Cleveland, OH,
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Transformational “MetroHealth Model” to Expand Successful Health Equity Roadmap Nationally Through Partnership with CHC: Creating Healthier Communities

MetroHealth and CHC’s new partnership will elevate the MetroHealth Model which integrates health equity into all aspects of the business and community, with proven health outcomes

Today, The MetroHealth System and CHC: Creating Healthier Communities announced a new partnership that will document “the MetroHealth Model” in a case study to be disseminated nationally, serving as an example to hospital systems, associations, nonprofits, businesses and others about how to advance health equity in their communities through proven practices. 

“We bring hope, health and humanity to our community by focusing on the whole person, whether that is providing them outstanding medical care, or fresh vegetables, or access to housing, greenspace and exercise, or making vaccinations available to them in their neighborhood,” said MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE. “It’s about being brave and accountable in our relentless pursuit to eliminate barriers, serve others, and walk alongside every person in their journey to health.” 

MetroHealth’s Model incorporates a comprehensive approach, addressing the social determinants of health in a community, focusing on everything from the environment and greenspace to education, jobs and housing, including building a new hospital in an underserved area. 

“CHC works with thousands of groups across the country, and this is the most effective model we’ve come across that directly addresses all the facets of health disparities in one of the most stressed environments in America: Cleveland,” said CHC President and CEO Thomas G. Bognanno. “Under Dr. Boutros’ leadership, MetroHealth has risen to these challenges, providing hope – and a model to follow – that proves it is possible to tackle these issues anywhere.” 

Beyond clinical excellence and medical outcomes, MetroHealth is proactively working in the community on a whole-health approach that includes: creating a high school within the hospital, building affordable housing and senior housing, adding beds for treatment of patients struggling with mental health and addiction, operating maternal housing, working with the foster care program to focus on healing, addressing health disparities in diabetes and other diseases, supporting inclusive job fairs and workforce development programs, leading school-based health programs, improving the county jail health program to significantly improve outcomes, partnering with nonprofits to provide wrap-around services onsite for patients, increasing employee wages, providing intergenerational behavioral health programs and much more. 

MetroHealth is the first hospital in the world to be certified as an EcoDistrict, committed to inclusive and sustainable development focused on equity, community resilience, climate protection, collaboration and measurement. The hospital is adding 26 acres of greenspace to create a community park at the center of their facility, improving both environmental and community health.

“MetroHealth and CHC are unwavering in their pursuit of an equitable future for all people,” said CHC Board Chair and Cleveland Cavaliers Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement Kevin Clayton. “MetroHealth is doing the hard work right here in Cleveland, and it’s paying off. CHC is here alongside us and will take MetroHealth’s Model nationwide, providing a roadmap for the country.” 

MetroHealth also meaningfully engages in community collaborations through investment, thought leadership and referral networks that elevate community-based organizations and address whole health outcomes.

For example, MetroHealth is a collaborating partner with CHC in a project funded by the Anthem Foundation to address health disparities impacting Black pregnant women and reduce preterm births. Through this project, MetroHealth will use its extensive research acumen to validate the preterm birth screening practices conducted in Cleveland and other communities. 

“Our work at CHC is done in partnership with nonprofits, businesses, government agencies and others across the country, with a singular focus to bring about improved community health outcomes,” said CHC Chief Health Equity Officer Valerie Rochester.

“This comprehensive, multi-level community health improvement model that MetroHealth has created in Cleveland is the seed that healthcare systems in other cities just like Cleveland can plant, working with other community members to grow and achieve similar results.” 

CHC, a national leader advancing equity by addressing the barriers to good health, and its partner the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, will use 15 years of MetroHealth data to develop a case study and replication guide highlighting MetroHealth’s unique health equity model.

This model includes a leadership profile on taking courageous action, how to weigh risk against doing the right thing, how to engage community stakeholders, interventions tested and piloted, business benefits and the investment case, plus the resulting community impact and strategies that have proven effective to accelerate health and equity in Cleveland. 

MetroHealth and CHC plan to release the case study and roadmap in early 2023.

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