by Lauren McGuire, Student Public Relations Writer
Cedarville University’s seven-year partnership with the Dayton Life Enrichment Center (LEC) has a new look in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In previous years, two groups of Cedarville’s nursing students rotated through the LEC each semester to provide a Nursing Care of Population clinical course. Now, because of COVID-19, eight students are rotating through the LEC each week to provide the course instruction.
“The LEC is an inner-city community center, and we serve the underserved in the city of Dayton,” Jeff Sorrell, executive director of the Dayton LEC said. “Each person comes with a unique set of challenges and problems, and so our goal is to come alongside people, find out exactly what their needs are and how we can help them overcome and end up with changed lives.”
In addition to teaching the clinical course, the nursing students are also sorting items in the LEC Choice Food Pantry, assisting shoppers at the pantry, and performing health screening measures for the LEC clients.
The LEC has also become a center for meal production, as they are partnering with Set The Banquet Table (Miami Valley Meals), consolidating the meal preparation and distribution process for the entire Dayton area. Cedarville students are involved in assisting in the main food pantry which supports meal distribution. The LEC distributes food to a dozen nonprofits every week in the Greater Dayton area, and at one point during the year, thousands of meals were coming through the LEC in a given week.
“It’s important for nurses to come during this time to see how the community comes together during a time of crisis to help those who are in most need,” Sorrell said. “The Cedarville students bring a level of caring to people who have been marginalized and forgotten about. They also bring their faith with them to share with those who need hope.”
Cedarville students are also starting to reach out to all of the food banks in the area, as well as researching where residents can get a flu shot. “Our students have acted as communicators for the LEC to collaborate with other community organizations to help them know what is happening with the status of COVID-19,” Dr. Beth Delaney, associate professor of nursing, said.
Cedarville students are also working on researching what other facilities are doing should the flu season and COVID-19 become more of a problem in the winter months. They’re trying to help the leaders at the LEC gather information that will help them be even more prepared should there be an increase in COVID-19 cases that impact the Dayton community.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner program, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.