COVID-19 Has the Community Taking Care of MetroHealth
The calls and emails keep coming.
Not from COVID-concerned patients who want help from MetroHealth – though there are hundreds of those every day.
These communications are from people offering donations to help MetroHealth stop the deadly virus.
“They are coming in via email, via phone, they’re coming in through different executives, they’re coming via LinkedIn,” says Justin Gallo, Vice President of Supply Chain Management for The MetroHealth System. “They’re virtually coming in from everybody.”
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, four pallets packed 6-feet high with gloves, masks, gowns and other protective equipment arrived at MetroHealth from the Cleveland-based nonprofit MedWish International. A national chain provided N-95 respirators. Nail salons and tattoo parlors dropped off masks and gloves.
“And one surgeon reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, I have a friend who started a business and it's a trucking company and their volumes are obviously down. They want to donate their freight management services to you. So if you need any heavy supplies or machinery or things like that moved, please give us a call.’ “
MetroHealth, Gallo says, is getting ready for what could come as the pandemic spreads across the United States.
“This hospital is very prepared,” he said. “But we’re preparing for the long haul. Some hospitals have run out of respirators. We don’t want to.”
That’s crucial as protective equipment runs low in some places.
“The most important thing is having what you need when you need it,” says Gallo, who also serves as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserves and supports a regional emergency management center in San Diego when on duty.
“We’re an extension of the clinical teams. If Supply Chain doesn’t do their job, it’s very difficult for patient care to occur.”
Just as important right now is reviewing every donation to make sure there’s truly a need, that the donated supplies will work in a health care setting and nothing goes to waste.
“We are vetting each of the donation opportunities one by one,” Gallo says.
“People are looking out for MetroHealth and other hospitals right now. And that’s great. We love that.
“These are supplies that are needed in this environment. Don’t stop sending them.”
Interested in donating?
If you have goggles, respirators, gowns, shoe covers or other protective equipment and supplies you would like to donate to MetroHealth, email LogisticsSectionHCC@metrohealth.org.
More COVID-19 coverage
We've launched a podcast dedicated to informing the community about the COVID-19 crisis. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and other podcast apps. Listeners can also access it via the web at soundcloud.com/metrohealth. The latest episode – Supplying the Lifesavers – includes more from our conversation with Gallo.
The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building and the 25 acres of green space around it are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.
MetroHealth broke ground on its new hospital in 2019. The project is being financed with nearly $1 billion the system borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 40% and its number of employees by 21%. Today, its staff of 8,000 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75% of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.