COVID-19

COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to significantly change how we connected with our communities in 2021. The following information details how the Community Health team pivoted to care for our communities, and especially care for the most at-risk members of our region. The pandemic magnified health disparities and inequities for minority populations, and we acknowledged the need to address and alleviate the issues that were causing even more distress for them.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics Serve Local Communities

A Cleveland Clinic caregiver vaccinates a patient at the Langston Hughes Health and Education Center.

Vaccination is the most important public health measure we have to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In 2021, Cleveland Clinic coordinated a strategy for prioritizing and administering COVID-19 vaccines per CDC and state guidelines. A key focus of this process included ensuring that those who were at higher risk of infection and death from the virus – including Black, Hispanic and underserved communities – had access to the vaccine.

In Cleveland, part of our strategy included opening vaccination clinics at locations embedded and well-regarded within their communities. Cleveland Clinic opened 10 vaccination locations in Northeast Ohio in 2021, including a community-based vaccination clinic at the Langston Hughes Community Health & Education Center on March 8th, and a vaccination clinic at Lutheran Hospital on May 4th. Langston Hughes Community Health & Education Center is a gathering place for health and wellbeing in the Fairfax neighborhood, and Lutheran Hospital has been a fixture in the community for over 100 years, serving the needs of Downtown Cleveland and the surrounding neighborhoods of Ohio City, Tremont and Gordon Square. In 2021, Cleveland Clinic administered more than 350,000 doses of vaccine in Northeast Ohio.

Women's Health/Men's Health

Women's Health/Men's Health

Mammography Clinic at the Langston Hughes Community Health & Education Center

The Mammography Clinic provides breast exams, women’s health education and more. Breast Exams and mammogram screenings are usually covered under most insurance plans. Cleveland Clinic offers financial aid for the uninsured and underinsured. Interested individuals can complete a financial assistance application to determine financial responsibility. The Mammography Clinic is offered through a collaboration between Community Relations and Taussig Cancer Institute.

Interested individuals can schedule an appointment by calling 216.444.2626 and specifying they would like to schedule a mammogram at Langston Hughes Community Health & Education Center.

Maternal and Infant Health

Maternal and Infant Health

 A drawing of a woman holding a child.

Cleveland Clinic works internally and with regional partners, such as First Year Cleveland, Full Term First Birthday and others, to help us connect mothers to resources that can help address high rates of infant mortality. We continued working on improving birth outcomes and making progress on community goals in priority areas, which include Cuyahoga, Lorain and Summit Counties. We focus on reducing prematurity, expanding the practice of centering pregnancy, increasing awareness about safe sleep and breastfeeding, and addressing social determinants of health and health disparities. Recent highlights include:

  • Training more than 2,272 Cleveland Clinic caregivers on safe sleep
  • Answering 6,264 breastfeeding warm line calls to support breastfeeding families in 2021
  • Providing newborn well-being classes to 12,194 participants in 2021, which includes safe sleep, prenatal care, family and grandparent education, boot camps for dads and baby showers
  • Supporting 94 vulnerable expectant moms in 2021 with an OB navigator, whose role is to improve coordination of care for obstetrics patients before, during and after birth

The COVID-19 pandemic further underscored the critical impact of social determinants on maternal and infant health. To increase access to educational programming about healthy pregnancy and ways to minimize complications for populations most at risk, we continued and expanded offerings on virtual platforms.

Opioid Awareness Education

Opioid Awareness Education

We continued our efforts to reduce Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) in 2020 through advocacy, policy work and regional collaboration. Additionally, through our Opioid Education and Prevention Committee, passionate caregivers from across the Enterprise participate in community outreach programs designed to help prevent and reduce opioid and substance abuse. Some of our current efforts to address the opioid crisis include:

  • Reducing opioid prescribing by: determining procedural standards via opioid dashboards designed for data collection and sharing, standardizing opioid prescriptions for procedures and implementing numerous tools to ensure appropriate opioid prescribing and dosage.
  • Providing educational talks, distributing drug deactivation bags for safe prescription drug disposal at home and collecting unused opioid medications for safe disposal.
  • Establishing an Opioid Awareness Center to support caregivers and their families who may be suffering from OUD.
  • Participating in the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium, whose members work to: provide education to hospital employees, expand the use of treatments, share and implement evidence-based alternative pain management practices, promote policy changes and increase opioid prevention efforts.