ODHP Infrastructure

  • The four circles in the diagram above represent the core components of the Ohio Disability and Health Program:
  • The Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
  • The Ohio State University Nisonger Center
  • University of Cincinnati (UC) UCEDD
  • The Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC)
  • Susan Havercamp (principal investigator) and Ann Robinson (project coordinator) will manage this project from offices located at Nisonger, which is the bona fide agent of ODH for this funding.
  • Nisonger and ODH work directly with the (UC) UCEDD and the GRC to coordinate and execute all activities.
  • The Disability Advisory Committee serves as a vehicle for ODHP to drive positive change for Ohioans with disabilities by providing guidance and input for all project activities.


The mission of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is to protect and improve the health of all Ohioans. In its multi-faceted role, ODH has a wide range of responsibilities including: educating people on ways to improve their quality of life through practical lifestyle changes and prevention strategies; promoting healthy and safe conditions in the work place and home; protecting Ohio’s more than 11.5 million people from diseases, injuries and disabilities; and responding to natural disasters, bioterrorism attacks and more. Working in partnership with more than 120 county and city health departments, ODH provides much needed public health leadership and services throughout the state. ODH is primarily responsible for overseeing the execution of all project activities, the formation of connections for ODHP through various networks of health departments, and the integration of disability into as many existing mainstream health programs as possible.

nisongerNisonger Center

The Ohio State University Nisonger Center provides a range of clinical services and assistance to people with disabilities, families, service providers, and organizations to promote health, quality of life, and community inclusion. With its understanding of disability, health issues, and operations that impact Ohioans statewide, Nisonger is the appropriate lead agency for this grant. Its motivated team of faculty and staff is committed to building state capacity to provide quality care to people with disabilities and works with students and health care trainees to reduce disparities and improve services in Ohio. Nisonger also has established relationships within the disability and public health communities, and is thus an ideal liaison to foster awareness and collaboration for better health outcomes for people with disabilities. Health promotion initiatives include the Be Healthy Information Program (B-HIP), which provides health information to people with disabilities and their families throughout Florida and Ohio. The principal investigator, project coordinator, and project assistant will coordinate all ODHP project activities to best fulfill the goals of physical activity, nutrition intervention, tobacco cessation, and training and education.

ucuceddUC UCEDD

The University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UC UCEDD), located in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is one of 67 UCEDDs nationally. The UC UCEDD strives to advance health and well-being of children, adolescents and adults with disabilities and their families by 1) training professionals who will take a leadership role in addressing the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families ; 2) creating innovative models of care delivery to provide interdisciplinary, comprehensive, family-centered and effective health care ; 3) adding to knowledge in the field through state-of-the art research, publications and presentations to professional and community audiences; and 4) providing technical assistance to organizations, legislators, and advocacy groups to increase an understanding of the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities, and to promote advocacy and public policy to address these needs. As one of the ODHP team members, UC UCEDD will provide technical assistance, implement health promotion demonstration projects, such as the Living Independent from Tobacco (LIFT) program, work on health policy issues, and disseminate health and disability information to providers, individuals with disabilities and family members.

Government Resource Center

The Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC) is a public university-based center for health policy, research, and technical assistance that seeks to promote health system transformation through partnerships between Ohio’s academic community and health leaders. The GRC serves state and local government agencies and private clients that provide, purchase, and regulate health services. The center draws on the expertise of faculty and staff from Ohio’s seven medical colleges and 13 public universities and maintains close working relations with public and private sector health policy groups, health advocacy groups, and survey research firms. As an ODHP team member, the GRC provides expertise in around project evaluation and will perform data analysis for the program.

