MetroHealth In The Community - MetroHealth
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MetroHealth In The Community

MetroHealth creates and implements programs to make our community healthier, often by filling in gaps in access to health care.


Through the wellness center’s hands-on nutrition and fitness classes at MetroHealth Medical Center and local schools, children and teenagers learn about healthier living.

  • Established five years ago, the program teaches participants to incorporate the American Academy of Pediatrics 5-2-1-0 daily recommendation for healthier living into their lives. That is to eat five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, spend less than two hours looking at a screen (TV, videos, computer, game console, phone), get at least one hour of vigorous physical exercise and drink zero sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • The Aamoth Family Pediatric Wellness Center is part of MetroHealth’s Pediatric Weight Management and Wellness Program. This clinical, by-appointment program screens for obesity-related medical problems in children and helps them achieve a healthy weight.
  • In 2016, more than 1,000 children and their family members participated in a joint Aamoth Family Pediatric Wellness Center and CareSource program.
  • During the summer, 118 children went to the wellness center several times to learn about gardening and healthy living.
  • The result has been that children in the wellness center program are improving their body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight, and are acquiring healthy life skills.
  • In the fall, the wellness center began “wellness days” at four Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) schools to focus on fitness and nutrition with more than 550 students.


MetroHealth’s Amigas Unidas (Friends United) is a bilingual peer-to-peer grassroots volunteer program for Latina women to educate other women in their communities about breast cancer.

  • The program’s mission is to reduce health disparities, especially for uninsured minority women, by providing early detection of breast cancer through screening, education, community outreach and patient navigation.
  • The program trains bilingual breast health advocates to become certified Amigas volunteers, connects women to the BREAST program for free mammograms and other community resources, and organizes small-group bilingual breast cancer education sessions held in homes, churches, beauty salons or community centers.
  • More than 42,000 individuals have learned about breast health, screening guidelines and where to get mammograms in their community.
  • Community health fairs offer additional tests and screenings for blood pressure, glucose, HIV, cholesterol, sickle cell, pap exams and health consultations for men.


This initiative recognizes that our health and well-being are the result of more than the health care we receive and the choices we make. As important are the places and conditions where we live, learn, work and play. The purpose is to address health disparities and improve the health status of the residents of Cuyahoga County by taking action on the social determinants of health, in communities, in partnership with residents and other community institutions.

One way this is being done is through implementation of the Community Engagement Process (CEP), a model developed by MetroHealth’s Center for Reducing Health Disparities. CEP engages and empowers people to identify and take action on issues of health and well-being that are important to them. Key to the model is the formation of a community coalition with local residents as a driving force, joined by representatives from community organizations and institutions that have a stake in their community’s well-being. In 2016 there were four distinct projects in different parts of Cuyahoga County applying the CEP as a means to improve community health:

Engage Quarrytown

Using the Community Engagement Process (CEP), senior and disabled residents of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) Quarrytown property identified and addressed a health issue of importance to them and, by so doing, reduced social isolation.

  • Based on results from focus groups, surveys and resident meetings, healthy eating was determined to be the priority for residents.
  • A health coalition comprised of residents of public housing and representatives from community organizations serves as the leadership group for this project.
  • Various programs and services are being implemented including on-site nutrition classes with cooking demonstrations, diabetes education sessions, and monthly healthy meals prepared and served by local university students.
  • A Berea Food Resource Guide was developed to assist food-insecure residents in locating affordable, accessible and healthy food options in their community.
  • The program is in the process of expanding to other CMHA sites.


Using community engagement strategies in the Hispanic/Latino neighborhood near MetroHealth’s main campus, a coalition of residents, community organizations and Latina faith leaders have focused on healthy eating, with particular attention to cultural cooking practices in the local Hispanic community.

  • A local Hispanic chef has been training a VIDA! Coalition in healthy cultural cooking practices, at monthly demonstrations and tasting events.
  • A work group has designed a curriculum that will be used by the VIDA! Coalition to train community members as Community Health Cooks. This cadre of trained, lay leaders will then extend the lessons of healthy cultural cooking practices throughout the community.
  • Local Hispanic congregations are partnering with VIDA! to identify trainees and host healthy cooking classes in their churches.

Let the Youth Lead the Way

Based in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, Let the Youth Lead the Way used the Community Engagement Process to attract youth and facilitate their focusing on issues of importance to them and building community connections to support their future well-being.

  • Slavic Teen Leaders, comprised of students from three local high schools, served as the leadership group to move this project forward.  They worked closely with the local P-16 initiative, a community collaborative that promotes education and has strong support from the local Boys and Girls Club and other community organizations.
  •  A variety of community service and youth leadership development activities were implemented, including distributing clothing, mentoring younger children, developing public service announcements, engaging with local businesses and coordinating career readiness and motivational seminars.
  • Leadership of this project was transitioned to community partner organizations in fall 2016.

Falls Prevention Project

MetroHealth is addressing the issue of falls among older adults by engaging communities in falls prevention activities, with an initial focus on the city of Brecksville.

  • Among adults over the age of 65, falls are the leading cause of both nonfatal and fatal injuries.
  • Using the Community Engagement Process, a falls prevention coalition including residents and representatives from the city of Brecksville and other community organizations serves as the leadership and planning group for this project.
  • A variety of falls prevention activities have been undertaken, including education and awareness, home safety events and distribution of home safety tools such as night lights and flashlights.
  • In addition, the Matter of Balance program, an evidence-based program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults, is offered in partnership with Fairhill Partners.
  • Through collaboration and replication, the Falls Prevention Project is increasing awareness and educating the public in order to prevent and reduce falls among older adults, and is expanding to other communities throughout Cuyahoga County.


In line with the established MetroHealth value of Inclusion and Diversity, there is a focus on attracting a diverse applicant pool for jobs.

  • MetroHealth Human Resources staff have reached out to more than 100 leaders at educational institutions and other organizations to help build a diverse applicant pool.
  • All applicants are considered on their individual merits, and the most qualified candidates are selected.
  • An immediate goal for 2014 was to increase racial and ethnic diversity of candidates interviewed for management positions (manager, director and VP) to 20 percent. In actuality, 37 percent of those interviewed were racially and ethnically diverse. The result was that 38 percent of the hires were diverse.
  • For calendar year 2015, the goal expanded to include underrepresented gender (considering labor market statistics), and reached for 40 percent of the interview candidates to be diverse. For all management positions, more than 79 percent of the candidates interviewed satisfied the new goals and 71 percent of the hires fit the new diversity standards. Physician recruitment achieved similar success, with 68 percent of the candidates interviewed being diverse (with the addition of gender) and 67 percent being diversity hires. In nursing, the 2015 goal was that at least 25 percent of the candidates interviewed were racially/ethnically diverse, veterans and/or men. Diversity candidates accounted for 40 percent of the nursing interviews and 32 percent of the hires.
  • The 2016 goal remained consistent with the prior year of 40 percent of the interview candidates for management and physician positions being diverse. For all management positions, 79 percent were racially/ethnically and/or gender diverse, resulting in 76 percent of diverse hires. For physicians, 48 percent of candidates interviewed satisfied the diversity standard as did 50 percent of the hires.
  • In nursing, 2016 goals also remained consistent with prior year, resulting in diversity of 38 percent of the interviews and 33 percent of hires.


On Friday nights from fall through spring, doctors, nurses and medical residents from MetroHealth’s Department of Family Medicine volunteer at St. Malachi church on West 25th Street in Cleveland to provide care to the homeless.

  • Medical care is brought to some of Cleveland’s most vulnerable populations, many of whom deal with a variety of illnesses and conditions.
  • Throughout the year, MetroHealth medical residents collect necessities such as over-the-counter medications, blankets, boots, socks, foot care products, canes, reading glasses, warm clothing, sleeping bags and tarps to be distributed to men and women who are exposed to our region’s harsh weather.


With added locations throughout Cuyahoga County, 97 percent of residents are less than a 10-minute drive to a MetroHealth location.

  • Acquiring four former HealthSpan locations, in Bedford, Cleveland Heights, Parma and Rocky River, created more access.
  • MetroHealth also opened three Emergency Departments to complement the Level I Adult Trauma Center at MetroHealth Medical Center.
  • The opening of new locations creates jobs and adds to payroll taxes collected and dollars spent in the area.

