The Impact of Your Gift
Everything starts with an idea.
It’s this spirit of innovation and invention that drives Cleveland Clinic employees, called caregivers, to imagine groundbreaking medical discoveries, superior patient services or influential population health programs.
Executing an idea, however, takes planning, determination − and funding.
Launched in 2018, the Caregiver Catalyst Grants were created to help our caregivers implement their best and brightest ideas and positively impact our patients and communities.
100% of your gift to the Caregiver Catalyst Grants will advance projects that expand patient support services, lay the groundwork for medical breakthroughs, and support community health and wellness programs.
How It Works
Twice a year, caregivers from all across Cleveland Clinic are invited to apply for a Caregiver Catalyst Grant. The next opportunities to apply are Aug. 15 – Sept. 26, 2022 and Feb. 13 - March 24, 2023. The grants range from $10,000 to $100,000.
Through a competitive process, these one-time grants are awarded to the project proposals that show the most promise for making an impact within one year. Caregivers must report on their progress and return any unused funds.
The number of grants awarded is limited only by the philanthropic support we receive from generous donors across the country.
Together, we can harness the power of philanthropy to spark the vision of our caregivers and help them take the bold steps forward that make a difference for our patients and their families.
July 2022 Grant Recipients
The Philanthropy Institute announces its sixth round of Caregiver Catalyst Grants, rewarding the innovation and initiative of the following 33 proposals from caregivers throughout Cleveland Clinic. These grants are made possible by the combined gifts of more than $1.8M from thousands of generous donors.
Caregiver Catalyst Grant Recipients
Akhil Anand, MD – Neurological Institute (Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital)
Idea: Create the first multidisciplinary alcohol-associated liver disease clinic in Ohio caring for patients with alcohol-associated liver disease and alcohol use disorder.
Sofya Asfaw, MD – Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: The professional schools associated with the Cleveland Clinic are proposing a Middle School Outreach and Enrichment Conference (MSOEC) whereby 40 local middle school students can visit the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus and spend a day with health professions students and faculty from its affiliated Medical, Dental and Nursing schools to gain first-hand experience of what life is like as a healthcare professional.
Gerard Banez, PhD – Children's Hospital and Pediatrics (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Launch a pilot program within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to provide coping strategies as preventative measures for reducing stress related physical and emotional health problems.
Carol Bennett, MSN, MBA – Nursing Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop and study the effects of an innovative protective shield for patients with a central line or wound dressing to protect against infectious agents in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Jaclyn Bjelac, MD – Children's Hospital and Pediatrics (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Partner with The Land of CAN, a company with the mission of “inspiring young people to embrace a CAN mindset by creating fun, accessible, world-class resources that promote wellness, empowerment and safety.” The Food Allergy Center of Excellence plans to connect patients with food allergies to The Land of CAN book featuring a personalized Cleveland Clinic Food Allergy Center foreword and cover.
Patrick Byrne, MD, MBA – Head & Neck Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Study whether applying an electrical stimulus to nerve grafts during a surgical procedure can cure or alleviate the effects of facial paralysis.
Jonathan Castro, MD, MS – Respiratory Institute (Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital)
Idea: Demonstrate the utility of the electroencephalogram (EEG) technology and implement training for a rapid, low-channel, wireless EEG program at Marymount's ICU and ED available 24/7.
David Escobar, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Build a rigidity assessment robot tailored for human use, and test our assessment methodology in six Parkinson ’s disease patients before and after deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy is administered to better identify DBS-induced changes.
Xiaoxi Feng, MD, MPH – Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Utilize video review as a surgical teaching tool to expanded opportunities to assess objectively, without time constraints of the operating room, or concern for prolonging anesthesia time for a patient.
Paul Ford, PhD – Center for Bioethics (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Bring together major Cleveland institutions, community leaders, and activists who infrequently work together to give an opportunity for us to share our experiences with the implementation of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training program in Glenville neighborhood that was co-created with community members.
Neetu Gupta, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Investigate the impact of B cell-specific Myo18A deficiency on IgA and gut health.
Sandra Hong, MD – Respiratory Institute (Strongsville Family Health Center)
Idea: Launch a peer support group for adolescents with food allergies. The group would offer education on healthy food choices and cooking demonstrations to help build confidence in safe, empowered living despite food allergies.
Angel Houston – Imaging Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Study the benefits of utilizing aromatherapy with patients undergoing Cardiac Magnetic Resonance exams as a holistic alternative for stress reduction during imaging.
Lara Jehi, MD, MHCDS – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Work in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Biorepository and the Heart, Vascular, & Thoracic Institute to study how bypassing the lungs during open-heart surgery can contribute to neurological complications.
Judy Jin, MD, FACS – Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Improve care for patients with primary hyperparthyroidism through tracking non-specific symptoms with a Fitbit to determine the cause of these symptoms and to make adjustments to increase overall quality of life.
