Professorship Leverages Power of Nurses to Lead Health Care
As health systems across the country feel the mounting pressures of an aging and increasingly diverse patient population, staff burnout and a workforce shortage, a partnership between The MetroHealth System and Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School (FPB) of Nursing seeks to leverage the power of nursing leadership to improve the health and well-being of the underserved and vulnerable in Greater Cleveland and beyond.
The JoAnn Zlotnick Glick Endowed Fund in Community Health Nursing, created as part of a significant investment by JoAnn and her husband, Bob, in MetroHealth to reverse health inequities, supports an endowed professorship at FPB. Named for JoAnn Glick, an FPB graduate who worked as a registered nurse in medically underserved urban hospitals in Cleveland and Philadelphia, the professorship will be held by MetroHealth’s Melissa Kline, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, Senior Vice President, System Chief Nurse Executive.
The nursing professorship is believed to be the first-of-its-kind given to a safety-net hospital.
“As a nurse, I saw firsthand how residents from underserved urban areas entered the health care system with preventable complications from their diseases and, therefore, needed much more care. As nurses we need to be more proactive,” Glick said. “Working with people to manage their health leads to a healthier and more productive community. It’s time we focused on health and wellness.”
The two were recognized on Wednesday, September 13, during a ceremony at Case Western Reserve University. The event also featured keynote presentations from nationally renowned nursing and research leaders Jeanette Ives Erickson, Chief Nurse Emerita, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Joanne Spetz, Director, Phillip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy at UC San Francisco. The two discussed the role of nursing in an evolving health care system and the critical role nurses will play in the future of health care.
“A commitment to community health – to meeting people where they are, became so much more important coming out of COVID,” said Kline, who joined MetroHealth in 1998. “I am hopeful our work here will not only help us respond to underserved populations but also to advance our efforts from being reactive to proactive. The partnership between MetroHealth and the School of Nursing will aid in changing nursing education to take on a more preventative approach to improve the health of our community.”
MetroHealth President & CEO Airica Steed, Ed.D, RN, MBA, FACHE, is a fourth-generation nurse. She says, “The fact that this professorship will focus on the education, practice and scholarship of community health nursing makes it not just groundbreaking but earth-shifting for our efforts to widen health access, end health disparities and advance health equity. And it’s all possible because of the passion and generosity of JoAnn and Bob Glick.”
Dr. Steed added, “Nursing is more than a profession – it is an art and a calling. Dr. Kline embodies what it means to be a nurse, and we are thrilled she will play a key role in advancing a profession she has dedicated her life to. Our community and nurses across the nation are fortunate to have such a compassionate, dedicated and innovative leader.”
FPB Dean Carol Musil echoed that sentiment. “This endowed chair between MetroHealth nursing and the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing directly addresses what nurses have known and studied for a long time: that social and environmental forces have a great impact on health,” said Musil. “And nurses can change that relationship.”
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.