CPH Alumnus Steve Paciorek Helps Manage City of Brecksville COVID-19 Response
In Brecksville, Ohio, members of the senior community had acces to many services provided by the city’s senior center, like activities, meals, health screenings and more. In March 2020, those services were abruptly paused by pandemic restrictions. Keeping senior citizens safe at home was a priority, as was making sure members of the center had the information needed to make smart decisions and they had access to the vaccine once it became available.
"We received hundreds of calls weekly from members of our community and members of our senior center. Our friends needed advice, assistance and someone to talk to about the scary reality of the pandemic. The staff of the center provided that personal touch,” said Steve Paciorek, Ph.D., director of Community Health and Human Services for the City of Brecksville.
Paciorek focuses on teaching individuals and stakeholders about healthy behaviors and how to prevent injury and the spread of disease throughout the community. The mission of the department is to try to encourage people to make healthy decisions in their daily lives to promote health and wellness. Paciorek is a Kent State University alum who received his bachelor’s degree in business administration, as well as his MPH, and Ph.D. in public health.
According to Paciorek, one of the things senior residents appreciated the most was dining together in person. The center provided meals weekly, and when pandemic restrictions began, the meals and socialization the meals provided were paused. Center leadership created a Grab and Go lunch for residents 60 and over, allowing them to drive through and say hello to their friends at the center while receiving a healthy meal.
"Continuing to offer meals to seniors helped not only their physical health, but their mental health. The isolation of the pandemic was very real to so many in our community. I’m glad we could be part of providing a warm greeting and let residents know we were still here, and we cared about their wellbeing,” continued Paciorek.
Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby looked to Paciorek for valuable advice during the difficult two years of COVID-19 response. “Paciorek’s contributions have been invaluable toward maintaining our health and safety. Brecksville is fortunate to have a person of his knowledge and ability available to us,” said Mayor Hruby.
Pictured: Steve Paciorek, right, works the city's Grab and Go lunch for senior residents.