New Dayton medical center takes step forward

Dayton Children’s Hospital’s plan to construct a new community-focused medical center took a step forward this week.

Dayton City Commission Wednesday night unanimously approved the rezoning to permit the new 50,000-square-foot center to be built on the former Dayton Electroplate site at the corner of Stanley Avenue and Valley Street.

The Plan Board previously recommended the rezoning be approved.

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Some of the services that will be at the new center will be primary care for low income children and children in foster care, behavioral health, dentistry, labs, x-ray, nutritional help, weight management and a food pantry.

Edd McGatha, Dayton Children’s facility director, told city commissioners that the services will address health issues that are at almost “epidemic” levels in the country and locally.

“We think we’re taking a former neighborhood eye sore and turning it into something really vibrant and helpful for this area,” McGatha said.

Mayor Nan Whaley said she commended the leadership of Children’s for its work in Old North Dayton.

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“Over the past few years, Dayton Children’s engagement in the neighborhood has just exponentially gone up,” said Whaley.

The pediatric hospital first announced the project at in October. The hospital had just finished an assessment of the health needs in the community and the new “Center for Community Health and Advocacy,” as the medical center will be called, will be a way to address root causes in the community that lead to poor health.

The construction of the two-story medical center is contracted to Beavercreek-based Synergy & Mills Development.

It will house community health programs that will move under the center’s umbrella like the hospital’s Dayton Asthma Alliance, the Center for Child Health and Wellness and the advocacy efforts to stop child abuse through CARE House.

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Dr. Jonathan Thackeray, who recently served as the deputy medical director for Ohio Medicaid, will be medical director for the newly created center.

“We know that the work we do here is only 40 percent of the battle. Twenty-percent of a child’s health is determined by his or her environment and another 40 percent determined by behavior,” Thackery said at the time. “So how do we reach outside the hospital walls to ensure that a child with asthma has a clean home, enough to eat and a proper place to sleep so their immune system is strong?”

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