Cleveland, OH,
12:58 PM

MetroHealth Receives $1 Million from Tech Entrepreneur To Assist with COVID-19 Preparedness

A $1 million gift from a Bay Village entrepreneur already has had a huge impact as The MetroHealth System prepares for an expected surge of patients admitted for treatment of COVID-19, the new coronavirus.

Shortly after the World Health Organization designated COVID-19 as a pandemic, Miguel Zubizarreta contacted MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE, to ask what the health system needed.

Boutros told Zubizarreta, former Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Hyland Software, he needed to speak with with Justin Gallo, Vice President of Supply Chain Management. Gallo quickly detailed MetroHealth’s most pressing needs: ventilators, N95 respirator masks and other equipment and supplies to ensure that MetroHealth would be ready for an influx of patients in the coming weeks.

“This is an incredible windfall, at a time when we most need it,” Gallo said. Zubizarreta’s gift assures an ample supply of critical items, and it allows MetroHealth to concentrate on expanding available space for inpatient care, Gallo said.

This is not the first major gift Zubizarreta has made to MetroHealth. He and his wife, Denise donated $1.6 million for the design, construction and furnishing of the Zubizarreta House, which opened in 2017. The 7,000-square-foot house next to the MetroHealth Old Brooklyn Health Center (OBC) is a fully accessible facility that is a second home for people with spinal cord injuries who travel to MetroHealth for research-related treatment and evaluation.

“For several years, Miguel has been such a strong and enthusiastic supporter of MetroHealth,” said Kate Brown, MetroHealth’s Chief Development Officer and President, The MetroHealth Foundation. “In ways that continue to amaze us, he fully embraces MetroHealth’s mission of providing excellent care for everyone. We are beyond appreciative of his immense generosity.”

Zubizarreta’s gift couldn’t come at a better time, Gallo said: “We are using this gift as efficiently and as effectively as we can. We’re making investments right now for the welfare of our caregivers on the front line, and to care for our community.”

Click here to learn more about Gallo's team's efforts to secure appropriate personal protective equipment.

About The MetroHealth System

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% and its number of employees by 21%. 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% 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.

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