Cleveland, OH,
14:16 PM

ENDependence tackles opioid epidemic from an artistic perspective

Free performances coming up

MetroHealth is already on the front lines of fighting the opioid epidemic with medical care and outreach. Now, the System is partnering with the arts community to highlight the situation through a creative channel.

The Department of Arts in Medicine is partnering with Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) on ENDependence, an original production that explores the story of pain management in this country, the kinds of treatment available for those struggling with opioid use disorder, and best methods for responding to the epidemic. Infused with both humor and gravity, and featuring songs and scenes, ENDependence highlights those in our community who are affected by opioid use disorder—from doctors to patients to family members. Interactive in form, ENDependence calls on our community to investigate how we respond on a personal and systemic level to our oldest companion: pain.

“The arts are about storytelling and there’s quite a story to tell about the opioid epidemic,” explains Linda Jackson, Director, Arts in Medicine. “One can read the facts about the number of people who’ve died, but there’s something different about people coming together through a theatrical experience. You can hear about how people feel, but when you’re part of a story it can have a greater impact, and it opens up a different dialogue.”

To create the original production, CPT artistic staff interviewed MetroHealth staff and community members on the front lines of the epidemic to help shape what would become the ENDdependence production. “They spoke with leading physicians, social workers, patients, families, and members of the peer mentoring program Ascent, and they went to the Emergency Department to meet with first responders. This was an immersive experience,” says Linda. After presenting two staged readings and receiving feedback from audience members, including MetroHealth staff, the final production was realized.

Information from the MetroHealth Office of Opioid Safety and Recovery Resources will be available at the performances, including resources about what they do and how they can assist the community. 

Several free performances run June 13-20 in Cleveland, Lorain, Elyria and Columbia Station, including three nights at Cleveland Public Theatre June 13-15. The 75-minute production will allow time for audience interaction. Learn more.

About the MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth 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 research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

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