MetroHealth Leaders Sign 'The Hispanic Promise,' Pledging to Hire, Retain and Celebrate Hispanic Employees and Patients
MetroHealth is publicly pledging to hire, promote, retain, develop and celebrate Hispanic employees, patients and citizens with the signing of The Hispanic Promise by President and CEO, Akram Boutros, MD, and Chief Equity Officer, Alan Nevel.
The Hispanic Promise, launched at the World Economic Summit in 2019, asks leaders to commit to creating Hispanic-friendly places for employees and others.
Hispanics make up 18% of the U.S. population, but 74% of them say they feel they cannot be themselves at work, according to We Are All Human, the organization behind The Hispanic Promise.
“Being one of the first in this area to sign The Hispanic Promise shows a real commitment by MetroHealth to this important issue,” says Marcia Moreno, president of AmMore Consulting, a Cleveland company that works to create more equitable workplaces for Latinos.
“This a public commitment that says, ‘we see you and we want to become an organization that has everything in place for Latinos to succeed and thrive,’ she says. “Saying it out loud opens a door for leaders to start working toward that goal and for others to hold them accountable. That’s crucial.”
Signing The Hispanic Promise is one more way The MetroHealth System supports building a more inclusive, equitable and diverse community, says Dr. Boutros.
“We’re proud to be one of Cleveland’s early signers,” he says, “and to have found one more way to be a welcoming place for our Hispanic patients, employees, neighbors and friends.”
MetroHealth provides dozens of services to the Latino/Spanish-speaking community. They include:
- Bilingual health care for patients of all ages, much of it at MetroHealth’s main campus and Ohio City Health Center, both located in the heart of Cleveland’s Hispanic community. In 2006, MetroHealth created La Clínica Hispana to offer bilingual care for specific medical, psychological and social needs of children and young adults from birth to 21 years old to improve their health and well-being through education, prevention and intervention.
- Breast cancer screenings for underserved women including those who speak Spanish, through the BREAST/Amigas program. Launched in 2005 after a troubling pattern of late-stage breast cancer was discovered in the Hispanic community, the grassroots, peer-to-peer program saves lives through culturally sensitive bilingual education, mammograms and follow-up care. Free screenings, often held at Hispanic churches, have been provided to more than 2,000 women.
- Culturally sensitive autism assessments for children and teens through the Hispanic MetroHealth Autism Assessment Clinic, one of a handful of clinics in the country – and believed to the only one in Ohio – that serves the Spanish-speaking community. MetroHealth began offering the services in Spanish in 2016. An interdisciplinary team, which includes experts in pediatrics, psychology, social work and speech therapy, provides individual therapy and bilingual speech and language services. Plans to add more services are underway.
- Bilingual, bicultural health education, insurance enrollment and referrals for nearly 2,000 people through the Ventanilla de Salud (Window of Health) Program. Window of Health was created in partnership with the Government of Mexico, through its consulate in Detroit, in 2015. It addresses housing, food insecurity and other social determinants of health in culturally sensitive ways at health fairs and other events. Though it is aimed at Mexican nationals and their families, the program assists other Spanish-speaking people as well.
- High school education at Lincoln-West School of Science & Health. Believed to be the first school in the country inside a hospital, Lincoln-West School of Science & Health provides classes, mentors, internships and job training to a student body that is 36% Hispanic. The school opened in 2016 and graduated its first class in 2019 with every senior – that year and the next – being accepted to college.
- Spanish-language interpreters in person and via telephone and video at its main campus and other health centers. Four years ago, MetroHealth elevated the importance of the service by creating a department dedicated to communicating with Hispanic/Latinx patients and their caregivers. Today, the department provides Spanish interpreters at more than 2,000 in-person appointments and another 60,000 phone and video appointments annually.
- Partnering with the Spanish American Committee and others to create the Latino Construction Program to teach members of the Latino community about safety, unions, apprenticeships, opportunities in the trades and the skills needed to move into higher-paying construction jobs.
- The Hispanic Forum, a voluntary, employee-led group that provides support, networking and professional development opportunities to MetroHealth’s Hispanic employees. In operation for nearly 10 years, the Hispanic Forum’s activities include registering people in the community to vote and partnering with the Ohio City Health Center to increase awareness of health services available at MetroHealth and elsewhere. Members include nurses, administrators, social workers, physicians and others.
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 four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit metrohealth.org.