Digital Connectivity Efforts Represented at Affordable Connectivity Week of Action Event
The MetroHealth Institute for H.O.P.E.™ joined its partner AT&T Ohio for a digital learning event on June 20 highlighting local efforts to bring connectivity to under-resourced neighborhoods.
The event was held at the Connected Learning Center at Esperanza, an organization that works to advance academic achievement in Northeast Ohio Hispanic and Latinx communities. As part of the event, which aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Week of Action, AT&T presented Esperanza with 100 refurbished laptop computers from RET3 Job Corp. and a donation of $20,000 to support the organization’s digital learning programs.
During the event’s “Greater Opportunity” panel discussion, Institute for H.O.P.E.™ Community Health Worker Juan Silva spoke about the digital connectivity services available through the MetroHealth Opportunity Center and the impact of its work in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
“By collaborating at the ground level and working with partners like AT&T and RET3 Job Corp., MetroHealth and Esperanza are able to help people achieve connectivity,” Juan said. “I grew up in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, and helping my community succeed is very important to me.”
Every Thursday, Saundra Frost, a senior resident of the Buckeye neighborhood, walks to the Opportunity Center on the first floor of the MetroHealth Buckeye Health Center for digital learning classes. She said before she met Juan and began taking classes in December 2021, she didn’t know how to turn on a computer. Today, she has earned several advanced certificates through Northstar, an online self-paced digital learning program available through the Opportunity Center.
In addition to giving people like Saundra a chance to learn important technology skills, the digital education program at the Opportunity Center provides job seekers with the computer and resume skills they need to find, obtain and retain employment.
The Opportunity Center hosted an event in collaboration with AT&T and RET3 Job Corp. in March, during which qualified community members, including Saundra, also received a refurbished laptop from RET3.
“I encourage those who want to learn more about the digital learning programs available to call or stop by the Opportunity Center,” Juan said. “I will meet them where they are and work with them until they meet their personal goals.”
In addition to Juan, MetroHealth was represented at the AT&T event at Esperanza by Marielee Santiago, Institute for H.O.P.E.™ Education Director, and Amy Aiello Thomas, Population Health Innovation Institute Program Advisor.
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 four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit metrohealth.org.