Sandusky Co. Community Health Improvement Plan released

Press Staff Writer

        The Sandusky County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) was released on April 26.
        A joint effort among government agencies, health care providers, non-profits and schools, the CHIP will serve as a guide to address health disparities in Sandusky County. It focuses on three priority areas, with measures for success.
        The CHIP was the next step in a process that started with the Sandusky County Community Health Assessment completed in 2020.
        The three priority areas identified by the CHIP address health disparities and move the community closer to the vision of a healthy Sandusky County. They include:
        •. Mental health and addiction, including adult and youth alcohol use, drug use, depression and suicide;
        • Chronic disease, including adult, youth and child obesity and tobacco/nicotine use;
        •  Maternal and infant health, including infant mortality.
        “The Community Health Improvement Plan provides a comprehensive work plan for public health and its partners and stakeholders to dig in and eliminate health disparities in our community,” said Bethany Brown, Sandusky County Health Commissioner. “The work to complete this project has been undertaken by many partners, each of whom has a vested interest in the healthcare needs of our community.”
        The CHIP will be implemented over a three-year period from 2021 through 2023. An annual report to stakeholders and the community on the CHIP’s progress will be provided by the Sandusky County Health Partners. Updates will be shared on
        “As we work through the CHIP, we will be asking ourselves ‘are we doing the work we said we would do? Is our work having an impact and are we really addressing the social determinants of health? These are concrete ways to measure the success of the CHIP,” Brown added.
        Information about the Sandusky County Public Health Department and the Community Health Improvement Plan is available at or follow the Health Department on Facebook.
Special meeting set
        The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties will hold a special meeting to consider the possible merger with Ottawa County on Tuesday, May 11, at 5: p.m. via Zoom.
        Contact Office Manager, Rose Robbins, at 419-448-0640 to receive the Zoom credentials or to voice comments.
Rita’s Soups
        Rita McDougle, a lifelong resident of the East Toledo and Oregon area, was known for her community garden, her artistic flair and her cooking.
        McDougle lost her battle with lung cancer in November 2020. She was known for always stretching leftovers into rich, tasty soups, and for making sure no one went hungry in her home.
        As a tribute to her, her son, Quinn, and Knute Huber, started “Rita’s Soups,” a feeding program designed to assist people in need of simple nutrition.
        Held the third Saturday of each month, the next distribution will be held Saturday, May 15 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 798 S. Coy Rd., Oregon. Three varieties of soups, along will crackers or bread and a beverage will be available to anyone who comes through the doors. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, meals will be available for take-out only. Guests may take what they need, in their own containers, or some containers will be available.
        Freewill offerings will be accepted from those wishing to contribute to the program and its future success. Donations may also be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, attn: Rita’s Soups.
Magruder virtual program
        Magruder Hospital will hold a virtual luncheon addressing the topic, “What to Expect as We Age,” on Monday, May 17 at noon.
        Michelle Buehrer, Magruder Medical Group nurse practitioner certified in gerontology, will present the program. Attendees will learn how our bodies and minds age, and how to distinguish normal aspects of aging from those that may require attention.
        For more information or to sign up, call 419-732-4061 or email
Older but Bolder
        “Older but Bolder,” a program about successful aging, will be presented virtually Friday, May 21 from 10-11 a.m.  The program is free. Registration is not required. Click link to join: Meeting ID: 893 2354 8706.
        New ideas on how to face aging with humor, grace, and joy, so that you lighten up but not tighten up, will be presented in an entertaining and thought-provoking program by Steve Wilson, psychologist and Director of National Humor Month.
        “I’ve finally reached the Wonder Years,” he says. “I wonder where I parked the car; wonder where I left my phone; wonder where my glasses are; wonder what day it is?” People born in the 50s or earlier have lived in seven decades, two centuries, and two millennia. We had the best music, fastest cars, drive-in theatres, soda fountains, and happy days. And, we are not even that old yet. We’re just that cool,” Wilson said.
Crisis Relief Fund to aid Mom’s House
        Mom’s House and The Taylor Automotive Family kicked off a new Mom’s House Crisis Relief Fund on May 7 at Taylor Hyundai of Perrysburg
        Mom’s House has seen a dramatic increase in emergent needs over the past year as a result of the pandemic. In response, the organization reached out to Steve Taylor, owner of Taylor Automotive, earlier in the year to help provide support for a specific family and they answered the call — not only to help the family, but to give a seed gift of $5,200 for this new fund.
        The Taylor Automotive family donated funds out of their own pockets to ensure the needs for Mom’s House clients were met.
        “Our motto, ‘Locally Owned & Locally Committed’ stands true, especially in this case,” Taylor said. “We are so pleased that our team sees the benefit of helping our community and understands the importance of partnership. It’s an honor to partner with Mom’s House.” 
        “When crisis hits, a family who already has a level of instability can crumble,” said Christina Rodriguez, Mom’s House executive director. “We are seeing many new challenges since COVID-19 hit and we are thrilled that the Taylor Automotive family has answered the call for a seed gift to kick off our new Crisis Relief Fund.”
        About Mom’s House
        Mom’s House is a non-profit organization that offers programs to help low-income, single mothers complete their education. The center is open to low-income, student parents of children aged 6 weeks to 5 years, who are dedicated to completing their education. Students must be enrolled full-time in programs such as, high school, a GED program, college or university, or vo-tech training.
        Mom’s House has served the Toledo community for 28 years and celebrated more than 150 graduates. The organization has also assisted more than 150 additional young mothers through some portion of their education.
        For more information on Mom’s House or its programs, visit or call 419-241-5554.
Hospice spiritual caregiver
selected for advocacy program

