OhioHealth Wellness on Wheels and Jewish Family Services Announce Partnership to Provide Care to Holocaust Survivors
COLUMBUS, Ohio – OhioHealth and Jewish Family Services are working together to provide convenient, compassionate healthcare services for Holocaust survivors.
Beginning Oct. 28, the OhioHealth Wellness on Wheels Primary Care mobile unit will be at Jewish Family Services on Mondays to provide comprehensive primary care services for an aging, underserved group in the central Ohio community.
“Central Ohio has a large population of Holocaust survivors, many of whom face financial hardship,” said Shannon Ginther, OhioHealth senior director of community health partnerships. “This is a group that has endured unthinkable trauma and many have been reluctant to seek out vital healthcare. Our hope is that by bringing the doctors to a place survivors know and trust, they will be open to receiving care from us.”
Jewish Family Services provides wrap-around services to help local survivors live independently and with dignity. The agency receives funding from the Conference for Material Jewish Claims against Germany to assist survivors in accessing in-home care, food and utility assistance, dental services and other community resources. Additional person-centered, trauma-informed care is offered, designed to help survivors process latent trauma and reduce social isolation. Programing includes healing arts, companion care and outings to concerts, movies, art exhibits, shopping and community events.
“We are excited to expand our services to local survivors through this partnership with OhioHealth,” said Jewish Family Services CEO Karen Mozenter. “Institutional settings such as hospitals and medical offices can trigger trauma for survivors. Also, many survivors are unfamiliar with the aging process because they never witnessed the aging of their own family members who were killed during the Holocaust. By combining the services of our staff, with whom survivors have developed deep and trusted relationships, and the excellent medical care offered by OhioHealth professionals, we can break down these barriers.”
During the OhioHealth visits, survivors will participate in a variety of person-centered activities such as Urban Zen and music therapy. Jewish Family Services staff will provide translation services during the medical visits as needed.
Healthcare services on Wellness on Wheels Primary Care will be provided by OhioHealth Family Medicine residents from the Dublin and Riverside Family Medicine programs, under the supervision of Michelle Taylor, MD (Dublin Family Medicine) and Stephen Auciello, MD (Riverside Family Medicine).
“This is an amazing opportunity for us to provide care to patients who need it, but also a learning opportunity for our residents to get hands-on experience in learning to care for populations that have experienced significant trauma,” said Dr. Auciello. Jewish Family Services staff is training the OhioHealth staff in trauma-informed care.
The clinic costs about $300,000 to operate annually. Funding has been provided by Jewish Federations of North America, the Wexner Holocaust Survivor Initiative at JewishColumbus, Huntington Bank Foundation and the Robert Louis Rosenstiel Fund of the Columbus Foundation, as well as in-kind donations from OhioHealth and Jewish Family Services. Approximately 225 known Holocaust survivors are currently living in central Ohio.
“Our hope is that this partnership will not only benefit local Holocaust survivors but will eventually expand access to medical care for other vulnerable populations we serve, such as refugees and youth aging out of the foster care system,” said Mozenter.
OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare organization with Methodist roots. Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 13 years in a row, 2007-2019.
Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 28,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 12 hospitals, 50+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.
OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Berger Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.
About Jewish Family Services
Jewish Family Services is a 111-year-old human service agency that helps individuals and families achieve economic self-sufficiency and emotional stability. The agency provides a unique combination of integrated workforce development, counseling and case management services, using a person-centered approach to meet the complex needs of the people who come through its doors. Rooted in a rich history of Jewish values, the agency serves individuals of all races, ethnicities, and religions and from all economic circumstances. For more information, visit www.jfscolumbus.org. To donate to the Holocaust Survivor Initiative at JewishColumbus, visit www.jewishcolumbus.com/hsi. Donations made before Dec. 31, 2019 are eligible for matching funds from the Wexner Family Foundation.