Healthcare Students Educate at Dayton Shelters

by Kathryn Sill, Public Relations Writer

Students from Cedarville University’s schools of pharmacy and nursing are partnering with students from Dayton-area universities to educate underserved communities about physical health through STEPS Dayton.

STEPS Dayton stands for “students teaching educational plans for success.” It is a student- led program that promotes a healthy lifestyle among the poor and homeless. 

Through this program, college students serve and educate adults at St. Vincent de Paul Gateway for Men on S. Gettysburg Road in Dayton, Ohio and St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter for Women and Families on W. Apple Street in Dayton, Ohio. The students go to the shelters three Saturdays out of the month and offer free health screenings including blood sugar testing, blood pressure screening and BMI checks.

“We try to use what we call “motivational interviewing” to get people to start thinking about their health,” said Jordan Nicholls, a third-year professional pharmacy student from Beavercreek, Ohio. He is the Cedarville University membership chair that serves on the STEPS Dayton executive board. There are
26 students on the executive board for STEPS, five of whom are from Cedarville. 

Along with Cedarville University, STEPS Dayton is composed of students from Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine, College of Nursing and Health and School of Psychology, Kettering College Master of Physician Assistant Studies program and the University of Dayton Master of Physician Assistant Practice program.

“This program focuses on more than the physical health of each individual,” said Nicholls.  “They’re not just a smoker or a homeless person; they are a person and it’s our job as health care professionals to not just look at the surface, but to look at each as an individual.”

Nicholls said he hopes to see STEPS Dayton grow as a result of Cedarville healthcare students getting involved. Cedarville’s participation in this program is student led and advised by Ginger Cameron, Ph.D., epidemiologist and assistant dean of the school of pharmacy.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,620 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.