Communities Without Barriers

Our Education, Training, and Outreach (ETO) Coordinators play a large part in our mission of creating “communities without barriers,” actively going out into them and connecting people and resources every day. Here’s what they’ve kept busy with lately to develop more active, informed community members:

In mid-March, ETO Coordinator Sunja Bennett volunteered at the 2016 Radiothon held at the Ryan Seacrest Studio in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The event was designed to benefit children born with epidermolysis bullosa, a very rare and serious skin condition. Radio stations WARM 98 and NASH-FM broadcasted live from the event, featuring 18 patients and families affected by conditions like skin and heart diseases, cancer, and life-threatening traumas. The 2016 Radiothon raised a total of $108,000 for individuals working through such health complications.

Volunteer Event 1


On April 20th, SunETO OHja Bennett made another appearance at a Community Round Table: “Empowering Mothers for Successful Breastfeeding.” Breastfeeding positively impacts the life course of maternal and child health.  Sadly, there is a great dip in breastfeeding rates, with the lowest appearing in the African American population.  Dr. Michal Young and a panel of community leaders who work with families and children spoke at the round table, discussing barriers to breastfeeding and how their agency serves and assists women, infants and children. Dr. Young serves as Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at Howard University College of Medicine, Medical Director of the B.L.E.S.S. Initiative, and Director of the NICU and Newborn Services at Howard University Hospital. Other panelists included Jennifer Mooney of the Cincinnati Health Department, Jenny Berndsen at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Jannelle Richardson from the Breastfeeding Organization for Our Beautiful Sisters, Judith Warren of Healthcare Access now, and Natashia Conner, Southwest Ohio Breastfeeding Coalition.


Coordinators Joyce Witzke and Sunja Bennett have participated in multiple UnitedHealthcare (UHC) baby showers located in Dayton, Volunteer Event 3Cincinnati, and Cleveland.  UHC included “Creation Stations” at the showers for decorating onesies, as well as giveaways, door prizes, and games. Presenters spoke on topics such as non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT), the importance of breastfeeding, safe sleep, infant mortality, preparing homemade baby food, and infant CPR.  Important NEMT conversations covered information needed to schedule transportation, the difference between urgent and routine appointment and transportation, scheduled and will call return rides, and conduct expectations of riders and drivers. Vendors and agencies involved included local and county public health departments, organizations like Women, Infants and Children, Cradle Cincinnati, Ohio Equity Institute, Walgreens, Help Me Grow, and local breastfeeding collations, EMT/fire departments, and health clinics.

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