Leaders from 22 civic, faith-based, educational and health care organizations spent nearly two hours May 25 discussing issues directly affecting the North Omaha community during a luncheon held at the Pegler Center for the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College.
Hosting the luncheon was Jeff Gold, M.D., chancellor at both the University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Omaha.
“It is so important to our organizations to have these discussions to find out what the community needs, listen to its leaders and find ways to make sure we are meeting those needs as best we can,” Dr. Gold told those in attendance.
After the lunch Dr. Gold and members of his leadership team from UNMC and UNO, toured Charles Drew Health Center and then visited with officials from Omaha Public Schools, including OPS Superintendent Mark Evans.
The work being done by the collective body of people assembled here today is phenomenal. The challenge is to create better cohesiveness among everyone that will move those initiatives along in a way that improves the quality of life where we live, work and play.
- Tim Clark, executive director of Love’s Jazz & Arts Center.
The meetings are part of an ongoing community conversation between UNMC, UNO and members of the North Omaha community.
Topics discussed included efforts to focus on engaging more students at younger ages in looking at the wide range of careers in the health care service industry to the current programs at UNMC and UNO that are already in place to provide service to the community or educational opportunities.
One example discussed is the Urban Health Opportunities Program, a pipeline program that offers full tuition assistance for students who are selected based on academics while still in high school to attend UNO after graduation with guaranteed admission to medical school at UNMC.
“The work being done by the collective body of people assembled here today is phenomenal,” said Tim Clark, executive director of Love’s Jazz & Arts Center. “The challenge is to create better cohesiveness among everyone that will move those initiatives along in a way that improves the quality of life where we live, work and play.”
Charlotte Russell, assistant to the chancellor at UNO in the area of equity, access and diversity, said the meeting showed that there are a number of needs in the North Omaha community and some are currently being met more effectively than others.
“Our strength lies in our community and although it is a great challenge, as Chancellor Gold said, it also provides us a wonderful opportunity to impact the world in a positive and meaningful manner,” Russell said.