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fairview hospital makes some room with $83m expansion in west park

Fairview Hospital's emergency services have gotten some much-needed room to breathe thanks to the opening of an $83-million emergency department and intensive care unit. 

The two-story, 155,000-square-foot expansion in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood debuted during a June 6 ribbon-cutting ceremony, with hospital officials expecting the emergency department to admit its first patients today (June 13). The new ICU is scheduled to open June 20.

The addition was constructed in front of the 504-bed hospital to offer improved access to emergency and critical care services, says Fairview president Jan Murphy. The expansion includes a 55-bed emergency department with a separate 16-room pediatric emergency space, two Level II trauma rooms, and an expanded ICU with 38 private patient rooms.

The undertaking dramatically enlarges the cramped quarters that sometimes had sick patients waiting in the hallway at the previous facility, Murphy notes. The Cleveland Clinic-affiliated hospital, which treats a significant number of patients from Lorain County, now has separate X-ray, CAT scan, lab and EKG facilities to help the emergency department speed diagnosis and treatment.

"The overall flow is conducive to faster, more efficient access," says Murphy.

The hospital president expects the new facility to handle up to 100,000 patients a year, a leap from the 76,000 visits the emergency department tallied in 2012. More room for patients and staff along with brighter lighting will lend to a more positive healing environment, she believes.

"We're thrilled to be doing this in a beautiful space," Murphy says.

SOURCE: Jan Murphy
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

united way, riders gearing up for charitable cleveland-to-akron bike tour

Northeast Ohio cyclists better gear up, because two local chapters of the United Way are counting on them to take in the local scenery for a good cause.

United Way of Greater Cleveland and United Way of Summit County are partnering to host the third annual RideUNITED bicycle tour June 23. The charities are expecting about 700 cyclists to travel either the Towpath Trail or city streets for this one-day, Cleveland-to-Akron-and-back event.

A variety of route distances have been implemented to accommodate all cyclists, with options ranging from a 12-mile jaunt for novices up to a 100-mile century ride for experts, says Michelle Carver, special events manager for the Cleveland chapter of United Way. All routes are round-trip except the 40-mile ride, which ends at the University of Akron.

The tour is expected to raise up to $80,000 to advance United Way programming in the areas of education, income and health. Last year, more than 500 cyclists participated in RideUNITED, raising more than $54,000.

This year's ride will take participants on a bike-friendly course past such Cleveland landmarks as the Rock Hall and the newly renamed FirstEnergy Stadium. Towpath riders, meanwhile, will get to enjoy the bucolic splendor of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Those who don't want to ride can still volunteer at rest stops along the way, notes Carver. Snacks, first aid and bike maintenance/repair will be provided to cyclists at Steelyard Commons, Thornburg Station, Boston Store and the Indian Mound/Botzum Trailhead.

"The idea was to bring the region together," Carver says of the bike tour. "We're inviting everyone to participate."

SOURCE: Michelle Carver
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

pop warner takes the field for northeast ohio youth

The proverb "It takes a village to raise a child"  has been transferred to the gridiron by Northeast Ohio Pop Warner, an organization inviting the region's children to participate either as football players or cheerleaders.

Kids aged 5-12 can play football, while the age range for cheerleaders is 5-13. The nonprofit is hosting two free preseason football and cheerleading training camps this month for the underprivileged children the program services. The local chapter of Pop Warner is an extension of a century-old youth football organization with over 350,000 kids taking part worldwide.

Mark Wilson is chapter president and coach of the 8- and 9-year-old football team. For its first year of programming, Wilson hopes to have between 100 and 200 children involved between football and cheerleading. The summer will be spent practicing and training, with an 8-game season starting in September.

"The feedback has been great so far," says Wilson. "I've met parents who said they've never experienced anything like this."

The local team will be named the Ohio Village Wildcats. The program is mostly aimed at inner-city Cleveland youth, but young athletes from all over the region are invited to try out. Pop Warner is designed to be an outlet for positive experiences both on and off the field. Along with football, the group hosts picnics and other family-friendly outings. It is also the only national youth sports organization that requires scholastic aptitude to participate.

The local team's name is no accident, either, Wilson notes.

"The mission is about keeping families together, not just showing up to do sports and go home," he says. "We're trying to make a stronger community, period."

