Columbus, OH,
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Wellness on Wheels Reinvents Care for Local Holocaust Survivors

OhioHealth Wellness on Wheels and Jewish Family Services

For the roughly 225 survivors of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust living in central Ohio, receiving healthcare services can be an extreme mental and emotional challenge, creating a barrier to medical care for these patients.

OhioHealth has partnered with Jewish Family Services to tackle this issue head-on. Rather than asking survivors to receive care in an environment that’s uncomfortable, OhioHealth is bringing the care to them in a way that’s both convenient and compassionate.

“A lot of our survivors of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust were subject to unthinkable trauma, including medical experimentation and/or death, ultimately, if they admitted they were sick,” said Shannon Ginther, senior director of Community Health Partnerships at OhioHealth. “Our hope is that by bringing the doctors to a place survivors know and trust, they will be open to receiving care from us.”

Every Monday, the OhioHealth Wellness on Wheels Primary Care mobile unit is parked outside Jewish Family Services, ready to provide comprehensive primary care services to this vulnerable, underserved group in the community. Complete with all the latest equipment and staffed with medical professionals trained in trauma-informed care, Karen Mozenter, CEO of Jewish Family Services, says we can begin to break down these barriers for these patients.

The benefits of the partnership extend beyond the positive impact it has on patients. Stephen Auciello, MD, family medicine residency program director at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, says that working with survivors teaches residents how to help other victims of trauma as well.

“How can we train young physicians who can go into any community, identify patients who may have experienced significant trauma, and understand how to best approach those patients without making things worse,” said Dr. Auciello. “We hope that they can apply some of the lessons learned from the care they provided on this unit to the care they’ll provide for the rest of their careers.”

To read more about OhioHealth’s partnership with Jewish Family Services, click here.

OhioHealth has a long history of delivering mobile healthcare services in the communities we serve. For more information about our Wellness on Wheels program, click here.