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12/4/23 news article

Dayton Children’s, Sunlight Village, CityWide Development partner on new project to serve West Dayton children

unique model will bring much-needed services to improve physical, mental health of community

Black mom and daughter with doctor

Dayton Children’s Hospital has partnered with Sunlight Village, a non-profit organization that provides mental health and support services throughout Montgomery County, and CityWide Development Corporation to create a new center in West Dayton focused on the total health of local children. The unique model will address the physical, social, mental and nutritional health needs of children in West Dayton.

While the details are still being finalized, proposed plans for the project include two major areas of focus.

the Healthy Family Market

The Healthy Family Market, led by Sunlight Village, will bring healthy, affordable food staples to West Dayton neighborhoods. West Dayton is a USDA-designated food desert, which means there is little access to nutritious food without leaving the community.

The Healthy Family Market will focus on improving maternal and infant health by providing WIC-approved staples such as infant formula and baby cereal, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods. The location will make it convenient and accessible for moms who don’t have consistent access to transportation.

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

a pediatric health care clinic

Dayton Children’s will operate a pediatric health care clinic in the same building to meet the needs of the children of the community. This may include on-demand care for acute illnesses, lab draws, imaging, prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, vaccine clinics, behavioral health and asthma support.

“The Healthy Family Market is based on a medical model started in California to address the health of moms and babies, so we know it works,” says 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.”

“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,” says Debbie Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s.

“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.”

“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,” says Karen DeMasi, senior vice president, Community Development for CityWide Development.  

Since the plan’s adoption, the City of Dayton, Greater Dayton Premier Management and their partners have driven $90 million investment to this area including 100 units of new family housing that will be built along Germantown Street over the next few years.   

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.

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