SOURCE: Mark Wilson
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

brain gain group, bar association link up for cleveland pep rally

The Brain Gain Cleveland Project (BGCP) has teamed up with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association to stage a lunchtime pep rally for the city they love.

The rally will be hosted by the legal organization and serve as its annual meeting, just with a far more diverse crowd than usual, says Debra Mayers Hollander, deputy director of scouting for BGCP.

Hollander is expecting 1,000 guests to make it to the floor of Quicken Loans Arena for the June 28 event. Among the more famous participants scheduled to appear are Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and Senator Sherrod Brown. BGCP members the Cleveland Orchestra and Positively Cleveland will be among the institutions on hand. The event also will include live music, videos about Cleveland, and food from local eateries.

Rally attendees can fill out a registration form online or purchase tickets by calling the bar association at 216-696-3525. Those who miss the daytime event can make up for it that night with a BGCP music and networking get-together at The Tavern Company in Cleveland Heights.

"It's going to feel inspirational," Hollander says. "Everybody coming together in the heart of downtown Cleveland to support one another."

BGCP is a nonprofit advocacy group founded by bar association members to grow the city through the creativity and energy of its citizens. The grassroots effort is led by Jon Leiken, a Jones Day partner and bar association president-elect. BGCP's website launched in 2012 and has attracted about 350 “scouts," a term referring to its members.  

"We hope [the rally] encourages people to join us and become a scout," says Hollander.

SOURCE: Debra Mayers Hollander
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

'courage fund' created to help cleveland kidnap survivors

The brave escape of three women held captive in a Cleveland home has garnered a philanthropic response from local political and business entities.

The Cleveland Courage Fund was established by Cleveland City Council members Brian Cummins, Matt Zone and Dona Brady to benefit kidnap victims Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Berry's daughter. The funds were set up at the Cleveland Foundation and Key Bank two days after the release of the survivors, and have raised $650,000 to date. The total includes a $50,000 gift from the Cleveland Foundation and a $10,000 donation from Key Bank.

Money can be donated through the foundation's website or at KeyBank branches throughout Northeast Ohio, says Tom Stevens, the bank's vice chair and chief administrative officer. Prospective donors also can mail funds to the Cleveland Courage Fund care of the Cleveland Foundation, 1422 Euclid Ave., Suite 1300, Cleveland, Ohio, 44115.

KeyBank is providing pro bono financial council to the affected women and their families."We hope that through the generosity of the public, we can help these women get the resources they need," Stevens says. "We are delighted to serve as advisors to help ensure that Gina, Michelle and Amanda are able to use the money for their well-being."

Since its inception, the fund has received contributions from all 50 states as well as overseas. Groups including Jones Day, which is providing free legal council to the women, and The Centers for Families and Children are working to get every penny of the donated dollars into the right hands.

"People have been very generous with their contributions," says Stevens.

SOURCE: Tom Stevens
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

black achievement the topic of foundation center's first 'rising tide' event

When every sector of a populace thrives, so does the community as a whole. The local chapter of a national philanthropic organization plans to shine a light on this and other issues during a series of programs in 2013.

Philanthropic support of black male achievement will be the subject of the Foundation Center's first Rising Tide program on May 22, says director Cindy Bailie. Nearly every major indicator of economic, social and physical well-being shows that black men and boys in the U.S. do not have access to the structural foundation and opportunities needed to succeed. However, a flood of philanthropic support and social innovation is addressing these challenges head on.

"There's work happening locally aimed at black men of all ages," says Bailie. "This is our chance to change the situation."

The program will consist of three speakers and a panel discussion. The center has also launched a website to spotlight the topic. Connecting people to those working on the problem is only part of the plan.

"We want people to leave inspired," says Bailie. "This is a call to action."

The New York-headquartered Foundation Center is a source of information on U.S. grantmakers. Locally, the organization acts as a library/learning center for those seeking knowledge about the nonprofit sector.

The black achievement program is the first of a planned series of quarterly events "showcasing new ways of solving old problems," says Bailie. Future events could touch on such topics as the impact of arts and culture on the community.

"These [programs] aren't just conversation-starters," Bailie says. "What will you do to keep the conversation going?"

