The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded a $2.8 million, 5-year grant to The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, which is part of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, College of Medicine, Office of Health Sciences and Neurological Institute. This funding will support efforts to improve the health of adults with mobility limitations as well as adults with intellectual disability in Ohio.

The grant will fund programming in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health, University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center.

“Transforming the health of our communities through inclusive and innovative education, discovery and care is core to the mission of the College of Medicine,” says Dr. Carol R. Bradford, dean of Ohio State College of Medicine. “This grant will help us serve an important part of our community by reducing health care disparities for those with disabilities.”

The grant will support the Ohio Disability and Health Program’s efforts to improve inclusion and accessibility of clinical resources, state-based public health programs and to reduce health disparities for Ohioans with disabilities.

“There’s the unfortunate misconception that people with disabilities experience a poor quality of life due to their disability. In fact, people with disabilities often lead happy, healthy, fulfilling lives. This funding opportunity will allow us to provide education to health professionals that will ultimately improve patient care for people with disabilities across the state,” said co-principal investigator Susan M. Havercamp, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Ohio State University Nisonger Center.

Approximately one out of every five individuals in Ohio has a disability and, as a result, is more likely to experience adverse health outcomes and barriers to accessing quality health care in their community. This funding will support the following five activities toward health equity for Ohioans with disabilities:

  1. Build a robust coalition of disability partners
  2. Conduct a statewide needs assessment to identify barriers to optimal health
  3. Form clinical pathways to unmet healthcare needs
  4. Implement evidence-based health promotion interventions for adults with disabilities
  5. Offer disability training to healthcare providers.

“People with disabilities should have the final say in decisions that impact them,” said co-principal investigator David Ellsworth, a disability policy analyst with the Nisonger Center. “This funding opportunity will allow us to convene a network of people with disabilities to inform and guide our work throughout the project period.”

The OSUWMC news release can be found here.