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'It brought tears to my eyes': Community shares impact of Oakwood University's 'Community Health Action Center'

Oakwood University hosts grand opening of the Community Health Action Center.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Leaders and people living in Northwest Huntsville got a first look at Oakwood University's "Community Health Action Center".

The school had the center's grand opening and its goal is to tackle food, job, and health insecurity.

Our WZDX News reporter spoke to some people there who shared why this center is needed.

“It brought tears to my eyes, because of the vision that the people have seen and that has been fulfilled,” says former Oakwood University student, Carole Sullivan. She adds, “When I came here, it was one dormitory for the ladies and one for the men."

Sullivan attended Oakwood in 1964 and the campus has since expanded with the opening of Oakwood University’s Community Health Action Center.

One side of the facility hosts health education and a food pantry. The other, a clinic in partnership with Huntsville Hospital.

“Everybody can’t afford health care, and for this community to reach Black, White, Hispanic, whomever; it is a blessing that Oakwood University is a part of it,” says Sullivan.

“We’re going to be providing primary care, as well as walk-in type services for that may be a little bit more urgent, but may not necessarily need the emergency room. We’re providing and offering care to the students,” says Huntsville Hospital Physician Associate, Rashida Dossman.

At a time where Northwest Huntsville needs access to healthcare the most, the center will offer COVID-19 vaccination and testing.

“I grew up in this community. I graduated from Oakwood University, and I’m very proud to be able to serve the members of this community because this is my community,” says Dossman.

“I’m getting older, and this place is right here. And if I need to come, I’ll come. I’ll come and support in any way that I can,” added Sullivan.

The Huntsville Hospital wing is set to be operational sometime in July, and the Community Health Action Center is set to be operational in August.