One glance down several Haughville neighborhood blocks and you would’ve seen a flurry of activity. It’s where almost 200 Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine students and faculty prepped, scraped, painted, and hauled away debris during their day of serving residents in their neighborhood.
Payton Sparks ’26, a College of Osteopathic Medicine student said, “It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community that Marian is a part of. We can help make that connection with neighbors while also creating other opportunities in healthcare to serve them.”
And future Sports Medicine Physician Kamryn Benscoter ’26 agrees. “We’re all in this profession to help people in need, but specifically underserved populations.” “To be able to reach the community that’s so close to us at Marian is extremely important.”
And those attitudes are what got the attention of City-County Council President Vop Osili. He grew up in this westside neighborhood and wanted to thank Marian University students and faculty, as well as the NeighborLink Home Repair organization for their tremendous service. NeighborLink helps low-income homeowners 62 years and older with home repairs.
Osili said, “In having spent so much of my childhood here, this neighborhood means a lot to me. Marian University has a strong history of giving back, and I just wanted to encourage and thank them and the NeighborLink staff who’s making an immediate impact.”
“The nice thing about osteopathic medicine is that it aligns with our Franciscan sponsorship values. It looks at the whole person, the dignity of the individual, in a holistic approach to our care,” explained Amanda Wright, DO, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “This is a great way for our students to start learning that, because taking care of our patients is not just in the exam room, it’s more where they live, the resources they have, and the access to medical care.”
Sixty-four-year-old Haughville Resident Mitzi Rogers is thankful for the Marian students’ and staff’s help. “I’m very blessed to have them here today as they’ve done a fantastic job.”
The home assistance event makes NeighborLink Executive Director Rachel Nelson smile. “It’s the small things,” she says. “The residents hold so much history in this neighborhood and it’s invaluable to help them remain at home and age where they wish to age, so with this partner event, Marian’s students and others are doing great work—more than you can realize—in just a few hours.”
“I was born here in 1957,” Rogers added. “It means a lot to me personally to have these free home repair services in my Haughville community. Haughville has gotten a bad reputation and that’s wrong. It’s a great community with wonderful people and businesses here, so we greatly appreciate the help.”
Click the link to see more on this story on WISH-TV 8.