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, 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 percent and its number of employees by 21 percent. Today, its staff of 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 percent 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.