Health briefs: Stuart James named executive director of The Ability Center

Press Staff Writer

        The Ability Center announced Stuart James as the new executive director of the organization.
        Following an extensive nationwide search that began in November 2020, James was selected to lead the organization into its next century of service supporting individuals with disabilities.
        James was most recently the executive director at the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California. During his seven-year tenure, he reinforced the vision of a truly inclusive world and nearly tripled the organization’s endowment. He led the organization in developing and updating programs, including an expanded assistive technology program, new Lifestyles events, a life-changing Residential Access program, and evolution of a comprehensive youth program.
        James Tim Harrington is retiring after 22 years as executive director and 29 years as an employee of The Ability Center. His history with the organization dates back to being a member of the inaugural class at Opportunity Kindergarten, later called The Ability Center. Harrington became a camper at Camp Cricket, an inclusive camp for kids with disabilities. Later named the Director of Development, he eventually became the Executive Director of the agency in 2000.
        He led the organization through many local and nationally recognized advocacy victories, including transitioning 850 people living in institutions out of nursing homes, launching the nation’s first bachelor’s degree in Disability Studies at The University of Toledo, and instituting a first-of-its kind employment partnership with the Toledo Museum of Art.
        Most recently, The Ability Center has made a pledge to help create the most disability-friendly community in the country by developing partnerships within the areas of housing, transportation, education, health care, accessible spaces, employment, and social opportunities.
        “It’s an incredible honor to be named the executive director at The Ability Center. This organization has successfully served the Greater Toledo Area and Northern Ohio for more than 100 years, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful group of people as we begin the next century of service,” James said. “My family and I are looking forward to settling into the community, and my twin, 3-year-olds, are looking forward to introducing themselves to the puppies.”
        “I am confident in the incoming leadership’s ability to bring fresh and energetic programming to The Ability Center and continue the momentum we have achieved,” Harrington said. “Stuart understands the history, philosophy and mission of the organization and will build on our legacy of success. As a member of the disability community, I am ensured the organization will be in good hands.”
Sandusky County
Public Health survey

        Through the Communities of Practice for Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (COP-RCORP), Sandusky County Public Health distributed a survey titled “Community Attitudes Survey” on Sept. 30 and requests resident participation.
        The survey is being distributed randomly to Sandusky County residents. Individuals who receive a postcard in the mail notifying them of the survey may use their smartphones to scan the QR code in order to access the survey electronically.
        The survey, which will take 15–20 minutes to complete, is entirely anonymous.
        “Please help us address issues like substance use/mental health disorders in Sandusky County,” said Sandusky County Health Commissioner, Bethany Brown, “Completing this survey assessing attitudes in our community may open up opportunities for grants to implement programs to help stigmatized populations.”
        The project described was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
        Sandusky County Public Health has a mission to improve, protect and promote the public health, well-being and environment of the communities in Sandusky County. Visit for more information.
Mercy Health offering
mobile mammography

        Mercy Health’s Mobile Mammography Unit is offering appointments at several locations throughout the region in October.
        The unit is customized for patient convenience and will deliver 3D mammograms to women age 40 and older. It is equipped 3D technology and offers patients the option of self-compression, meaning the patient will have the ability to control the compression when she is in position.
        Upcoming locations and times include:
        • Oct. 13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Mercy Health - Starbright Primary Care, 28555 Starbright Boulevard, Perrysburg.
        • Oct. 19, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Mercy Health - Heart & Vascular Institute, 2222 Cherry St., Toledo.
        • Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Mercy Health - Starbright Primary Care, Perrysburg.
        • Oct. 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, 9288 West Market Street, Tiffin.
        • Oct. 23, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tent City, Civic Center Mall, Jackson St., Toledo.
        • Oct. 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Halim Clinic/Spring Valley OBGYN & Midwives, Holland.
        • Oct. 27, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Mercy Health - Jefferson Family Medicine, 2200 Jefferson Ave., Toledo.
        • Oct. 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Mercy Health - Swanton Primary Care.
        • Oct. 29, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Mercy Health - Waterville Primary Care.
        While mammogram screenings may be covered by insurance, for best coverage, patients should verify if Mercy Health – St. Charles Hospital is an in-network provider with their insurance carrier. Financial need-based assistance programs are available to help those who are uninsured or underinsured (have high deductibles). Call 419-696-5839 for more information.
        Screenings at the Mercy Health Mobile Mammography unit are by appointment only. Call 833-MAMM-VAN to schedule a screening on the mobile unit.
        To view the full list of dates and locations, visit
Vax-2-School lottery
        Ohioans 12-25 years old who have received at least their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can register for the Ohio Vax-2-School lottery.
        Ohio Vax-2-School will award 150 scholarships worth $10,000 each and five $100,000 scholarships to an Ohio college or university for career or technical education.
        A deadline to enter or a schedule for drawing winners has not been set yet because of a possibility of younger children becoming eligible in the future.
        Any young Ohioan age 5-11 may also be registered by a legal guardian if a COVID-19 vaccination is authorized for use in this age group by the FDA and administered prior to the registration deadline.
        Drawing dates will be announced via Twitter and Instagram at @ohiovax2school and at Winners will be chosen by the Ohio Lottery Commission using a random number generator.
        Entry must be completed through Those who don’t have access to the internet may enter by calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) daily 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
BBB alert
        Caller to BBB: “This is crazy! My mail is stuffed with letters asking for donations to charities I have never heard of. I know charities ask for money at holiday time, but this is ridiculous. How do I know which charities are good, and which ones are just big scams?”
        BBB says it’s a good question. “The number of charities has increased dramatically in the past few years, and we are concerned about the lookalikes – the ones that take names of important causes like ‘cancer,’ ‘diabetes,’ ‘veterans,’ ‘police’ and so forth,” said Dick Eppstein, president of the Better Business Bureau Serving Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan, Inc.
        “Don’t assume because they claim to help that they are legitimate. BBB issues reports on charities, and we see that many of these so-called charities spend almost nothing on helping others and pocket most of your donation to cover fundraising and administration expenses,” he said.
        “Our local BBB rates over 100 local charities and we can tell you if they meet our 20 Standards for Charitable Accountability. We are the only organization that rates local charities,” he said. “If you want ratings for national charities, BBB provides them at Make sure the charities you donate to meet ethical standards so your money really helps the cause you believe in and isn’t wasted.”
        Call BBB at 419-531-3116 or 800-743-4222.


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