Cleveland, OH,
11:05 AM

MetroHealth, Tri-C Announce Bold Commitment to Advance Health Equity

03.20.24 Dr. Steed - Tri-C - MMHF press conference_edit-6

CLEVELAND – The MetroHealth System on Wednesday, March 20, outlined a bold, community-centered agenda to advance health equity and ultimately eliminate the glaring gap in life expectancies in Greater Cleveland and beyond.

Under the leadership of President & CEO Airica Steed, Ed.D, RN, MBA, FACHE, MetroHealth has developed a comprehensive and innovative approach to advancing health equity and improving access to care for all people. This is essential in a community where heart and kidney disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes and other diseases are far more likely to kill you if you are a minority.

“As I have said since my first day at MetroHealth, we are on a mission to end inequality in healthcare,” Dr. Steed said. “We are committed to doing more than putting a dent in healthcare disparities. We intend to eradicate them, and we will do so with an innovative approach that can serve as a national model. Healthcare organizations need to treat our communities as patients and work to identify and better address their collective needs – and that is exactly what we are doing at MetroHealth.”

That multi-pronged strategy includes building upon MetroHealth’s highly successful health fairs and expos, which provide critical health screenings at no cost in underserved and all communities. It also includes growing the System’s Health Equity Centers of Excellence as well as launching the Health Equity CLE Fund to support targeted initiatives designed to advance the health System’s work in this space.

MetroHealth and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) also announced a deepening partnership between the two organizations given their shared commitment to equity. As part of that partnership, Tri-C will host this year’s MetroHealth Men’s Health Fair at the Alex B. Johnson Center at the College’s Metropolitan Campus (2900 Community College Ave.) in downtown Cleveland. MetroHealth will simultaneously host the fair at its Cleveland Heights Medical Center, 10 Severance Center, Cleveland Heights).

“Academic access and academic success for our students depends on their health,” said Tri-C President Michael Baston, Ed.D, J.D. “There is no reason that any member of our community should go without regular checkups and routine tests. There is no reason that any member of our community should suffer from treatable conditions or have their quality of life or length of life diminished by a lack of medical care.”

Charles Modlin, MD, MBA, FACS, MetroHealth’s Chief Health Equity Officer and a practicing urologist, also outlined the System’s strategy around developing Multicultural Health Equity Centers of Excellence. This innovative model is designed to ensure inpatient and outpatient medical services, as well as all of MetroHealth’s 9,000 caregivers, have the training and resources necessary to address the needs of multicultural populations, while also specifically targeting health disparities that impact underserved and underrepresented communities across our service area.

More than 40 clinical health equity centers are being prepared to launch, while initial initiatives are already under way in several areas, including urology, nephrology and dermatology. They will focus on training providers to ensure diagnostics, preventive care, treatment, and patient education meet the specific needs of multicultural populations based upon evidence-based data and best practices.

“The population we serve is extraordinarily diverse and our medical care needs to be equally multifaceted,” Dr. Modlin said. “For far too long, we have used a ‘one-sized-fits-all’ approach that assumed preventive care, disease diagnosis and treatment are the same for everybody. This is simply not the case and can often exacerbate the health disparities we face. MetroHealth is working to develop truly personalized medicine where the backgrounds, genetic predispositions and societal environments of every patient is taken into account in the care we provide.”

The 2024 MetroHealth Men’s Health Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. Interested individuals can pre-register and walk-ins are also welcome.

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