        Hospice of Northwest Ohio announced that spiritual caregiver Cheri Holdridge has been selected by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), and its advocacy affiliate, the Hospice Action Network (HAN), to join their My Hospice Ambassadors program.
        My Hospice Ambassadors are advocates who will engage with federal lawmakers to enhance awareness of hospice and palliative care public policy issues.
         “We are pleased that Cheri will join our hospice colleagues from across the nation to continue the work of reinforcing the value of the Medicare hospice benefit among policy and healthcare decision makers and improve access to high quality, comprehensive and person-centered care,” said Hospice of Northwest Ohio President/CEO Richard Russell.
        “I am thrilled to be selected for My Hospice Ambassadors so I can educate and inform members of Congress about the benefits of hospice and palliative care services by sharing my experiences as a spiritual caregiver,” Holdridge said. “Throughout my professional career, I have worked as an advocate for people who are suffering and have benefited from the expert and compassionate care hospice provides. NHPCO and HAN are on the frontlines of ensuring quality hospice and palliative care, and I am honored to join in this great work,” she says.
        The ambassadors will establish and maintain significant and continuous relationships with members of Congress, host roundtable events with federal lawmakers to advance hospice and palliative care legislation and develop a network of hospice and palliative care advocates.
Gavarone bill signed into law
        State Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green), on April 27 virtually joined Gov. Mike DeWine for the signing of Senate Bill 2, which will improve access to and increase the quality of mental healthcare in Ohio by making significant reforms to Ohio's competency restoration procedure.
         The bill would generally allow nonviolent misdemeanor offenders to receive competency evaluations in outpatient settings, ensuring state psychiatric hospital beds remain available for Ohioans suffering from serious mental illness.
        “After two-and-a half years of hard work with many people and groups, it was an honor to witness this legislation cross the finish line and officially become law,” said Gavarone, sponsor of Senate Bill 2. “State psychiatric hospitals are the only facilities equipped to treat people with the most serious mental illnesses, and Senate Bill 2 will help ensure those beds are available to those with the greatest need.”
        The legislation will also enact PSYPACT, a multi-state cooperative agreement that seeks to address increased demand for psychological services.
        The bill would authorize tele-psychology and temporarily allow in-person psychology across states that have adopted PSYPACT. The legislation would increase patient access to care and facilitate continuity of care when a patient relocates or is traveling. Additionally, PSYPACT permits psychologists to provide services to populations that are underserved or geographically isolated.
        SB 2 will go into effect 90 days after its signing.


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