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Rep. Jarrells Announces $7.5M Towards Improving the Health of Ohioans, Nearly $980K to Upgrade External Emergency Speakers at Columbus State

January 30, 2024
Dontavius L. Jarrells News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Dontavius Jarrells (D-Columbus) today announced a $7.5M allocation for school-based health centers and local health departments. The money is granted through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, with the purpose of establishing, expanding and sustaining a public health workforce. The $7.5M will specifically be used for meeting staffing levels required to administer quality care in health centers and health departments throughout Ohio. 

“These funds are a great step in the right direction, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Rep. Jarrells. “We must continue building an Ohio where our healthcare system is affordable and accessible to everyone, regardless of county or zip code.”

The Controlling Board also approved a nearly $980K project bringing upgrades to Columbus State’s external emergency speakers. This new project will enable the college to maintain a robust emergency system notifying individuals in the event of a dangerous situation. Outdated and unsupported infrastructure will be replaced with speakers integrated with the new emergency messaging system as well as the capability for backup power in the event of a power outage.

“Creating a safe learning environment is crucial for students to thrive and develop their skills,” said Rep. Jarrells. “It is one of the most important factors in empowering effective learning and growth.”

The Controlling Board approved other notable items:

  • $7M in additional funding for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) payments.
  • $5M in federal funding to assist Hazardous Waste Management, Federal Site Remediation and Brownfield programs.
  • $4M in funds towards environmental issues across Ohio are being equally distributed among four state agencies: Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Attorney General's Office.
  • $2.8M for phosphorus removal efforts in agricultural spaces. The program also includes working with institutions of higher education to conduct research for new phosphorus removal designs.
  • $170K to begin the planning phase of the integrated newborn screening system. All newborns in Ohio are screened for disorders identified by blood spot, hearing, and Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) screenings. This new technology will allow for more efficient newborn screenings.
  • $42k to provide support to families with children who have been diagnosed with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). These funds will be used for education and grief services for loved ones.