Nurturing Community Well-Being - MetroHealth
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Nurturing Community Well-Being


This group provides a continuum of care to address the ongoing needs of burn survivors and their families.

  • There are two options – a weekly group held during the day and a monthly group in the evening. The groups are open-ended and provide individuals with the opportunity to:
    • Address common practical concerns such as wound/skin care, use of pressure garments and exercise
    • Gain emotional support and share feelings about the hospital experience and recovery process
    • Discuss how life has changed since the injury and learn from others who are coping with similar situations
    • Discuss concerns regarding returning to work, school and community
    • Discuss issues related to body image and image enhancement
  • Group members and their families may participate in structured group activities that promote socialization and community re-entry.
  • Group members can reach out to other burn survivors for peer support and participate in the pediatric burn camp as mentors and role models to child burn survivors.
  • Burn survivors also have the opportunity to attend the Phoenix World Burn Congress and engage in community activities that promote education and public awareness.


The mission is to embed visual, performing and therapeutic arts throughout The MetroHealth System to promote healing, wellness and increased engagement among patients, families, caregivers and the greater community.

  • The program is based on the belief that the performing and visual arts can have a positive, transformative impact on health and quality of life inside and outside of MetroHealth’s walls.
  • Arts programs and education outreach provide a platform to engage with the community across generations, cultures and socioeconomic classes creating a common language for the health and wellness of mind, body and spirit.

Key areas are:

  1. Creative Arts Therapies – In 2017, there were 3,486 patient visits, an increase of 39 percent. In addition to art and music therapy in inpatient rehabilitation, services are provided in all intensive care units, inpatient and outpatient cancer care and pediatric and psychiatric inpatient units.
  2. Arts Programming Live – Music, dance performances, visual arts and theater workshops, cultural celebrations and more fill the hospitals, clinics, health centers, classrooms and neighborhoods. Partnerships have been formed with extraordinary individual artists and arts organizations such as Cleveland Public Theatre, Inlet Dance Theatre, Dancing Wheels Company, Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Print Room, Zygote Press, Kulture Kids and The Cleveland Orchestra.
  3. Transforming our Environment – The Arts in Medicine Department is actively engaged in the design of the new MetroHealth campus. Through the visual arts program, MetroHealth has added more than 400 works of art to its collection, 76 percent of which is produced by local artists. The art reflects the guiding themes of hope, healing and community.
  4. Population Health – The arts are used in innovative ways to address issues facing the community and to enhance key strategic initiatives of the System. For example, programming addresses the opioid epidemic, the mental health and well-being of high school students and gun violence.


The BUILD Health Challenge, a national program, awarded The MetroHealth System along with Environmental Health Watch, the Cleveland Department of Public Health, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s and other local organizations, a second $250,000 grant to improve community health.

  • The initial grant targeted deteriorating housing in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood where residents can experience high levels of lead poisoning, asthma and COPD. The long-term effects of these illnesses can be easily prevented when homes are improved.
  • This second grant builds on our novel use of integrated housing data to design a smartphone app to help families find homes safe from hazards like lead and mold.
  • The Cleveland Healthy Home Data Collaborative is one of 19 programs recognized nationwide to receive funding and one of only two programs to receive support in both the BUILD 1.0 and BUILD 2.0 initiatives.
  • The grant is supported by a host of funders from across the country including the Advisory Board Company, Kresge Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation, de Beaumont Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. MetroHealth and University Hospitals are matching the $250,000 grant.


Music therapy at the Comprehensive Burn Care Center at MetroHealth is often used during uncomfortable bedside procedures.

  • Clinical studies conducted at MetroHealth revealed that music therapy during procedures significantly reduces pain, discomfort, anxiety and muscle tension.
  • Therapy is tailored to a patient’s needs – he or she chooses to participate in music therapy along with the type of music used.
  • MetroHealth’s music therapy program has expanded to serve trauma and rehabilitation unit patients.


Patients can walk in or schedule an appointment online for same-day service for anyone who needs care, from young children to older adults.