SOURCE: Cindy Bailie
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

produce perks improve fresh food access for needy county residents

Cuyahoga County residents needing food assistance now have some healthy alternatives thanks to a new program developed by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition.

Twenty farmers markets and two farm stands throughout the county are partaking in the “Double Value Produce Perks” initiative, which offers incentive dollars to customers utilizing the Ohio Direction Card. Produce Perks are tokens given to customers at participating farmers markets who use the card to purchase food. Customers swipe their cards at a central terminal, with the market providing tokens for the transaction in addition to Produce Perks that can be spent on fruits and vegetables. The incentive is a dollar-for-dollar match to every dollar spent (up to $10) using an Ohio Direction Card at the market.

The project addresses healthy food gaps in the region, says Erika Meschkat, program coordinator for community development at Ohio State University Extension-Cuyahoga County, one of the entities making up the local food policy coalition. In creating the program, the coalition has partnered with several Greater Cleveland philanthropies as well as Wholesome Wave, a national nonprofit focusing on food access in underserved communities.

"Some people don't feel comfortable using their Ohio Direction Card at a farmers market, or there's a perceived cost barrier," says Meschkat. "The program incentivizes them to have a good experience."

The impact of Produce Perks has grown since its inception in 2010. Last year, 16 farmers markets contributed to over $27,000 in Ohio Direction Card sales with over $18,000 in incentives redeemed to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

"We want 2013 to be even bigger," Meschkat says.

SOURCE: Erika Meschkat
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

school crisis program gets funding boost from supporting foundations

Every tragedy carries its own story, believes Diane Snyder-Cowan, director of the Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Bereavement Center. If that's the case, children in particular may need help in translating those stories into something they can understand.

Thanks to funding the hospice recently received for its school crisis response programs, deciphering scary or sad incidents will continue to be a part of its mission. Earlier this month, the hospice was gifted grants from The Ridgecliff Foundation ($25,000) and The Pentair Foundation ($5,000). The money will assist staff development that engenders the nonprofit's relationship with area schools when death-related crises occur. Both foundations have provided the program annual support since 2007.

"Our grief counselors help meet the unique circumstances" of tragedy, says Snyder-Cowan. Counselors provide on-site support for such incidents as suicides, shootings, accidental deaths, unexpected sudden deaths, and anticipated deaths due to serious illness. Each response is carefully planned in coordination with the school's staff.

The resource is particularly needed in light of recent tragedies in Boston and Newtown, notes the program director. The funding will allow employment of a liaison to assist schools in their crisis planning. It will also pay for "crisis kits" filled with books, arts and crafts, and other materials to help children and teens develop a normalized view of the grieving process.

Snyder-Cowan views the program as an extra layer of encouragement to go along with in-school grief counselors.

"Everyone should have this kind of support," she says. "We're grateful to our foundations for supporting this mission."

SOURCE: Diane Snyder Cowan
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

providence house's new wellness nursery to take in kids with chaotic home lives

Providence House wants to take some of the strain off local hospitals dealing with non-medical family issues. The solution, believe crisis nursery officials, is a forthcoming facility that will care for children whose households are dealing with emergencies that doctors cannot touch.

It's true that Elisabeth's House -- The Prentiss Wellness Nursery will take in kids with minor medical needs, notes executive Providence House director Natalie Leek-Nelson. But those children might come from such chaotic home situations that even their manageable conditions could blow up into something worse.

"These kids don't have the medical care at home to sustain them, and insurance won't pay for their hospital stays," says Leek-Nelson. A typical wellness nursery client would be a child with diabetes who is not getting the proper insulin treatments living with a drug-addicted or homeless parent.

The model also will offer family support and crisis intervention services for children with family stability concerns. In practice, the operation will allow hospitals to focus on the most serious cases, as children who could otherwise be discharged can now leave the hospitals and be cared for at the wellness nursery. Elisabeth's House is expected to serve newborns to children up to the age of 10.

The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation gave $1 million to Providence House to create the wellness nursery and aid the agency's ongoing campus expansion. The nursery, scheduled to open in September, will be located across the street from the newly expanded "Leo's House" on the Providence House campus at W. 32nd Street.  

SOURCE: Natalie Leek-Nelson
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

greening of cleveland's building sector gets help from grant

A nonprofit seeking to create environmentally sound, high-performance building districts in Cleveland recently got a hand with its city-greening mission.