Disability Advisory Committee (DAC)

The DAC serves as the vehicle for the intersection of disability and public health to improve health outcomes for people with disabilities. The DAC provides guidance and input for all project activities, including disability initiatives related to physical activity, nutrition intervention, tobacco cessation, and training and education. ODHP is fortunate to have such an enthusiastic network of important members on its advisory panel. The DAC will also help ODHP to connect with the wider community; mainly, those with disabilities, their families, and professionals in the healthcare system. Please find the individual organizations that make up the DAC below:

Ohio School for the Deaf

The Ohio Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities

Ohio Self Determination Association

Health Policy Institute of Ohio

Ohio State School for the Blind

National Federation of the Blind of Ohio

The Ohio State University ADA Coordinator’s Office

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children of Ohio

The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health

Ohio Governor’s Office of Health Transformation (OHT)

Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council

Ohio Association of Community Health Centers

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (formerly Rehabilitative Services Commission)

Ohio Association of the Deaf

The Paralyzed Veterans of America, Buckeye Chapter

Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center

People First Ohio, Inc.

Ohio Commission on Minority Health

American Council of the Blind of Ohio, Inc.

Ohio Department of Aging

Americans with Disabilities Act Office in Ohio (ADA-OHIO)

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

The Arc of Ohio

Ohio Department of Health

Autism Society of Ohio

Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Preparedness

The Brain Injury Association of Ohio

Ohio Department of Mental Health

Creative Living

Ohio Department of Education

Deaf Services Center, Inc.

Ohio Department of Medicaid

Disability Rights Ohio (formerly Ohio Legal Rights Services)

Ohio Department of Veterans Services

Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio

Ohio Developmental DisABILITIES Council

Easter Seals (of Northern Ohio and of Central/Southeast Ohio)

Ohio Emergency Management Agency

Goodwill Columbus

ODHP Project Activities

Over the next 5 years, ODHP will work to substantially improve the health and quality of life of over 2 million Ohioans with disabilities through the adaptation and implementation of evidence-based strategies with four main activities that include physical activity, nutrition intervention, tobacco cessation, and training and education. ODHP recognizes these activities as an integral component of our five-year strategy to reduce the disparities in cardiovascular disease and diabetes among people with disabilities in the state of Ohio. Click on each activity to learn more about our current projects and how we plan to move forward in the future. Current Monthly Updates are also posted for each activity at the end of each month. If we have no substantial updates to report in a particular area during the month, no update will be posted for that area.

Current activities:

  • Physical Activity
  • Nutrition Intervention
  • Tobacco Cessation
  • Training and Education

Anticipated future activities:


To carry out our physical activity initiatives ODHP will partner with the Creating Healthy Communities Leadership team at the Ohio Department of Health to support several statewide physical activity initiatives. Further ODHP will work with the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability to provide education and in-person training to Creating Healthy Community members.


ODHP will collaborate with Local Matters, and Franklin County Residential Services to carry out nutrition intervention initiatives for people with intellectual disabilities. Local Matters is a non-profit organization that works to provide food education to decrease food insecurity and diet-related diseases. ODHP will work with Local Matters to adapt and demonstrate their Cooking Matters program, a 6-week course that aids individuals in cooking healthy meals on a limited budget to people with intellectual disabilities and their direct support staff members.


ODHP will partner with Centers for Independent Living to implement the Living Independent from Tobacco (LIFT) program. This is an 8-session tobacco cessation program adapted for people with disabilities that will be implemented across the state. The program embodies a behavioral counseling approach toward educating consumers on the benefits of quitting and methods of managing cravings and lifestyle changes.

Visit the ODHP Tobacco Cessation website for more information about the LIFT program and accessible resources for people with disabilities, caregivers, and professionals.


ODHP will establish a consensus on the disability competencies required for health care providers to provide quality care to patients with disabilities. ODHP will collaborate with the Alliance on Disability in Health Care Education to carry out this initiative. ODHP will work with accrediting and licensure bodies in medicine, nursing, and allied health professions to integrate disability competencies into requirements for program accreditation and provider licensure. ODHP will also train health care providers to provide quality health screenings and assessments to patients with disabilities.

We welcome feedback on all of our project activities. If you have a comment or would like more information about any of our activities please contact our Clinical Research Assistant, Samantha Shetterly at Samantha.Shetterly@osumc.edu, or any other member of our team.

You can also find more information about this type of program through the archived webcast of CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds: Where in health is disability? Public health practices to include people with disabilities.