Journalist, Policy Expert Joe Frolik Joins MetroHealth
Named Senior Vice President, Communications, Government and Community Relations
CLEVELAND – Veteran journalist Joe Frolik, one of the most distinguished and respected communications professionals in the region, has been named MetroHealth’s Senior Vice President, Communications, Government and Community Relations.
Frolik will lead MetroHealth’s communications efforts and strategy at an extraordinary moment in the system’s 182-year history. MetroHealth’s main campus is undergoing a billion-dollar physical transformation that includes the construction of a new 11-floor hospital. In June, the system announced plans for an affordable-housing project directly on its campus and the launch of an unprecedented institute dedicated to lowering the barriers to health for everyone in the community.
“There is no more trusted and influential voice in Greater Cleveland than Joe Frolik’s,” said MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE. “Joe has spent decades informing the community on important issues, telling compelling stories and shaping public policy with his incomparable communications skills. Our community is better because of his work, and MetroHealth is fortunate to have his trusted voice telling the stories of our patients, our people, our programs and our plans to improve the health of everyone.”
Frolik spent more than three decades at The Plain Dealer as a reporter, columnist, national correspondent and chief editorial writer. He received numerous honors, including two National Headliner Awards. He was named Best Editorial Writer in Ohio in 2012 for his editorials about the county’s corruption crisis, its efforts at reform and the launch of a new county government.
Frolik left The Plain Dealer in 2013 to lead communications and public policy at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. There, he helped lead efforts to increase juvenile diversion programs, fight the opioid epidemic and decrease the number of dangerous, dilapidated properties in the county. For the past three years, he has been with ideastream, leading the public media organization’s news and public affairs efforts as its executive editor.
In 2017, Frolik was enshrined into the Cleveland Press Club’s Journalism Hall of Fame.
“In journalism, we always talk about what makes a good story,” Frolik said. “The remarkable transformation that’s going on within MetroHealth and how everyone in our community is benefiting, that’s a good story. It’s important that everyone – our neighbors, our community, our lawmakers – hear it and share the pride and inspiration that come with it.”
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.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.