The Cleveland 2030 District, a group that would like downtown edifices to consume less energy and water and produce less greenhouse gases, received a $175,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation, funding that will go in part to the salary of the organization's first executive director as well as additional staff support.

The new executive director is Jon Reidy, who has been with the group of architects and engineers since 2011. The bulk of the grant will allow the group to intensify efforts put forth by the national Architecture 2030 project, which aims to reduce climate-changing emissions from the global building sector.

"We're creating a demand downtown for energy efficient projects in the interest of business development," says Reidy, a 15-year veteran of the architecture industry.

The Cleveland group is an offshoot of Mayor Frank Jackson’s Sustainability 2019 project, an effort to transform the city’s economy by "building a green city on a blue lake."

Cleveland 2030 works with owners, managers and developers within the downtown district to expand the number of buildings participating in the project. Five property owners controlling approximately 3.5 million square feet of Cleveland's brick and mortar are signed up so far.

Reidy hopes more area building owners share the project's vision of a future Cleveland where energy efficiency and a cleaner environment are the norm.

"Sustainability can be the foundation for rebuilding our economy," he says.

SOURCE: Jon Reidy
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

young audiences program teaches bullying prevention through the arts

Bullying prevention is a hot topic in U.S. schools. Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio is partnering with Cleveland educators and creative types to curtail such unkind behavior through the arts.

The arts education organization, which promotes innovative arts-infused learning for local children and teenagers, has created a series of anti-bullying and healthy living programs designed to empower students and create a kinder classroom community. About 20 area artists lent their imaginative expertise to upcoming programs that will use literature, dance and film to help students and teachers learn strategies to recognize and prevent bullying.

"Bullying can effect a school's entire culture," says Jennifer Abelson, director of marketing at Young Audiences. "Art is a way of creating a more empathetic environment."

A program from singer, songwriter and storyteller Susan Weber, for example, uses folk tales from diverse cultures to study characters' responses when confronted with unfriendly words and actions. Discussing bullying through stories will allow the program's elementary school-aged audience to grapple with their feelings from a safe place, notes Abelson.

"The idea is to get them young," she says. "Teaching tolerance and empathy is something that can reflect throughout their entire lives."

A program for high school students, meanwhile, uses humor and live demonstrations to share the stories of " real-life action heroes" who overcame obstacles to star on the silver screen. The brainchild of Akron-born fight director John Davis aims to help students break through self-doubt and achieve greatness.

"Soft skills" like confidence and self-esteem can create stronger, more tolerant communities, stopping bullying before it even begins, says Abelson.  

SOURCE: Jennifer Abelson
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

orchestra gift highlights record-setting granting round for cleveland foundation

With a record-setting recent round of grants, The Cleveland Foundation is ensuring, among other things, that a well-loved local institution will continue to make beautiful music.

Last week, the foundation's board of directors approved a best ever $26.6 million in grants for the first quarter of 2013. The funding included a $10 million grant to the Cleveland Orchestra in support of operation and programming efforts as well as the organization's larger initiative to attract a broader audience. Besides the orchestra grant, additional monies totaling nearly $10 million will bolster core neighborhood and youth initiatives.

The orchestra funding is the largest single grant given to an arts organization in the foundation’s 99-year history, notes executive vice president  Bob Eckardt. A portion of the grant stands as a leadership gift to help fund the ensemble's “Sound for the Centennial" strategic campaign, culminating with a century celebration in 2018.

"The orchestra is an important part of Cleveland's brand," says Eckardt.

Another grant recipient is Neighborhood Progress, Inc., which garnered $5 million in support of its strategic plan to forge a new community development network for Cleveland’s underserved neighborhoods.  

Overall, Cleveland Foundation beat its previous grant-giving record of $21.6 million set in the third quarter of 2012. The large orchestra grant helped boost this number, but the nation's slow economic recovery has also grown the foundation's capacity, says Eckardt.

The organization's VP hopes this winter's big gain is just the start of a year that at the very least matches 2012's $90 million in total grants.

"We'll be in that neighborhood again," Eckardt says.

SOURCE: Bob Eckardt
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

market fair a day to teach clevelanders how to make their gardens grow

A one-day crash course in urban gardening is coming to Cleveland later this month thanks to Fresh Fork Market.

