had booklets on Fair Housing for Morrow County available to any office that would like to keep a stack to pass out to the public.
Bob Foreman of Ohio Heartland Community Action, along with his assistant Liz Feliciano-Deeter, said March is the final month for the Winter Crisis Program. The Community Services program addressing personal needs is going well, he said, and thanked for the Kiwanis for donating to that program.
Bev Rosich, with Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, passed out a pamphlet to explain services offered by the agency. Amy Rose, also with Area Agency on Aging, works with the R.S.V.P. Volunteer program. We’re always recruiting volunteer stations and individuals age 55 and over are welcome. She said the program most recently signed on with the Tomorrow Center to offer tutoring services.
Debbie Ruth from Seniors on Center had a mass mailing in January to inquire about additional seniors in the county who could use their services with meals, transportation and other needs.
Chris White from Bennington Glen Nursing and Rehabilitation Center said the facility is hosting the Alzheimer’s Association Support Group, which meets the second Wednesday of each month at 12 p.m. Respite is available for the patient during the group session. For more information on the group or to register, contact Chris White at 419–253-0144.
Dave Matos, with Hospice of Morrow County, said 20 percent of their Hospice patients are veterans, and Hospice was approached by the Veterans Office a couple of years ago to honor veterans while they are alive.
“Many veterans are being honored at funerals and memorial services, but we present them with a plaque and pin them, and we’re responsible for trying to pin all of Morrow County’s 3,500 veterans,” Matos said. “We’ve only pinned 300, so if you know of any veteran who would like to be honored, it’s a free service, we give them a plaque with their name and military branch. They can be pinned in their home or in nursing homes, let us know (419–946-9822).”
Hospice is sponsoring a Night Out with the Veterans Thursday, April 4 at 6 p.m. at Hospice of Morrow County on South Street. Veterans will be honored at the ceremony, there will be Veteran speakers and light refreshments will be served.
The Hearts for Hospice auction that is typically held on March will be held in May due to other community events taking place in March.
Chris Vasquez from the Veterans Office said their office has been very busy, and transportation needs have increased. The schedules have been full for a week. The office is also looking into obtaining another passenger vehicle, as a couple of the current vehicles need replaced.
Mary Damico from Helpline of Morrow and Delaware Counties said they have recently expanded to Union County. She passed out a booklet detailing the services Helpline provides to the community, including prevention and mental health programs. Helpline has a database that helps link callers to the programs they need. They operate a crisis/suicide hotline and there is a suicide prevention coalition in Morrow County.
Shilo Gall, Volunteer Coordinator for Helpline, spoke about their prevention programs. A Stewards of Children community training program designed to prevent child sex abuse and targeted for professionals, parents, grandparents and anyone frequently around children. The next session is March 6 at the Community Services Building meeting room. Stewards of Children is a program that incorporates all of the fundamental mechanics necessary in creating organizational policies and procedures that keep children safe.
Christina Sanderson, Service and Support Administrator for Morrow DD accompanied Deb Levering from the Board of Developmental Disabilities, who spoke about the Self-Advocates and their success in integrating into the community.
“We’re doing a lot of training with our individuals to become better self advocates and speak for themselves,” Levering said. “Members of Project STIR – Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility – have been going out, speaking to different schools. A group will be doing a presentation at the Lenten luncheon at Trinity United Methodist Church.”
Don Wake of Job and Family Services reported the Summer Youth Program will be held again this year.
“Young people can come to your place and assist you with any tasks that you have,” Wake told the administrators present. “If you are able to pay them, you can be reimbursed. Several crews will be out, including a road crew, starting May 15 for 6 – 8 weeks.” Interested agencies or office can contact Teresa Shipman, Sundie Brown or Don Wake at JFS. The youths range in age from 15 – 21 years.
Colton Traxler with the Visiting Nurse Association explained they are a home health agency — the largest not-for-profit, community-based home healthcare organization in Ohio.
In 2012 they focused on reducing the number of re-hospitalizations. They are still working to keep those numbers down and also looking closer at medications. Visit http://www.vnaohio.org for a list of available services and news.
Kristi Butler with Turning Point talked about the upcoming benefit 5K Run coming June 22, 2013. They welcome sponsors for the run.
Kelly Hand, Public Information Officer with the Morrow County Health Department, said the health department will be seeking accreditation in the coming years so, as part of that, they are looking for partners to work with them to do a community needs assessment. So far the project is in the planning stages but Hand stressed if any agency is interested in partnering with the health department, please contact Health Commissioner Angie Smith at ext. 308.
Beginning March 4, the health department lobby hours will be open through lunch. To better serve the community, both windows will be open all day from 7:15 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Household Hazardous Waste and Trash Bash date is April 27 from 9 a.m. – to 1 p.m. This coincides with the DEA Drug Take Back. New this year is television recycling (there is a fee).
Susie Sexton with the Tomorrow Center in Edison gave a brief explanation of what the education center is; a conversion community school, accepting students from third through twelfth grades. Students graduate with a real diploma from the Ohio Department of Education, and the Tomorrow Center adheres to the same rules and laws other schools adhere to. The school received a large grant two years ago, she said, affording them services they didn’t have previously. The center works with 18 school districts from all over Ohio, including Marion, Crawford, Morrow, Delaware, Richland, and Franklin counties. Sexton said they currently have about 100 students and invited anyone interested to take a tour, and welcome community collaboration.
A tutoring program was implemented to help students with their reading and math skills, where volunteers come in and work with an individual. More volunteers are needed.
The Tomorrow Center is now enrolling for fall. Student transportation is not provided but Sexton works with the parent schools to arrange transportation. Sexton said one of the most frequent questions she is asked is, “What kind of kids do you take?” Students who do not fit well in a conventional learning environment are often good candidates, and referrals are welcome.
The Tomorrow Center will be holding their second prom April 26. Sexton said the first prom was held last year and went very well.
OSU Extenstion’s Dana Brown of the Family and Consumer Science Program announced a “Mom and Me Introduction to Sewing” coming up March 14 and 18 for any child 8 yrs old in the third grade and up interested in joining 4-H. Registration must be made by March 8.
Two food preservation classes will be coming up this Spring, Brown said. On May 8 a there will be a class on basic canning and on May 22, a class on freezing and drying, both at the extension office. She will also hold a Food Preservation program at Perry Cook Library on June 4.
The extension office also tests pressure canner gauges – just bring in your canner lid.
The next Community Services meeting will be held Monday March 25, 2013.