  • The clinic is staffed by a nurse practitioner who can prescribe medications, provide sports physicals, assess a person’s basic medical needs and help with the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses such as allergies, earaches, eye conditions, rashes, skin conditions, sinus infections and sore throats.
  • The MetroHealth System has clinics in four Discount Drug Marts, in Independence, North Royalton, Olmsted Falls and Parma Heights.
  • This is another step toward providing services where, when and how patients want them.


Patients, visitors and staff of MetroHealth have easy access to the resources of Cuyahoga County Public Library through a service point at MetroHealth Medical Center.

  • In addition to books, DVDs and magazines, branch visitors can find a special section dedicated to pediatrics and parenting.
  • The location also offers computers, a fax and copy machine and a dropbox for after-hours returns.
  • The library is staffed by a librarian and a clerk.


In 2017, in partnership with Fallen Apple Farm, MetroHealth hosted a farm stand accessible to patients, employees and the general community.

  • The farm stand operates in the outpatient pavilion and cafeteria hallway at MetroHealth’s main campus.
  • It offers local, sustainably grown, seasonal produce and pasture-raised meats and eggs.
  • Electronic Benefit Cards (EBT) for food assistance and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) cards for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program are honored at the farm stand.
  • This program opened in summer 2016 with start-up funds from MetroHealth’s “Think Tank” competition (similar to TV’s “Shark Tank”), which encourages employees to pitch new program ideas that will improve health.


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 & Infants promotes health and well-being of families by providing new portable cribs, strollers, infant and toddler clothing, diapers and other necessities.
  • The program connects with families through MetroHealth’s outpatient clinics and social work staff, and often responds to special needs such as for grocery gift cards and bus passes.
  • It serves 1,000 families each year.


The Healing Hearts fund offers a grieving family financial help for burial or cremation of their premature or newborn child.

  • In addition to alleviating some stress for the family, the fund assures that the child’s remains are put to rest with dignity.
  • The Healing Hearts fund is administered by MetroHealth’s Pastoral Care Department with support from MetroHealth’s neonatology staff.


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 top corporate honor, the Bag of Hope Award.
  • The 2017 food drive raised donations of more than $38,000 and approximately 2,200 pounds of food. The past four years have seen a cumulative total of more than $155,000 and over 11,000 pounds of food donated to the Cleveland Food Bank.
  • Each year, employee groups create baskets filled with cash and merchandise around a theme of their choosing. These baskets are then raffled at MetroHealth during the food drive raising thousands of dollars. Last year, more than 50 baskets were donated for the annual raffle.


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 2017, the value of items distributed was more than $55,000.
  • Numerous organizations throughout the community are recipients including the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, St. Augustine, Senior Citizen Resources Inc., Spanish American Committee and Veterans Transitional Residence Program.


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.

  • In 2017, the injury prevention team was present at various community events throughout Cuyahoga County to deliver trauma safety messages with hands-on safety activities, fliers and information about helpful resources.

In addition, there are five core community initiatives:

1. 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. During the 2016-2017 school year, this program reached nearly 600 students at 20 schools.

2. Violence Prevention — With the Northern Ohio Trauma System (NOTS), MetroHealth has implemented a hospital- based violence intervention program to decrease repeated offenses and injury, increase youth enrollment in school, assist with job placement and life skills as well as provide connections to social services. In 2017, this program reached over 200 patients and family members. During this time, none of the patients who worked with the program returned for repeat injury.

3. Stop the Bleed — The MetroHealth Division of Trauma, in accordance with the Northern Ohio Trauma System, supports the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma efforts to decrease preventable deaths from hemorrhage. The goal is to teach the civilian population, often the “immediate responders,” to stop uncontrolled bleeding in emergency situations. The program provides a comprehensive overview of bleeding control education designed for civilians that will inform, educate and empower them to make a difference. This program is being offered throughout the community at various locations including but not limited to schools and churches.

4. 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.

5. 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.


MetroHealth Care Partners operates a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Accountable Care Organization (ACO), delivering high quality coordinated care to improve health and wisely spend health care dollars.

  • ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who provide coordinated care to their patients.
  • MSSP ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe and timely. CMS evaluates ACO quality performance using 34 quality measures.
  • When an ACO exceeds quality and financial thresholds set up by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), it shares in the savings generated for Medicare.
  • In the most recent MSSP performance results, MetroHealth Care Partners managed care for 11,408 beneficiaries, achieved a quality score of 96 percent and delivered significant cost control of more than 8 percent below CMS’ benchmark. As a result, CMS saved $9.1 million and MetroHealth received $4.3 million as its share of the savings.
  • MetroHealth’s ACO launched in January 2014. In January 2017, it advanced to CMS’ track 3 risk-sharing model, taking on a greater amount of risk to be able to share in the greatest amount of savings.
  • MetroHealth’s Population Health Innovation Institute led the ACO’s many initiatives focused on ensuring patients get the right care at the right time.


MetroHealth’s Mi MetroHealth family festival, formerly an annual summer event with activities for all ages, health screenings and food, has become part of the La Placita monthly summer series.

  • La Placita is a pop-up open-air market near the intersection of Clark Avenue and West 25th Street.
  • It celebrates the neighborhood’s Hispanic/Latino culture and identity, with music and other arts, food, artisan vendors and community partner organizations.
  • MetroHealth, a community partner, is integrating aspects of the Mi MetroHealth campus festival into each of the La Placita events, including health screenings, activities for children, bike safety and helmet giveaways, enrollment services and many other programs throughout the summer.


MetroHealth and Cleveland Clinic founded NOTS in 2010 as a collaboration to provide the best trauma care for people in our community by transporting them to the right place for the right care at the right time. University Hospitals joined NOTS in 2017.

  • Other community partners are Southwest General, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cuyahoga County Public Safety and Justice Services, and the City of Cleveland Department of Public Safety.
  • Research has proven that collaboration among hospitals that provide different levels of trauma care saves lives.
  • MetroHealth, Akron General and University Hospitals are verified Level I Adult Trauma Centers. MetroHealth is also a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center and University Hospitals is a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital and Hillcrest Hospital are Level II Trauma Centers. Southwest General, University Hospitals Geauga, University Hospitals Portage and St. John West Shore are all Level III Trauma Centers. These are all the Trauma Centers that represent NOTS and our region.

Violence Interrupters

Violence and injury prevention is an integral part of an outstanding trauma system. In 2016, a specially trained individual, the violence interrupter, began working in the MetroHealth Emergency Department with patients who are victims of violence and their friends and families.

  • The program is in its second year.
  • On-site social workers make the initial contact with victims and then make referrals to the violence interrupter who is a member of the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, an anti-crime agency.
  • In 2017, the violence interrupter provided services to 93 patients.
  • Patients were referred to counseling services, GED classes, job training programs and some returned to high school.
  • Violence interrupters stopped three retaliatory acts by family members that would have led to more violence.
  • New violence interrupters are being trained to help provide additional support to existing staff at MetroHealth.


In 2014, The MetroHealth System was recognized as an Ebola treatment center by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • MetroHealth is the only designated Ebola treatment center in Ohio, joining only 54 CDC-recognized centers in the nation.
  • The designation recognizes that MetroHealth is prepared to provide comprehensive care to patients with an Ebola diagnosis, and potentially other emerging pathogens.
  • MetroHealth was chosen because of its facility configuration and readiness, staff training and overall medical expertise when caring for an infectious disease patient.
  • MetroHealth will work closely with hospitals and health departments in the community and in the state to meet the needs of Ebola patients and other special pathogen patients.
  • Community partners are the Ohio Department of Health, Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Cleveland Department of Public Health.
  • MetroHealth is part of the Ohio Emerging Pathogens Coalition, comprised of frontline, assessment and treatment facilities as well as the Ohio Hospital Association, EMS, public health and other state partners.
  • The National Ebola Training Education Center evaluated the MetroHealth training program in 2016 and named it “one of the most comprehensive training programs in the United States.”