The free-to-the-public event will feature a full day of classes and workshops taught by area farmers, with detailed demonstrations on maintenance, harvesting and anything else participants need to know to make their gardens grow. The April 27 fair will be held at Urban Community School in Cleveland.

Connecting people to local foods is just one goal of the day-long event, notes market founder Trevor Clatterbuck. Bringing folks back to good eating in general is part of the mission, too, he maintains.

"We want to show people how their food is produced, where it comes from and the expertise it takes to grow it," says Clatterbuck, a West Virginia native who came to Cleveland in 2004 as a freshman at Case Western Reserve University.

Along with hands-on gardening advice, vendors selling seeds and other supplies will be on hand. While participants learn how to build their urban gardens, kid-friendly activities will keep the little ones busy.  

Fresh Fork Market provides farm-fresh foods to Cleveland-area customers, working with 108 farms within a 75-mile radius of Cleveland. Its tasty wares include organic and/or sustainable fruits and vegetables, pasture raised meat products, farmstead cheeses, and a variety of baked goods.

Clatterbuck views the fair as a way of giving back to the community. What better way to do that than by teaching Clevelanders how to grow their own healthy eats?

"It's a skill they will be able to appreciate," says Clatterbuck.

SOURCE: Trevor Clatterbuck
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

clc 'boot camp' to take hard look at cleveland poverty

Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC) director of engagement Earl Pike can't turn around in downtown Cleveland without seeing a crane or some other piece of construction equipment erecting a new building.

There's certainly good work happening locally, but there's also one critical question that Pike wants answered: With all the development in our region, who is being left behind, and what can we do to ensure that "all boats rise"?

This complex query will be explored through "Making Ends Meet," a series of intensive one-day "civic engagement boot camps" hosted by CLC and Ideastream. The programs, which run from April 22 to May 29, are not "easy" experiences, where participants sit in a classroom and listen to speakers, says Pike.

Instead, the boot camps live up to their name, putting attendees in small groups where they will intimately address key aspects of poverty and economic vulnerability in the region. For example, a planned housing-related boot camp includes a visit to eviction court and a trip to a housing project that supports disabled, homeless individuals.

"There is a hunger out there for an experience that is deeper and tougher than people are used to," Pike says. "We can't just be sitting in a room."

A more profound level of engagement with Cleveland's problems is more likely to create a problem-solving "action group" for further activity, the CLC director maintains. In addition, Ideastream will gather video content from each of the program days to create a documentary on Cleveland's economic vulnerability.

"Cleveland's poverty conversation has taken a back seat," says Pike. "We want to rekindle that conversation."

SOURCE: Earl Pike
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

future perfect: program to look at the exciting possibilities for university circle

University Circle already holds claim as Cleveland's premier medical, cultural and educational district. But what does the future hold for the rich, square-mile enclave and the neighborhoods around it?

"Building the Circle 2035: Height, Density and Social Equity" will attempt to answer that question during a free panel discussion on April 10 in the Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium. The program is part of the Circle Neighbors lecture series sponsored by the art museum's Womens Council in collaboration with the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Women's Committee of The Cleveland Orchestra, and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

University Circle is an ever-active neighborhood of "arts, ed and med," says Circle Neighbors co-chair Sabrina Inkley. With development on the rise, the district just four miles east of downtown Cleveland has become an anchor for a city that certainly needs one.

"As Clevelanders we have this inferiority complex," says Inkley. "University Circle is the one of the most unique one-square-mile areas in the nation."

The panel talk, moderated by Plain Dealer architecture critic Steven Litt, will peer two decades into the future to imagine what University Circle might look like, and how the district's rising wealth could benefit struggling surrounding neighborhoods. Panelists will include Chris Ronayne of UCI Inc, developer Ari Maron of MRN Ltd. and India Pierce Lee of the Cleveland Foundation.

Inkley doesn't have all the answers, but she knows University Circle is an enormous linchpin for Cleveland's economic future. New rental apartments and various institutions constructing new facilities are just two examples of the growth taking place.

"It's just very exciting," Inkley says. "There is something for everyone here."

SOURCE: Sabrina Inkley
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
89 Health + Wellness Articles | Page: | Show All
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