Cleveland, OH,
17:36 PM

MetroHealth Brings Testing to Cuyahoga County's Most Vulnerable

On Thursday, July 16, MetroHealth performed COVID-19 testing at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church on Quincy Avenue in Cleveland. The testing is part of an initiative with Greater Cleveland Congregations and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

CLEVELAND – An administrator of a local group home called MetroHealth’s COVID-19 hotline in April. She was concerned about the well-being of those in her care, as well as her own coronavirus symptoms.

Then a similar call came in. And another.

Knowing that social distancing in close quarters is difficult, particularly for those with developmental disabilities, MetroHealth quickly assembled a mobile unit – staffed by nurses from the Emergency Department – to test residents and staff at these types of facilities.

“Pretty quickly, we realized there was a need for this,” said Dr. David Margolius, one of the physicians who helped launch the mobile unit.

Caring for the community’s most vulnerable has always been at the heart of MetroHealth’s mission. Over the last several months, with support from Cuyahoga County and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, teams of MetroHealth physicians and nurses tested and cared for people living in homeless shelters, on the streets, in camps, nursing homes and group homes.

Several months into this pandemic, research continues to mount highlighting the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on the poor and communities of color. In Ohio alone, nearly 27% of COVID-19 cases are among African Americans – though only 13% of the state’s population is Black.

Because of these concerning disparities, MetroHealth doubled down on its efforts to test these hard-to-reach and underserved populations throughout the community.

Just recently, MetroHealth and the Board of Health partnered with Greater Cleveland Congregations – a group of faith communities and other organizations committed to social justice – to test thousands of individuals at drive-through and walk-up sites at churches throughout Cuyahoga County, with an emphasis on African-American populations and other at-risk groups.

“There’s something to be said about doing this in lockstep with our partners at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health who understand these disparities and the testing needs in our community,” said Dr. Brook Watts, MetroHealth’s vice president and chief quality officer. “It’s also a testament to our staff who have demonstrated an incredible amount of sensitivity and compassion for those who might be nervous about being tested.”

If you are experiencing symptoms – fever, shortness of breath, cough – call the MetroHealth COVID-19 hotline at 440-59-COVID (440-592-6843).

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.

For more information, visit