Cleveland, OH,
14:46 PM

Honoring All Who Served: MetroHealth holds special recognition for employee veterans

MetroHealth honored employee veterans during a special program Monday morning. The event was an opportunity to thank those who have served, and for staff who have family members in the military to pay tribute to their loved ones, too.

MetroHealth has more than 200 employee veterans. During the event dozens of them – representing various military branches – had the chance to fellowship and to share stories with each other. Alan Nevel, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, thanked them for their service.

The program was sponsored by the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and the Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG). “We all come from different backgrounds, said John Leahy, a pharmacist and Navy reservist who has a leadership role within the ERG. “To get us all in one room and to be able to put a face with the name and to network is a big win.”

Kelly Gilhousen, RN, is a Navy veteran who has worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 23 years. She said MetroHealth’s Veterans Day program was special. “When you come into a room and you’re surrounded by veterans … people who are willing to lay down their lives for everyone and for this great country…” she said as her eyes began to fill with tears. “…it’s an honor to work for an organization that recognizes the sacrifices of veterans and their families.”

Sgt. Major Tim O’Connor from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department served as the program’s guest speaker. He focused on the relationship between veterans and the medical community. He discussed topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and encouraged veterans in attendance to seek support if needed as they transition back into their lives at home. And, he encouraged medical providers to continue striving toward understanding the unique needs of veterans.

O’Connor, an Army reservist, also shared his personal reflections. One of the scariest days for him was September 11, 2005. While he was serving in Afghanistan, his father, Tim Sr., had been seriously injured in an explosion back home in Twinsburg, Ohio. Tim Sr. was flown by Metro Life Flight to receive the care he needed. Tim Sr. was in the audience at the Veterans Day event.

He thought he was there to support his son, but he was in for a special surprise – meeting Metro Life Flight staff. Both men became emotional as they thanked crew members. Afterward, they toured the helipad.

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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