MetroHealth locations as of December 31, 2016:

  1. MetroHealth Medical Center*
  2. Beachwood Health Center
  3. Bedford Medical Offices
  4. Brecksville Health and Surgery Center*
  5. Broadway Health Center
  6. Brooklyn Health Center
  7. Brunswick Health Center
  8. Buckeye Health Center
  9. Cleveland Heights Medical Offices*
  10. Lakewood Health Center
  11. Lee-Harvard Health Center
  12. Lyndhurst Health Center
  13. Middleburg Heights November Family Health Center
  14. Old Brooklyn Health Center
  15. Parma Health Center
  16. Parma Medical Offices and Ambulatory Surgery Center*
  17. Pepper Pike Health Center
  18. Rocky River Medical Offices
  19. State Road Family Practice
  20. West 150th Health and Surgery Center
  21. West Park Health Center
  22. Westlake Health Center at Crocker Park
  23. J. Glen Smith Health Center
  24. Thomas F. McCafferty Health Center

*Includes an Emergency Department


As of December 31, 2016, MetroHealth reached a total of 7,376 employees

  • That is an increase of almost 1,000 employees in three years, adding to city and state payroll tax revenue.
  • It is also nearly 1,000 additional employees in the last three years to support the innovative programs that improve the health of the community.
  • Through MetroHealth’s Tuition Reimbursement Program and collaboration with College Now, MetroHealth is encouraging continuing education for its workforce, which supports local institutions of higher learning and enables employees to advance in their fields. Funds that individuals save through both programs, and increased earnings, create more disposable income to be invested in Northeast Ohio.


The MetroHealth Foundation’s annual Employee Campaign raises funds to support programs and projects of The MetroHealth System.

  • The 2016 campaign raised more than $520,000.
  • The same employees who tirelessly care for patients show their commitment to the community by generously donating from their paychecks.


This is an opportunity for staff to help local residents and organizations by cleaning up and helping out in several of the West 25th Street neighborhoods.

  • About 100 employees and their family members donate their time on a Saturday morning to participate in activities such as picking up trash, gardening/planting and painting over graffiti.
  • Employee volunteers have an opportunity to interact with neighborhood residents who also come out to lend a hand, show support and/or express gratitude.


An RV equipped with multiple work stations and staffed by financial representatives certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services travels throughout Cuyahoga County to create easy access for residents to sign up for health care.

  • The van reaches residents in their local communities, and Certified Application Counselors help individuals apply for coverage in publicly funded health care programs, and then schedule medical appointments.
  • The goals are to remove financial barriers to preventive and continuous care, and to promote a healthier community through improved access.
  • MetroHealth representatives also help patients sign up for MyChart, MetroHealth’s personal electronic medical record, and explain how they can take an active role in their health care.
  • Making appointments, refilling medications, reviewing lab and radiology results and communicating with physicians are just a few benefits of MyChart.
  • In 2016, the enrollment van participated in 183 events. Staff on the RV served 1,023 patients, helped 325 patients complete applications for Medicaid and helped 247 enroll in MyChart.


To help prepare Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school students with special needs for future careers, MetroHealth kitchen staff teach them about hospital kitchen production.

  • Students come once or twice a week to MetroHealth to gain hands-on experience.
  • They can remain in the program until age 21. Then, based on their skills, they may enter the general workforce or participate in the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities work program. Some individuals may eventually become Food and Nutrition Services interns in MetroHealth’s Training Program for Adults with Disabilities, which can lead to employment at MetroHealth.


Established in 1972, the MetroHealth Friends of Mothers and Infants is a volunteer organization dedicated to providing essential items for underserved mothers and infants who are clients of MetroHealth.

  • Friends of Mothers and Infants promotes health and well-being of families by providing new infant and toddler clothing, portable cribs, strollers and other necessities.
  • The program connects with families through MetroHealth’s outpatient clinics and social work staff.
  • It serves 1,000 families each year.


  • The MetroHealth System has participated in the Hearts Against Hunger drive since 1990. The MetroHealth A.C.T.I.O.N. (A Caring Tradition in our Neighborhood) Team, recruited more than 100 internal food drive champions to lead employees in the charitable effort.
  • In 2014, the program was recognized by Harvest for Hunger with its Bag of Hope Award.
  • The 2016 food drive raised donations of more than $37,000 and approximately 2,800 pounds of food. The past three years have seen a cumulative total of more than $117,000 and close to 9,000 pounds of food donated to the Cleveland Food Bank.


Every year, MetroHealth awards matching grants to employee groups from various departments that donate cash and/or goods to provide gifts and food to those in need during the winter holidays.

  • In 2016, the value of items distributed was more than $40,000.
  • Numerous organizations throughout the community are recipients including The City Mission, Hospice of the Western Reserve, Parma Area Family Collaborative, Providence House and the Renee Jones Empowerment Center.


This internal MetroHealth committee is charged with developing an incentive plan to encourage employees to move to the West Side neighborhoods surrounding MetroHealth Medical Center.

  • The committee conducted a survey to see how many employees would be interested in moving to the neighborhood.
  • Based on the survey, different options are being considered and funding sources are being pursued.


