Colleen O’Brien is Assistant Vice President of Community Health Engagement at The Ohio State University, with over 20 years of experience in community and government relations. Since December 2012, Colleen has been interacting with residents and leaders of various communities, both urban and rural, to ascertain the health and wellness needs and aspirations of their neighborhoods, and connecting them with the resources and expertise of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and its Health System, the University, and Central Ohio individuals and organizations.
In addition to her role as Assistant Vice President, Ms. O’Brien is co-director of Ohio State’s Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP) Healthcare Access Initiative grant whose purpose is to increase the number of healthcare practitioners serving Ohio’s Medicaid population through the use of both emerging and evidence-based models of inter-professional and integrated behavioral and physical health care. Under this grant, Colleen has worked most closely with Moms2B, a program for pregnant women living in poverty, and the Community Health Worker training program. Her involvement with both of these programs has led to her work with Celebrate One whose mission is “to reduce the community’s alarming infant mortality rate by 40 percent and cut the racial health disparity gap in half by 2020”.
Colleen’s current responsibilities reflect her strong interest in health and wellness issues which are supported by a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from The Ohio State University. Previously, Ms. O’Brien was a staff member in both the Ohio House of Representatives, and the Ohio Senate, Chief of Staff for the Lt. Governor, and President of the seven-member state Controlling Board, which provides oversight of specified capital and operating expenditures, and waivers of competitive selection. Prior to her current responsibilities, Ms. O’Brien served her alma mater as a member of Ohio State’s Government Relations team, where she advocated on behalf of students, higher education, and Ohio’s public colleges and universities.