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Published 7/14/2004

Owens to Address HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention As Part of Nationwide Community College Program

Owens Community College has been chosen as one of five community colleges nationwide to participate in the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Bridges to Healthy Communities 2005 Project. The 10-month grant-initiated endeavor is designed to assist academic institutions in educating students, youth and the community about important health problems related to HIV infection.

In a cooperative agreement with the Division of Adolescent and School Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the AACC’s Bridges to Healthy Communities 2005 Project is providing each participating academic institution with a $3,000 grant to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

“Owens Community College is proud to be named as a partner of the Bridges to Healthy Communities 2005 initiative,” said Janell Lang, Owens Dean of the Health Technologies Division and the grant’s project director. “The College looks forward to taking a leadership role in educating our students and the community through a variety of service-learning activities that address the seriousness of HIV/AIDS and the importance of personal wellness.”

Owens will be aided by three mentors from the AACC Bridges to Healthy Communities Mentor Team, other AACC staff members and a local organization from the health care community. In addition, the College will be in constant communication with the four other community colleges participating in the educational project. Fellow Bridges to Healthy Communities Project partners are the College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Danville Area Community College (Danville, Ill.), Rose State College (Midwest City, Okla.) and San Antonio College (San Antonio, Texas).

Lang added, “HIV/AIDS is very deadly disease that afflicts a significant number of Americans each year. Owens Community College is excited to be furthering our relationships at national and local levels and combating this serious health issue through enhanced awareness and prevention programs.”

In an effort to improve student and community health, Owens will be partnering with the Ryan White Program at the Medical College of Ohio. Together, the academic institutions will educate Owens nursing students about the human behaviors that pose risks for HIV infection. Applying their classroom knowledge to experiential learning, the nursing students will then conduct educational forums at the Ryan White Program and within selected communities. Within this setting, the College intends to utilize language-appropriate communication and culturally relevant interventions.

“The collaboration between Owens Community College and the Medical College of Ohio will be an excellent opportunity to provide greater health education within the community setting,” said Ann Locher, Coordinator of the Ryan White Program at the Medical College of Ohio. “We appreciate the generosity of the American Association of Community Colleges to make this initiative possible.”

The AACC is the prominent voice for community colleges nationwide. Founded in 1920, the organization interacts with key federal departments and agencies to include the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Energy, Homeland Security and Commerce, as well as the National Science Foundation. Acting as an advocate, AACC regularly communicates with state directors to enlighten and impact state policy. Currently, the organization represents nearly 95 percent of all accredited U.S. two-year community, junior and technical colleges and their 10.5 million students. International AACC members include Puerto Rico, Japan, Great Britain, Korea and the Emirates.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 28 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four- year college or university.


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