As a verified trauma center, MetroHealth follows the American College of Surgeons requirement for educating the community about the risk factors that could lead to traumatic injury.

  • Tables and booths are set up at various community events so MetroHealth staff can deliver trauma safety messages with hands-on safety activities, fliers and information about helpful resources.
  • In addition, there are four core community initiatives:
    • Falls Prevention: Health care team members provide education about preventing falls to inpatients, outpatients, and at senior centers and health fairs. Matter of Balance classes, a free eight-week series that emphasizes strategies to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels, are also offered in the community.
    • Save a Life Tour: Held at high schools, it’s aimed at preventing teen deaths due to unsafe driving. Presentations and driving simulations build awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, texting and driving and other distracted driving.
    • Safety to Go: Sponsored by the Division of Trauma, Critical Care, Burn and Acute Care Surgery, it interactively teaches children in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District about safety rules that help prevent childhood accidents, injuries and deaths.
    • Violence Prevention: With the Northern Ohio Trauma System (NOTS), MetroHealth is implementing programs to decrease repeated offenses and injury, increase youth enrollment in school, assist with job placement and provide connections to social services.


MetroHealth offers an integrated network option for employers throughout Northeast Ohio. It is focused on providing high-quality, personalized health care solutions that are more affordable, with access to the entire MetroHealth network.

  • With lower co-pays, deductibles and other costs, it has become the option of choice for Cuyahoga County, Cleveland State University, Discount Drug Mart, many local municipalities and others.
  • Established in 2009, MetroHealth Select also is offered to MetroHealth employees. As of December 31, 2016, there were 24,500 members.
  • In 2016, a new primary care membership solution was introduced for employers and individuals called MetroHealth Select Direct.
  • With an eye toward better long-term health, patients made nearly 11,000 preventive care visits in 2016.


Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

  • This national program was co-founded by MetroHealth pediatrician Robert Needlman, MD, in 1989, in Boston.
  • The program has been adopted nationally by 5,800 pediatric practices and most pediatric residency programs, reaching more than 4.5 million children each year.
  • MetroHealth employees donate books to the program, and volunteers read to children in pediatric waiting areas of the hospital. Critical operating support is provided by MetroHealth Child Life professionals.


Founded in 1954, The MetroHealth Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which supports The MetroHealth System’s mission by funding programs and projects in patient care, scientific and clinical research and medical education.

  • In 2016, the Foundation raised more than $9.7 million with $520,000 contributed by employees.
  • Earlier fundraising produced more than $1.8 million for the campus transformation.


Food and Nutrition Services has a program to train adults with disabilities to work in the hospital’s kitchen as interns.

  • Individuals who perform well are hired for permanent positions. Since the program began in 2014, MetroHealth has hired three interns to transport food carts, sanitize equipment and clean the kitchen.
  • The program earned MetroHealth an Inclusion Award from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities in April 2015, along with praise for expecting the same high standards as for other employees and conveying dignity and respect.
  • With this success, the goal is to expand the program to other departments.


The transformation of MetroHealth’s West 25th Street main campus will result in a new inpatient hospital, central utility plant and other support buildings.

  • As planned, the addition of 85 state-of-the-art ICU rooms to the Critical Care Pavilion (CCP) was completed in 2016. The $82 million addition of two stories on top of the existing Emergency Department and Surgery Center totaled 100,000 square feet and was completed on time and under budget, opening just before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
  • The next phase of the transformation is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2017 after almost $1 billion in bonds are issued to rebuild the hospital and revitalize the area around it. That phase includes the construction of a 1,200- to 1,500-car parking garage, demolition of an existing garage, rebuilding of the central utility plant and construction of a 12-story hospital to replace the current hospital.


The MetroHealth Violence Task Force improves the health and well-being of community residents by assisting in the development and implementation of strategies to address violence and its impact on public health.

  • The task force collaborated with the Northern Ohio Trauma System (NOTS) and MetroHealth trauma staff to develop a hospital-based violence intervention program.
  • In November 2016, NOTS implemented Violence Interrupters, a pilot program, at MetroHealth. Funding from United Way ($75,000 for one year) was given to the Cleveland Boys & Girls Club to pay for one full-time violence interrupter from the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, to provide intervention and prevention services to patients, their friends and families.
  • The focus is primarily patients 14-25 years old who enter MetroHealth with gunshot wounds and stabbings. The goal is to break the cycle of violence by linking patients to a Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance case manager who connects them to the appropriate ongoing community social services.