Pat's Story: Delivering Hope Is a Full-Time Job
Pat Hardy encounters people every day that remind her of her younger self. And she has one message: It’s OK to ask for help.
“It doesn’t make a person weak. It doesn’t make anybody less of a human. Everybody needs help,” says Pat, a Community Health Worker with the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ “I know what it’s like not having enough food, not having running water and not having the money to support myself. I also know that there is hope.”
At the Institute for H.O.P.E.™, Pat primarily manages programs focused on fighting the deepening food insecurity crisis in Greater Cleveland. More than 24% of MetroHealth patients surveyed, for example, report not having enough food to eat.
Twice a month, Pat delivers fresh produce and other goods from the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to dozens of homes of MetroHealth patients. She also works with patients involved with MetroHealth’s Food As Medicine clinic – a program that offers “prescriptions” for healthy food for patients living with diabetes, hypertension or heart problems and who also lack access to enough food.
MetroHealth has been a “home away from home” for Pat for 20 years. In her time here, she’s earned three degrees – most recently, a Master of Public Health from Baldwin Wallace University – and held a variety of administrative roles.
Pat’s most recent post with the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ – a position funded by generous support from Bank of America – allows her to directly serve the community she’s always called home.
“This community supported me when I needed it, and I try to give back as much as I can,” Pat says. “It’s just who I am.
“There are so many people going through challenging things in their lives, and if I can do one thing to make a difference, then I know I’m doing my job. I want to give people hope when they don’t see anything else.”
Faces of MetroHealth is an ongoing series of profiles of individuals from all levels of the organization who embody our mission and values. To read the others, click here.
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.