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Medical Capital : For Good

7 Medical Capital Articles | Page:

endowment fund to boost midtown group's good works

The two square miles of real estate between downtown Cleveland and University Circle are bursting with development. A local nonprofit has established a fund to ensure that work continues to flourish.

On June 20, economic development corporation MidTown Cleveland, Inc. announced the creation of the MidTown Cleveland, Inc. Endowment Fund at the Cleveland Foundation. The fund, under the foundation's guidance, proposes to build a sustainable revenue source to secure continued activity in the burgeoning district. This will include promotion of the health-tech corridor, a three-mile expanse of hospitals, business incubators, educational institutions and high-tech companies situated within MidTown.

The growing tech corridor isn't the only project the fund will support, notes MidTown chairman John Melchiorre. The group plans to leave other "footprints" on the community as well, be they demolishing old buildings, planting flowers along Euclid Avenue or helping transform distressed properties into job-creating enterprises.

"The Cleveland Foundation has been a leading supporter of the revitalization of Midtown, so this is just the latest way our two organizations have joined forces for the betterment of that neighborhood," said Kaye Ridolfi, senior vice president of advancement at the Cleveland Foundation.

Founded by Cleveland businessman Mort Mandel and others some 30 years ago, MidTown Cleveland has helped develop the area into a business district home to 600 companies and 18,000 employees. Executive director Jim Haviland views MidTown as part of the city's renaissance, and believes the fund will sustain the region for decades to come.

"It helps us to continue the role we play" within the neighborhood, says Haviland.

SOURCES: John Melchiorre, Jim Haviland, Kaye Ridolfi
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

clevelander's documentary offers real-life tales of rust belt revitalization

For some, the term "Rust Belt" conjures unpleasant images of empty factories, foreclosed homes and unhappy people wandering cracked streets, wondering when times will get better. But what's really happening in some of the Midwest's major cities, and how different is it from the way these cities are often depicted?

Jack Storey thinks he has an answer. The impassioned city advocate has created a documentary chronicling what he believes is a more accurate representation of resilient cities working on reinventing themselves.

"Red, White & Blueprints" is an examination of the strides being taken by Cleveland, St. Louis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Youngstown, highlighting the most innovative initiatives, individuals and ideas coming out of these cities.

"It's a positive movie about the Rust Belt, which nobody is really doing," says Storey, 30. "We're showcasing another side of these cities."

Storey, founder of the grassroots community development organization Saving Cities, spent two weeks in the summer of 2011 traveling and taking footage with friend Rick Stockburger. He met steelworkers and autoworkers, entrepreneurs and politicians, all with their own ideas on how to boost their respective homes. Locally, he interviewed figures including Gina Prodan from Unmiserable Cleveland and Katie O'Keefe, better known as "the pink-haired tattoo girl."

Storey, of Collinwood, learned just how tough Midwesterners are. More surprising was how deeply the people he met cared about their city's livelihood. "It was the most educational experience of my life," he says.

"Red, White & Blueprints" debuted this week at Cleveland International Film Festival. (Screens tonight at 6:30 p.m. on stand-by.) Storey hopes the film gives viewers a truer vision of what it means to live in Cleveland and other less heralded parts of the country.
SOURCE: Jack Storey
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

case researchers discover gene that stops cancer cell proliferation

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers have made a groundbreaking discovery that could stop the proliferation of cancer cells in patients without the need for toxic chemotherapy.

The researchers discovered a mutant form of the gene Chk1. When expressed in cancer cells, it halted their proliferation and killed them. The finding that artificially activating Chk1 alone is enough to kill cancer cells is unprecedented.

"We have identified a new direction for cancer therapy... leading us to a reduction in toxicity in cancer therapy, compared with chemotherapy or radiation therapy," said Dr. Youwei Zhang, Assistant Professor with the Department of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine and a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, in a release. "With this discovery, scientists could stop the proliferation of cancer cells, allowing physicians time to fix cells and genetic errors."

If the researchers' strategy pans out, then cancer patients could potentially be treated by activating Chk1 in cancer cells, rather than using chemotherapy.

Future research by Dr. Zhang and his team will focus on approaches to artificially activating Chk1 in cancer cells.

Source: CWRU School of Medicine
Writer: Lee Chilcote

csu neomed partnership awarded $500k grant to support medical education

A partnership between Cleveland State University and the Northeast Ohio Medical University hopes to reach students as early as middle school and inspire them to consider a career in medicine.

Now, a recently awarded $500,000 grant from the Mt. Sinai Foundation will help to support a crucial piece of this program -- a mentoring program to ensure the success of students being trained as primary care physicians.

The three-year grant will focus on linking students with educators, clinicians and community champions in the neighborhoods where the students will be placed. The new urban-focused medical school, which will begin enrolling its first students in fall of 2013, aims to place students in neighborhoods throughout Cleveland.

Each year, up to 35 qualified NEOMED students will be eligible for full tuition scholarships if they agree to work in Cleveland for five years after receiving their medical degrees. One of the main purposes of the program is to train primary care physicians to serve in urban areas. Many city neighborhoods are currently underserved, and demand is expected to increase in coming years.

