COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus City Schools launched a new health initiative Saturday morning called Edu Health Caravan, and the district hopes to provide everyone in the community with healthcare services.
Event leaders specifically chose to have the event at La Plaza Tapatia in the Hilltop so Spanish speakers in the area could get resources and support.
“If we want to truly bring services to the community and meet them where they are, we have to go where they are. This is just a vibrant sector of the community,” said Lee Cole, the executive director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at Columbus City Schools.
There were services for both adults and kids provided by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and PrimaryOne Health. Services included health screenings, vaccinations, sports physicals, and information about Medicaid.
Columbus City Schools’ English as a Second Language program had a booth at the event so there was no language barrier preventing someone from healthcare.
“Probably 30 to 35 percent of our over 8,000 students are Spanish speakers so it’s very important that we show our support that we are here to support the area and, of course, our district,” said Michael Sain, the director of the ESL program.
Cole says the school district did a lot of research before starting this health initiative. She said they did find some gaps in service so she is hoping this initiative will help close those gaps.
“We’re serving the needs of the whole child,” Cole said. “If we can help support our families, our families, our families are the foundation for a student’s success, so they have what they need, our students have what they need.”
Columbus City Schools’ ESL team says they think this initiative will make a huge difference in the community. “Our families lack how to actually ask for those resources so by providing the event here in their community, we’re bringing it right here to them,” said Myra Talley, the supervisor of the ESL program.
“There is a gap there, but we are closing that gap every day,” adds Sain.
Cole says there will be more events like this one in the future. She wants to bring healthcare to as many communities as possible here in Columbus.