Our Annual Stakeholders Meeting renews our promise to building a brighter future for everyone
It was an eventful morning for MetroHealth and its partners in the community. We unveiled the external design of our new hospital, launched a center dedicating to helping chronic pain patients avoid opioids and created an institute that will help us heal community trauma.
If you didn’t catch the livestream, here’s what you missed.
MetroHealth President and CEO Dr. Akram Boutros started his keynote address off with a bang by unveiling what our new main campus will look like. “Iconic is how the MetroHealth towers have been described,” Dr. Boutros said. He added that “the new structure must live up to that iconic status. It must be as iconic as our mission.” We’re confident that our new 11-story hospital with its sculpted white terracotta and glass façade will accomplish that, and more.
Building an iconic campus goes beyond its physical appearance, however. We’re creating, as Dr. Boutros said, “a new Cleveland landmark,” that “represents the future of care for the great people who come to us.” Our new hospital will have private patient rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and ample space for families to stay overnight. We’re also excited for nearly half of the total land on our main campus to be turned into green space for the patients, staff and the community to use. Click here to see the full story behind the design.
The new hospital is impressive, but our Transformation has always been about more than new buildings. That’s why Dr. Boutros moved on from the big reveal faster than the audience might have expected. “While today is a time for celebration, it’s also a time to focus on what is ahead of us,” he said. And for MetroHealth that’s always going to be fulfilling our mission of leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community. Right now, two of our area’s biggest struggles are addiction and community trauma.
The opioid epidemic – the deadliest drug crisis in American history – kills five people in the United States every hour. But, in the face of statistics like that, MetroHealth is trying to turn the tide. In his speech, Dr. Boutros declared “We WILL be part of the solution.”
We’re already taking strides to do our part. In the past 18 months, MetroHealth providers prescribed 3 million fewer opioid pills. That’s one of the biggest reductions in the country over that period. Specifically, our doctors and nurse practitioners reduced the number of opioid pills prescribed by 62 percent for acute pain, and 25 percent for chronic pain.
We’re also creating a new Pain & Healing Center to reduce opioid prescriptions and offer patients safe alternatives for pain management. The Center will use a holistic approach to pain management, and will combine therapies like acupuncture, infusion therapy, reiki, neurology, psychology and psychiatry to help people feel better without turning to opioids. As Dr. Boutros said in his address: “We will do better. We will help everyone we can out of this hell of a disease.”
Dr. Boutros’ last major announcement was the creation of MetroHealth’s Community Trauma Institute. Because it’s so hard to define the daily struggle of living in oppressed neighborhoods, too often community trauma gets overlooked as a huge barrier to good health. We’re committed to making those overlooked issues a focus of how we care for our community. For more than 25 years we’ve taken care of people as a Level 1 Trauma Center. Now we’re going to take care of neighborhoods, too.
The Rev. Dr. Tony Minor, MetroHealth’s Manager of Faith Communities Outreach, and Sarah Hendrickson, Manager of Survivor Recovery Services, are leading the effort. We’ve already convened a group of pastors in some of Cleveland’s most traumatized neighborhoods. They’ll start by creating Healing Circles – a tradition borrowed from the indigenous people of America. Based in churches, the circles will bring together counselors, advocates and residents committed to building healing and hope in their neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that, as Dr. Boutros explained, “have suffered from limited educational opportunities. Have been disconnected from life’s options.”
In a day full of huge reveals, exciting announcements, and calls for action, one topic was at the center of everything at our Annual Stakeholders Meeting: our commitment to this community. No matter what MetroHealth is doing, or where we’re doing it, we’re always focused on making the people and neighborhoods we serve healthier. Dr. Boutros put it best in his speech. “At MetroHealth,” he said, “our heart beats for one reason: To serve everyone, no matter what. To serve all of us.”