The first of a series of four focusing on community revitalization and economic development.
Working with the Berks County Community Foundation and the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin and Marshall College, the O’Pake Institute released a report on key community issues in Berks County entitle Berks County Vital Signs 2014. The report is available on the Berks County Community Foundation website: http://issuu.com/alverniauniversity/docs/berksvitalsigns?e=5238587/6505989
Working with the Reading Housing Authority, the Berks Community Health Clinic, The Reading Health System and the St. Joseph’s Medical Center, in collaboration with the Division of Professional Programs, the O’Pake Institute is developing a study of health care access in two low income housing developments in Reading — Oakbrook and Glenside. The study will identify patterns of health access, including use of emergency rooms for primary care, in these two developments in order to create a strategy to address the needs of these low-income minority communities. This study helped provide data for a $650,000 HRSA grant awarded to the Berks Community Health Center to open a new federally qualified heath center in the Oakbrook community. The center, which will open in late 2015, will have a delivery model that includes clinical experiences for Alvernia’s nursing, occupational therapy, and social work students.
Collaboratively with the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona and the Eastern Division of the Council of State Governments, the O’Pake Institute offered a training program in civil discourse for state legislators. The Institute is currently exploring how to emply this training program in working with local government officials in Berks County.