COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded a $1.5 million, 5-year grant to The Ohio State University Nisonger Center 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.

“This project will help to improve the health of Ohioans with disabilities and achieve health equity,” said Alexandria Jones, Director of Chronic Disease at the Ohio Department of Health. “Our mission is to protect and improve the health of all Ohioans by preventing disease, promoting good health and assuring access to quality care and this project does that.”

The grant will support a project that aims to improve inclusion and accessibility to state-based public health programs and reduce health disparities for all Ohioans with mobility limitations as well as Ohioans with intellectual disability.  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.

“People with disabilities face health disparities, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease and associated conditions. This award gives us the opportunity to improve the lives and health of Ohioans with disabilities,” said principal investigator Susan M. Havercamp, PhD.

The project funded by the CDC will address these disparities through training and education that target three health topic areas: nutrition, physical activity and tobacco cessation.  The project team will collaborate with community organizations to make this work possible including the Centers for Independent Living, Local Matters, and Franklin County Residential Services.

“We are excited for the opportunity to empower Ohioans with disabilities to lead healthier lives,” Havercamp said.

About The Ohio State University Nisonger Center

The Nisonger Center strives to develop and provide the highest quality interdisciplinary care, education, and research to support the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life. Its mission is to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Center is designated a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) by the United States Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

For more information, please contact Tamara Hager at (614) 685-3196 or