Dayton Children’s to partner on new pediatric center, food market in underserved area

Center in West Dayton a partnership with Sunlight Village and CityWide Development Corporation

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

An $8 million facility aimed at meeting the health needs of kids is coming to West Dayton through a partnership between Dayton Children’s Hospital and Sunlight Village, a nonprofit providing mental health and support services, along with CityWide Development Corporation.

The model will address the physical, social, mental and nutritional health needs of children in West Dayton, Dayton Children’s said this week. The project includes two areas of focus, including a market to provide health food options and a clinic for pediatric health needs.

“A facility in West Dayton allows us to address the key concerns that families expressed in our latest community health needs assessment, which include access to care, community conditions, care of chronic disease, mental health and the health of mom and baby,” said Debbie Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s.

Dayton Children’s plans to open a pediatric clinic as part of this plan. The clinic will include on-demand care for acute illnesses, lab draws, imaging, prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, vaccine clinics, behavioral health and asthma support, the hospital said.

In the same building will be a Healthy Family Market, being led by Sunlight Village, which will offer food staples to West Dayton neighborhoods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has previously designated this area as a food desert, meaning there is limited access to nutritious food within the community. Areas with higher poverty rates are more likely to be food deserts, according to the USDA.

The Healthy Family Market is based on a medical model started in California to address maternal and infant needs, said Robbie Brandon, founder and CEO of Sunlight Village.

“We have adapted it to fit the circumstances of our community and chosen a location that we feel will be most beneficial for convenient access. We are confident it will improve health outcomes for some of the most vulnerable families in Dayton,” Brandon said.

The Healthy Family Market will providing WIC-approved staples like infant formula and baby cereal, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. The location will also be accessible to parents who don’t have consistent access to transportation, Dayton Children’s said.

“We are so grateful to Robbie and her team for sparking the idea that will go a long way toward addressing the health disparities that exist in our city and help us fulfill our mission of the relentless pursuit of optimal health for every child within our reach,” Feldman said.

The space will also include a coffee bar and smoothie shop which can be used as a community meeting space.

The city of Dayton, Greater Dayton Premier Management and other partners have directed $90 million in investments to this area since the adoption of this plan, Dayton Children’s said. The investment includes 100 units of new family housing, which will be built along Germantown Street over the next few years.

“This project brings needed services and amenities to West Dayton and is aligned with the community goals in the Renew Miami Chapel community development plan,” said Karen DeMasi, senior vice president, Community Development for CityWide Development.

The preliminary cost of the project is estimated at $8 million and will create a minimum of 20 jobs. Sunlight Village and Dayton Children’s hope to break ground in spring 2024 with 12-15 months of anticipated construction.

A rendering of the planned facility is not yet available as the hospital system and its partners plan to engage community members in the process of planning the center, Dayton Children’s said.

The address of this facility was not announced at this time. Dayton Children’s and its partners are finalizing the location, which will be along Germantown Street in the Miami Chapel neighborhood to ensure convenient access for the community, the hospital said.

Dayton Children’s Hospital is one of 31 independent freestanding children’s hospitals in the country, and it is the Dayton region’s only hospital dedicated to children. Dayton Children’s serves 20 Ohio counties and eastern Indiana, and they care for more than 320,000 children each year.

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