Healing the community Featured

7:00pm EDT November 25, 2008

At the heart of the eight hospitals thatmake up Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals, there are 12,817 employees whoare committed to the organization’s mission of placing patients first.

Individuals who seek a career in healthcare tend to do so because they have adesire to help people. That attitude doesnot disappear when a nurse, technician ordoctor leaves the workplace.

As nonprofit entities, Cleveland ClinicRegional Hospitals reinvest every dollar generated back into community outreach programs, research, equipment and other initiatives. In 2007, they contributed more than$1.5 million toward community programs,such as the United Way, Gift of Life andHarvest for Hunger. The hospitals also provided more than $50.5 million in charity care.

The Cleveland Clinic’s regional hospitalsoffer many programs that support cancerpatients and their families. However, aunique program at Fairview Hospital goesbeyond emotional and physical support. TheCaring Continues Fund helps patients pay for some necessities while they undergotreatment.

In partnership with the Cleveland Clinic,the March of Dimes, and other charitablegroups and individuals, Huron Hospital hasdeveloped a program called Stork’s Nest —a free prenatal health education programfor expecting parents. Stork’s Nest offersmonthly seminars focused on a topic related to pregnancy, early delivery, motherhood or child care. While the expectingmothers listen to a volunteer health professional, their partners hear another talk onthat same subject from a male perspective.

When they attend lectures, participantsearn “shopping points” that can be tradedin for donated baby clothes and otheritems.

It may be natural for hospital staff members to offer their time and talents in thearena of health care, but employees of theCleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals putservice above self by volunteering in othercapacities, as well. Employees serve asscout leaders, soup kitchen cooks, organizers of community fund-raisers, Rotary Clubmembers, bake-sale bakers and tutors.

“Our employees come together for thecommon good of our community,” saysFred DeGrandis, president and CEO ofCleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals. “Sincethey know that their efforts can make a difference in the lives of others, they quietlygo about doing what it takes to make a positive impact. Armed with a strong conviction that everyone should give back to thecommunity, our volunteers are heroes whomake the community a better place.”

HOW TO REACH: Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals, (216)448-0035 or www.clevelandclinic.org