Cleveland, OH,
10:54 AM

Alex Johnson, Milton Maltz, Joan Southgate to Receive Cleveland’s Highest Honor

A transformational college president, a broadcast icon turned philanthropist, and a passionate educator/social activist will be the recipients of the 2022 Cleveland Heritage Medal, considered the highest civilian award in Greater Cleveland.

Established in 2016, the Cleveland Heritage Medal is modeled after the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It recognizes individuals who have made meritorious contributions to the welfare and development of Greater Cleveland and its citizens and who, as role models, represent the core values of service to others, teamwork, courage, respect, and inclusion and diversity.

The 2022 honorees are:

Alex B. Johnson, Ph.D., President Emeritus, Cuyahoga Community College.

Milton S. Maltz, philanthropist and former CEO and Chairman of Malrite Communications Group, Inc.

Joan E. Southgate, activist, poet, author and co-founder of Restore Cleveland Hope. 

The three will be presented with the 2022 Cleveland Heritage Medal at a ceremony and dinner inside the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda on Thursday, November 17, 2022.

They will join an extraordinary list of renowned Clevelanders who have received the honor since its inception. They include:

2016 - Morton L. Mandel, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., Sandra Pianalto, Richard W. Pogue, Sen. George V. Voinovich

2017 - Carole F. Hoover, Samuel H. Miller, Albert B. Ratner, Michael R. White

2018 - Toby Cosgrove, MD, Robert D. Gries, Steven A. Minter, Jerry Sue Thornton, Ph.D.

2019 - Thomas W. Adler, Art J. Falco, Robert P. Madison, FAIA, Barbara S. Robinson

2020 - Jeanette Grasselli Brown, Bracy E. Lewis, A. Malachi Mixon III

2021 - Richard J. Bogomolny, Margot James Copeland, Beth E. Mooney, Margaret W. Wong 

The recipients of the Cleveland Heritage Medal are chosen by selection and nominating committees made up of 30 diverse community and corporate leaders. The 2022 Cleveland Heritage Medal Committee Chairs are Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE, President and CEO, The MetroHealth System; Beth Mooney, former Chairman and CEO, KeyCorp; and Robin Minter Smyers, Partner, Thompson Hine.

More information about the Cleveland Heritage Medal and its recipients can be found at

About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit