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March 29, 2020
 

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Grants help ONU HealthWise outreach initiatives

Megan Stephan works to provide health education outreach to Hardin County students

Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy resident Megan Stephan of New Madison, Ohio, has received two grants for a program she has spearheaded to provide health education outreach to students in Hardin County.

For her efforts, Stephan has been awarded a $8,500 grant from Buckeye Health Plan and a $5,000 ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) Pharmacy Resident Research Grant. 

Stephan, a graduate of Tri-Village Local Schools, earned her PharmD degree from Ohio Northern in May 2019.

The funds support an initiative that Stephan has led as part of the ONU College of Pharmacy’s HealthWise program. The mobile rural clinic reaches the underserved patients of Hardin County by providing education on preventative health, point-of-care testing and care coordination.

The goal of this initiative is to expand the services offered by ONU HealthWise to encompass a broader spectrum of patients, such as pediatric, young adult and middle-aged adult patients.

Through collaborations with various schools around the county, ONU HealthWise is creating a series of health education, screenings and awareness topics targeting both students and adults.

Elementary, middle- and high-school students can gain knowledge in topics ranging from vaping to organ donation, while adults can receive screenings for blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, bone mineral density and assessment of skin care. 

“While brainstorming ideas for a HealthWise research project, we kept finding a common theme that pediatric, young adult and middle-aged individuals were essentially falling through the cracks of those we routinely see in our mobile health clinic,” Stephan explained.

“To respond to this, we then crafted the concept of a family health fair at a local high school, which became a larger-scale project that is being incorporated into a local school (Ada Exempted Village Schools) periodically for an entire month.”

Stephan has gained much practical experience from this endeavor.

“I have gained project management experience along with the ability to work with other individuals for an event of this size, as well as writing grants and balancing multiple projects,” she said. “I am excited to see the outcome of this project and how many families we are able to impact.”