Source: Cleveland State University
Writer: Lee Chilcote

midtown cleveland celebrates the reinvention of its thriving neighborhood

Technology, health care, food, and rock and roll: These are just a few of the industries flourishing in the eclectic Midtown neighborhood, its leaders told a sold out crowd at the Midtown Cleveland Inc. annual meeting at the InterContinental Hotel.

Key accomplishments within the past year include a successful lawsuit that stopped the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) from closing Innerbelt ramps until a study has been completed; breaking ground on several new projects within the Health-Tech Corridor; securing a commitment for a new Third District police headquarters on Chester Avenue; facilitating the redevelopment of the historic Agora Theatre; and completing a new plan to transform the East 55th and Euclid intersection into a more vibrant downtown for the neighborhood.

"We are succeeding in reinventing MidTown Cleveland," said Director Jim Haviland.

"A healthy urban core helps all boats to rise, and MidTown is an example," said Len Komoroski, President of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena, during a keynote address that touted the Cavs' investment in Cleveland. Komoroski said the Cavs had spent millions renovating Quicken Loans Arena into a "dynamic urban environment" that attracted people to visit downtown.

Komoroski shrugged off concerns that the new Horseshoe Casino would be a self-contained facility whose visitors would not spend money elsewhere in Cleveland. "This is a decidedly knit-into-the-urban-environment casino," he said. As an example of the spillover benefits of a casino that Komoroski claimed is "underserved from a food and beverage perspective," he cited the fact that Michael Symon recently tweeted about a record night at Lola on East 4th.

Source: Jim Haviland, Len Komoroski
Writer: Lee Chilcote

13-year-old brain cancer survivor paints gratitude guitar for guitarmania

Whereas some kids bond with their dads over football or baseball, Jacob Friedman and his dad have always bonded over oldies music stars like Petula Clark and Dean Martin and old movies starring Tim Conway.

Five years ago, Friedman suddenly had blurry vision and he couldn't get out of bed. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The nine-year-old listened to Clark's "Downtown" to comfort him as he traveled from his home in Parma to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in University Circle.

By a stroke of luck, Friedman later ran into Petula Clark while vacationing with his family at Disney World during a trip that was sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. He asked for her autograph and they talked for over an hour. Clark was so taken with the young boy's story that she stayed in contact with him.

Figuring that he had nothing to lose, Friedman also emailed Tim Conway through his website. They soon struck up a relationship that continues to this day. Clark, Conway and some of Friedman's other film and music heroes have encouraged him to stay hopeful about his recovery and pursue his dream of becoming an artist.

"It's really meant a lot to me to have them a part of my life," says Friedman.

Now, Friedman has achieved another one of his longtime dreams. The 13-year-old has painted a "gratitude guitar" as part of Guitarmania, an event that places large, colorfully painted guitars around Cleveland to benefit United Way and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's education programs. The guitar features a rendering of Petula Clark and Tim Conway, and will soon be revealed to them as a surprise.

"Jacob thought it would be a great opportunity to say thank you in a really big way," says Steve Friedman, Jacob's father. "He wanted it to be a surprise."

The front of the guitar contains the words "laughter and music are the best medicine" and the guitar also features an image of Cleveland's skyline.

The Guitarmania kickoff takes place on Friday, May 25th at the Rock Hall.

Source: Jacob Friedman, Steve Friedman
Writer: Lee Chilcote

medical supplies nonprofit medwish in running for $100k prize

Entrepreneurial ventures are often launched out of garages, spare bedrooms and basements. Yet MedWish International, a nonprofit organization that repurposes medical supplies discarded by the healthcare industry for humanitarian aid to developing countries, is probably one of the few that has ever been launched out of a suitcase.

When Cleveland doctor Lee Ponsky visited Nigeria in 1991 and saw the vast level of healthcare need that exists there, he wanted to help in some way. He found a way to do that by carrying suitcases full of medical supplies to Nigeria that would otherwise end up in the landfill. He convinced his friends to do the same.

Ponsky's efforts were the beginning of MedWish International, a nonprofit that now delivers more than 550 tons of medical supplies each year to 97 countries. It operates out of a 40,000-square-foot warehouse that is donated by the Cleveland Clinic. While most of MedWish's supplies are sent in 40-foot shipping containers these days, some are still carried the old-fashioned way -- in suitcases.

"Dr. Ponsky saw the need in Nigeria as well as the waste going into our landfills and thought, 'There must be a way to bridge the gap between our surplus and their scarcity,'" explains Matthew Fieldman, Director of Development for MedWish International. "So he created an organization that is saving the environment in Northeast Ohio as well as helping an international cause."

MedWish was recently selected as one of five organizations competing for $100,000 in the Toshiba Tech Makeover challenge. Vote by clicking here.

Source: Matthew Fieldman
Writer: Lee Chilcote
7 Medical Capital Articles | Page:
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