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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2003

Center for Healthy Communities Receives National Award

DAYTON, OH-The Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) is the recipient of the second annual Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Award. Selected from a competitive pool of Image from Community-campus Partnerships for Healthnominations, the award, which highlights the power and potential of partnerships between communities and higher educational institutions, was presented last week at Community-Campus Partnerships for Health's 7th annual conference in San Diego, California.

Rose Dwight, community activist and former educator with Planned Parenthood, and Katherine Cauley, Ph.D., director of the Center for Healthy Communities, accepted the award on behalf of the hundreds of individuals and organizations affiliated with the Center. In acceptance remarks, Dwight shared, "I was thinking that I would save the world by helping one person at a time. Working with the Center for Healthy Communities, I came to realize that you had to look at the big picture. You had to change the system and approach problems from a systems perspective."

Cauley attributes the success of the Miami Valley's community-academic partnership to the strengths of its partners and the fact that projects are based upon requests from the community. "Our academic partners, Kettering College of Medical Arts, Sinclair Community College, and Wright State University, understand the importance of involving students in continuing efforts to serve our community. Training health care professionals with and in the community will improve our health care system in the future," she says. "And, to be recognized by a national entity that examines community-academic partnerships is very gratifying."

"Nearly a decade since its founding, the Center for Healthy Communities has proven to be a facilitator of positive change in neighborhoods and in health professional schools," noted CCPH executive director Sarena D. Seifer in announcing the award. "The Center's approach to building and sustaining partnerships, with its emphasis on community capacity building, is a model we can all learn from."

The Center for Healthy Communities is dedicated to improving access to and utilization of health care services for the underserved and improving health professions education. The Center brings together allied health, medical, nursing, social work and professional psychology training programs with public education, health and housing departments, social services and faith-based organizations, local and state government, hospitals and HMOs to better integrate the public health safety net, to better coordinate and utilize existing resources, and to develop additional services as needed.

As a strategy for social change, community-campus partnerships can contribute to a number of significant outcomes, such as producing community-responsive, culturally competent health professionals; increasing the diversity of the health professional workforce; expanding access to health care and technology; and supporting economic, social and environmental justice.