JoAnn and Bob Glick Target Gift to Impact Cleveland’s Underserved Communities
(Cleveland) – MetroHealth will significantly expand two programs that serve some of Cleveland’s most vulnerable children, thanks to a $500,000 gift from JoAnn and Bob Glick.
The Glicks, who focus their philanthropic efforts on improving the lives, health and well-being of Cleveland’s women and children, have committed $250,000 each to the MetroHealth Autism Assessment Clinic (MAAC) and the system’s Students Are Free to Express (SAFE) Project.
MAAC evaluates children for autism spectrum disorders. It is the only autism assessment clinic on Cleveland’s west side and the only clinic in Ohio (and one of very few in the country) that accommodates and embraces the language and cultural needs of Hispanic patients and families.
The Glicks’ gift will allow MAAC to add a bilingual psychologist, speech/language therapist and social worker to its current full-time staff of three; significantly reduce its wait list; and serve more children who would otherwise not have access to screening and services.
The SAFE Project is a mental health initiative within MetroHealth’s School Health Program, which provides health care services to children while they are at school. SAFE immerses students in the arts – music, dance, theater, visual arts, poetry, drum circles and more – helping them navigate serious mental health challenges, learn how to work through their anxiety and trauma, and find healthy outlets for their emotions.
The program is offered at Harvey Rice Wraparound School, John Adams High School and Lincoln-West High School, all in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
The Glicks’ gift will allow the SAFE Project to recruit a full-time evaluation assistant and program coordinator, develop evaluation metrics, increase the pool of visiting professional artists, provide education presentations/workshops for families, and expand programming to include more students at each school. The eventual goal is to expand SAFE to all grades.
Both programs are fundraising priorities of MetroHealth’s philanthropic campaign, “For All of Us.”
Launched in 2018, the five-year, $100 million campaign supports MetroHealth’s Transformation with fundraising for programs and services in four areas: For Our Health, For Our Neighborhood, For Our Economy and For Our Future.
“We chose to support these two programs because they are both fulfilling an unmet need and improving the lives of Cleveland’s children, on the front lines,” said JoAnn Glick, a champion of community health who has an extensive nursing background.
“MAAC and SAFE are working, and they can be expanded and replicated by other health systems, increasing access to those who most need it,” said Bob Glick, former CEO and Chairman of Dots LLC, a national chain of women’s apparel stores. “We hope our investments not only help kids in Cleveland but that they inspire others to join us in supporting Cleveland’s kids and families.”
The Glicks have been quietly contributing to various local nonprofit organizations for years. Bob’s board service includes The Cleveland Foundation, The Cleveland Orchestra and Activant Capital. JoAnn Glick serves on the board of ideastream and is a member of the advisory committee for Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.
“Clevelanders are fortunate to have JoAnn and Bob Glick in their corner,” said MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE. “We are grateful that the Glicks have chosen to be our partner in bringing critical services to the community. Ensuring the health and well-being of our residents, especially our young people, is one of the most important parts of MetroHealth’s mission.”
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 nearly 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.