MetroHealth, in collaboration with elected officials, community development organizations, local businesses, neighborhood organizations and residents, is a founding partner with Open Streets Cleveland, an initiative patterned after the international “Open Streets” movement made famous in Bogota, Columbia.

  • The Cleveland version, held monthly during the summer, embraces the Clark-Fulton, Detroit Shoreway, Central and University Circle neighborhoods.
  • Streets closed to vehicle traffic allow for walking, jogging, biking – focusing on sustainable transportation. A culture of health is promoted with healthy food for purchase and activities such as dancing in the streets. The vibrant city street experience has an atmosphere of celebration, community and wellness.


The mission of the PHNR is to promote a healthy, drug-free community by empowering youth and adults to make responsible decisions.

  • With representation from 12 different community sectors and a federal grant from the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, the Partnership serves as the community catalyst for:
    • youth developmental asset building (skills, experiences, relationships and behaviors for youth to become successful and contributing adults)
    • youth leadership development
    • community substance abuse prevention.
  • The MetroHealth System has a representative on the PHNR Advisory Board.


Since 2006, the Partnership for a Safer Cleveland has managed Standing Together Against Neighborhood Crime Everyday (STANCE), which has helped to reduce violence in three of Cleveland’s highest crime neighborhoods.

  • The program has three basic elements: comprehensive prevention, strategic enforcement and targeted reentry.
  • STANCE’s success in sustaining reductions in violent crime and reducing calls for police services reinforces an evidence-based approach of linking enforcement, outreach workers, prevention services, and reentry policies and programs.
  • STANCE was initially funded by the Department of Justice.


In this program, healing for survivors of trauma, violence or loss is promoted by: 1) helping patients cope with the impact of traumatic stress, 2) connecting patients and families with peer support, 3) fostering a safe and supportive community and 4) providing ongoing services and counseling post-hospitalization.

  • The program began in 2013 as the Trauma Survivors Network (TSN) to help patients with traumatic injuries.
  • Its outstanding success in helping trauma survivors with mental as well as physical healing opened the doors for more services.
  • In 2016, programming expanded to include support groups for individuals and families affected by brain injury, amputation, stays in the infectious disease unit or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It also addresses bariatric surgery and cardiovascular patients. In 2017, groups for caregivers and victims of crime were added to the annual support group curriculum.
  • A key component is the peer visitor program that brings together former and current patients and their families to assist with the healing process. It begins in the hospital and continues after discharge.
  • In 2017, Survivor Recovery Services acquired a grant for more than $500,000 to better serve victims of crime and violence within our community.
  • The Survivor Recovery Services Trauma Recovery Center, initiated in 2017, served over 550 victims of crime with emergency food, transportation, shelter, clothing and clinical trauma-focused counseling.
  • In 2017, volunteers donated more than 680 hours of their time visiting more than 615 patients and their families and participating in other support activities.


In 2015, The Center for Health Affairs created the CHNA Roundtable to initiate community health assessment and planning strategies.

  • Meeting quarterly, the Roundtable brings together individuals from the hospital community and other essential stakeholders to share best practices, provide support to one another and discuss opportunities for collaboration.
  • The MetroHealth System has a representative serving on the CHNA Roundtable.


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 2017, The Foundation raised $11.1 million with $944,655 contributed by employees.
  • The Foundation is responsible for executing the five-year philanthropic campaign to raise a minimum of $100 million for MetroHealth’s transformation. The campaign’s four priorities are: Advancing Health Equity, Nurturing Community Well-Being, Cultivating Neighborhood Prosperity and Promoting Learning.
  • Earlier fundraising produced more than $4.6 million that was designated for the campus transformation.


MetroHealth staff regularly provide voter registration forms to patients who express an interest in registering to vote.

  • They also provide mail ballot applications to patients who expect to be in the hospital or long-term care during an election.
  • When patients are unexpectedly hospitalized and need a ballot for an election, MetroHealth government relations staff work directly with the local Board of Elections to facilitate ballots being delivered to patients so they may participate in the election.