Cleveland, OH,
09:49 AM

MetroHealth Honored by America’s Essential Hospitals for School Health Program

school health program1

MetroHealth’s School Health Program, which provides essential care to children at the most convenient place possible – their school – has been recognized for its outstanding work to improve the health and lives of Greater Cleveland’s children.

America’s Essential Hospitals, whose more than 300 members care for low-income and other marginalized people, honored the innovative program with the prestigious Gage Award during its annual conference this month in Boston. The annual award recognizes “creative and successful programs that improve patient care and serve community needs.”

The MetroHealth School Health Program – part of the system’s Institute for H.O.P.E.™ – was launched by the system’s Department of Family Medicine in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in 2013 with a single clinic inside a converted classroom at Mound STEM Elementary School in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood. Today, the program has grown to include school clinics and a mobile unit serving dozens of urban schools and thousands of students in all grades with an expanding array of services, including telehealth options for students at home.

In addition to traditional medical care, the program targets behavioral health issues and non-medical barriers to good health by helping students and their families sign up for insurance, recognize lead exposure and connect with community partners to find housing, pay rent and more. The program also provides students coats, toothbrushes, backpacks and school supplies.

The School Health Program has delivered remarkable results. Children participating in the program are 64% more likely to be up to date on their immunizations, 38% more likely to have had at least one primary care visit, 22% more likely to have had an annual well-child exam and 50% less likely to visit the emergency room compared to children not enrolled. Students in the School Health Program also average fewer absences, better grades and fewer incidents of school discipline.

“The passionate caregivers in MetroHealth’s School Health Program have turned a great idea into something revolutionary,” says MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD. “They have expanded the traditional model of school-based care to address behavioral health, prevention, and the nonmedical factors that affect the health of our kids. The Gage Award is a tremendous honor for them and proof of the hope they provide to students every day.”

To watch the Gage Award video honoring the program, click here:

For more about the Institute for H.O.P.E.TM School Health Program, click here:

About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit