Where There Is Light, There May Be Scientific Discovery

Where There Is Light, There May Be Scientific Discovery

Now South Florida residents, Paola and Chuck Mattera were both born and raised in Rhode Island, where their parents and grandparents instilled in them the importance of giving. 

“They taught us that generosity wasn’t only about granting money. It was about sharing your time, talent, energy and heart,” said Paola, who serves as president of the couple’s foundation, Where There Is Light.

“The name is faith-based,” she said, but it also conveys positivity and possibility. “We feel that where there’s light, there’s knowledge, truth, clarity, revitalization, hope and empowerment”.

Paola was educated at the University of Rhode Island and worked as a bacteriologist, gaining considerable experience in the isolation of global pathogens. Chuck has a PhD in chemistry and is CEO of Coherent, Corp., a global leader in materials, networking, and lasers. He also serves on the Cleveland Clinic Florida Regional Board.

“The world class care we have received at Cleveland Clinic was an impetus for us to connect our philanthropy with our scientific interests and our aspirations to make a global impact in the fields of infectious disease and immunobiology,” said Paola. “We also were drawn to the mission, the culture and the core values of the Cleveland Clinic because they resonated with our own.” 

In 2021, the Matteras learned of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Research & Innovation Center (the FRIC) and, specifically, the work of FRIC Scientific Director Michaela Gack, PhD. “Dr. Gack and her team are researching and developing broad spectrum antiviral therapeutics and novel vaccines with greater stability and efficacy,” shared Paola. “That really caught our attention.”

Through their foundation, the Matteras pledged $1 million to support Dr. Gack’s work. “We hope the gift will serve as a reminder to the entire team how well-regarded and valued they are. And very importantly, we hope that it will enable the FRIC to attract and retain top talent for cross-cutting initiatives. Our dream is that the FRIC will eventually be awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine, and we’re confident that it’s in the realm of possibilities.” 

Celebrating Cleveland Clinic Florida at Annual Ball

Celebrating Cleveland Clinic Florida at Annual Ball

Cleveland Clinic Florida’s loyal patrons will come together to celebrate the multi-specialty academic medical system on February 24, 2024, when the annual Cleveland Clinic Florida Ball takes place at The Breakers in Palm Beach. Chairing the black-tie benefit are longtime Cleveland Clinic supporters Sean and Beth Lang and Mike and Monica Maroone. The Grand Honorary Chairmen are Leo and Kathryn Vecellio and the Honorary Chairmen are Patrick and Milly Park.

“The annual Florida Ball is a time for us to salute Cleveland Clinic’s world-class care, the latest technology, the recruitment of prominent physicians and prestigious caregiver training programs,” said Mike Maroone, Florida Ball Co-Chairman and Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Board. “We thank our event chairmen, steadfast donors, board of directors and our outstanding leadership for underscoring our core mission of caring for life, researching for health and educating those who serve.”

The benefit begins with cocktails during the elegant welcome reception, followed by a decadent dinner with dancing and live entertainment by The Sultans.

“Cleveland Clinic’s annual Florida Ball raises funds for the expansion of medical services and programs for Cleveland Clinic patients in South Florida and beyond,” said Sean Lang, Florida Ball Co-Chairman and Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Weston Board. “The Florida region is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Along with my wife Beth and friends Monica and Mike Maroone, we look forward to toasting to Cleveland Clinic’s accomplishments on February 24.”

Cleveland Clinic benefactors and grateful patients, the Vecellio family, will receive the 2024 Sydell L. Miller Award, which was established in 2011 to honor those who have committed themselves to supporting Cleveland Clinic Florida’s mission of bringing world-class care to its patients.

Tickets to the Cleveland Clinic Florida Ball are $1,250 a person. For more information, please contact the Philanthropy Institute at 561.542.5672 or visit give.ccf.org/FLball.

Investing to Impact the Health of Our Communities

Investing to Impact the Health of Our Communities

Cleveland Clinic is committed to promoting access to healthcare and building a healthy community. The health system has invested in initiatives designed to assist underserved patients, as well as the broader population.

Community benefit, which Cleveland Clinic reports annually to the IRS, is one measure of the health system’s impact on the community. In 2022, it contributed $1.42 billion in community benefit for its operations in Ohio, Florida and Nevada.

Every three years, Cleveland Clinic performs a health needs assessment for the neighborhoods surrounding each of its 23 hospitals to identify their specific health-related needs. These reports provide valuable feedback on how the health system can holistically improve the overall health of its neighbors.

Through this work, key areas of need have been prioritized and resources have been committed to them. Cleveland Clinic also has teamed up with community leaders and organizations to expand this impact. The result is investment that goes beyond the federal community benefit reporting requirements.

“Cleveland Clinic is part of the social fabric of the communities we call home,” said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic, and holder of the Martin L. Mandel CEO Chair. “We recognize our patients and neighbors may have unmet needs. As a nonprofit, we are here to serve our global communities, and this commitment extends beyond the care we deliver within our walls.”

Infant and Maternal Health

  • In 2022, Cleveland Clinic – with the support of philanthropic funding – launched the Center for Infant and Maternal Health initiative to help reduce infant and maternal mortality in Cuyahoga, Lorain and Summit counties. The initiative brings together a wide range of specialty health services to support at-risk women during their pregnancy and through an infant’s first year of life.
  • Cleveland Clinic has continued to partner with First Year Cleveland, a coalition of elected officials and health leaders with a mission to mobilize the community through partnerships and a strategy to reduce infant deaths.
  • The health system offers CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting programs, which provide group medical appointments that support women during their pregnancy and into parenting.
  • Cleveland Clinic Akron General launched a program called TeamBirth, which is designed to improve outcomes for pregnant patients by focusing on communication and teamwork to enhance safety and quality of care.
  • Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital partners with Indian River County Healthy Start to offer a doula program, which has resulted in a reduction in preterm births and fewer babies born with low birth weight.

Housing and Neighborhood Improvement

  • Cleveland Clinic invested $52.5 million to contribute to the identification and removal of harmful sources of lead exposure from homes in the City of Cleveland. 
  • The health system invested $10 million to support the construction of an 82-unit mixed-income apartment building, the Aura at Innovation Square. Twenty-four units will be exclusively available to residents with lower income.
  • Cleveland Clinic renovated 12 community parks and planted more than 4,000 trees as part of the Cleveland Tree Plan.

Food Insecurity

  • Cleveland Clinic is committing $10.4 million over the next five years to implement several programs to combat food insecurity, including another teaching kitchen, food vouchers and grocery delivery, and new Nourish food pantries.
  • Collaborating with the City of Cleveland, Meijer, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation and Fairmount Properties on a $52.8 million development that will include a new 40,000-square-foot grocery market. The market’s location is designated a food desert by the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Community food distribution efforts, which included working with partners to deliver 3,000 Thanksgiving meals in 2022. Cleveland Clinic Weston participated in a community event that provided more than 300 families with fresh and nutritious food. The number of food pantries has grown with the addition of the second Cleveland Clinic Akron General location.

Access to Healthcare

  • Cleveland Clinic is a leading provider of Medicaid services in Ohio.
  • The health system spent more than $600 million in 2022 to cover care for 338,000 Medicaid patients, which include children, pregnant women, parents, seniors, individuals with disabilities and low-income adults.
  • In 2022, Cleveland Clinic provided financial assistance to more than 125,000 patients who were unable to pay their medical bills.
  • The health system continues to host health screening events across Northeast Ohio, Florida and Nevada, helping to identify conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and connect patients with primary care physicians.
  • Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas is enrolling patients into research studies to better understand aging, including geographic disparities and determinants of health that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia risk.


  • Cleveland Clinic is a founding member of OneTen, a coalition of large U.S. employers committed to removing barriers to train, hire and promote one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs that do not require a college degree, with opportunities for advancement. Since 2021, more than 2,000 Black caregivers have been hired and promoted within the health system.
  • Cleveland Clinic established the Howley ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program, a local high school and college program to increase diversity in healthcare, address opportunity gaps and reduce health disparities in the community. Fifty students enroll in the program each year, and five program graduates are employed by Cleveland Clinic.
  • More than 40 people have graduated from Cleveland Clinic’s caregiver apprenticeship program, which recently expanded to ophthalmology, epilepsy and sleep. Apprentices are paid as full-time caregivers as they work with a manager and receive education that leads to a credential or associate degree.
  • Cleveland Clinic Center for Community Health Workers employs 10 caregivers at seven locations in Northeast Ohio. Hired directly from the communities they serve, these caregivers collaborate with patients to identify and remove barriers to social and medical needs. This program is expected to double in size next year. 
  • For two years, Cleveland Clinic has partnered with University Hospitals of Cleveland to help local diverse suppliers grow their businesses and support economic inclusion through the Diversity Equity Inclusion Supplier Accelerator program.
  • Cleveland Clinic has one of the largest training programs for medical students after graduation—more than 19,000 physicians (residents and fellows) have trained at the organization. In the 2022-23 academic year, 31% of those trainees stayed in Ohio (17% employees and 14% continuing their training). Approximately 32% of current staff physicians in Ohio and Florida trained at Cleveland Clinic.
  • Cleveland Clinic Center for Youth and College Education offers 10 formal programs for K-12, college and adult learners. Since 2006, more than 1,300 high school and college students have participated in these education programs. Approximately 100 are current Cleveland Clinic caregivers.

Mental Health

  • The organization pledged $2.5 million toward the expansion of new residential treatment and recovery housing for the Hitchcock Center for Women in Cleveland.
  • Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland biannually host unused or expired drug collection efforts at 29 locations in Northeast Ohio to help address the opioid epidemic and reduce unintentional drug overdose deaths.
  • Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital Behavioral Health Center in Florida created a program, Discharge with Dignity, that provides homeless patients with clothes while they receive care — and a backpack full of essentials upon discharge. So far, more than 100 patients at the center have benefited from the program.
  • Cleveland Clinic is a host organization for the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Collaborative to help train Ohioans in MHFA with the goal of creating long-term mental wellbeing of residents.

“We have identified the areas of greatest need and are prioritizing our investment accordingly. The most prevalent issues, such as food insecurity, childhood hunger, infant and maternal health, and lead poisoning in local communities are also national and global issues,” said Vickie Johnson, Cleveland Clinic Chief Community Officer. “Tackling these issues will require teamwork, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with local institutions, government agencies, elected leaders and healthcare professionals to touch more lives.” 

In addition to its community benefit report, Cleveland Clinic publishes a triennial Economic and Fiscal Impact report which measures its impact on the economy. In 2019, the most recent year available, Cleveland Clinic directly and indirectly supported $34.55 billion of economic activity in the U.S. through its ongoing operations and construction activities. These activities generated $1.89 billion in state and local taxes and $3.5 billion in federal taxes.