Yu-Shang Lee, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a novel small peptide-based technology that can reduce scar tissue and promote nerve regeneration, thereby improving surgical success and patient outcomes for patients with peripheral nerve injury.
Feng Lin, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a more effective and economical complement inhibitor for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria patients who suffer other complement-mediated diseases.
Aileen Martinez, PharmD – Pharmacy Department (Cleveland Clinic Florida – Martin Health)
Idea: Create antimicrobial stewardship champions by offering Cleveland Clinic Martin Health (CCMH) pharmacists and infectious diseases providers self-guided, advanced antimicrobial stewardship training modules. This effort will amplify our objective of safe patient care and promote safe prescribing of antibiotics by clinicians for our patients.
Aaron Miller, PhD – Glickman Urology & Kidney Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a novel, non-antibiotic approach to eliminating infections of urologic implants that can result in pain or sepsis using nanoparticles to disrupt and inhibit growth of infection-causing biofilms.
Jessica Mullhall – Children's Hospital and Pediatrics (Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation)
Idea: Address food insecurity and establish a healthy foods program, One Fruit Forward, for children and young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism.
Anatoly Nikolaev, MD, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Florida – Weston Hospital)
Idea: Develop novel molecular targeting agents that enhance radiation sensitivities of p53 mutant high-risk cancer cell lines.
Kevin Pantalone, DO – Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute (Cleveland Clinic Twinsburg Family Health Center)
Idea: Study four antibodies which can be readily detected in patients with latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood. Assessing for these common markers of autoimmune diseases in Type 2 Diabetes patients that present to an endocrinology clinic, as well as those which are currently in a primary care setting, may allow us to better identify and characterize this subset of patients and to investigate whether a specific antibody marker, or multiple antibody markers, can predict the onset of insulin dependency.
Sonal Patil, MD, MSPH – Community Care (Cleveland Clinic Lyndhurst)
Idea: Provide Lakewood Family Health Center patients who have uncontrolled hypertension with blood pressure (BP) measurement education and home BP monitors, along with scheduling shared medical appointments for lifestyle and mindfulness education to improve hypertension control.
Sathyamangla Prasad, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a novel therapeutic approach to provide unique opportunities for treatment strategies for heart failure.
Rishi Puri, MD, PhD – Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a leadless pacing system that can provide physiologic cardiac pacing that will overcome many of the short comings of current pacemaker devices.
*Leadless LVOT Pacing was also identified as the winner of the 5th annual Hickey Innovation Impact Award through a combined application process with Cleveland Clinic Innovations. The streamlined application allowed caregivers to apply for two grant opportunities at once. Innovations works with the Hickey Family Foundation to steward their generous contributions into a $25,000 grant each year to fund innovative medical technology development.
Akshay Sharma, MD – Neurological Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Create a sustainable and reproducible educational curriculum to inspire students who have systematically lacked exposure to the medical profession, helping them find joy and excitement in learning about the art of neurosurgery and medicine.
Neha Solanki, MD – Respiratory Institute (Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital)
Idea: Determine whether legal assistance to improve indoor living conditions of patients with asthma improves the quality of asthma care compared to standard care without this intervention.
Swetha Sundar, MD – Neurological Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop an expandable, interlocking device component using principles of origami mathematics that can enter the disc space through a small opening but maximize contact with vertebral endplates.
Rochelle Thibodeau, MS – Rehabilitation & Sports Therapy (Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital)
Idea: Design a small bulletin board to be displayed in patients’ rooms that would provide therapists names, therapy plan of care, ambulation requirements and other important information relevant to patient care.
Juan Venegas, MD – Genomic Medicine Department (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Study whether certain patients have a predisposition of developing thyroid cancer and if they are more vulnerable to radiation so that caregivers can suggest preventative measures for this patient population.
Catherine Wilkins, MD – Ob/Gyn & Women's Health Institute (Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital)
Idea: Provide music to all patients admitted to Fairview and Hillcrest Hospitals for labor and delivery, including cesarean delivery, to improve the experience of childbirth.
Vivian Yu, MHSA – Community Care (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Launch an internship to develop the next generation of diverse healthcare professionals through direct exposure to careers in healthcare management in order to foster an interest in graduate school and future employment at the Cleveland Clinic.
Jodi Zalewski, RN, MSN, CPNP-AC – Children's Hospital and Pediatrics (Cleveland Clinic Administrative Campus)
Idea: Implement a remote patient monitoring application for families with infants with congenital heart disease who are at high risk of adverse events to increase quality of life.
January 2022 Grant Recipients
The Philanthropy Institute announces its fifth round of Caregiver Catalyst Grants, rewarding the innovation and initiative of the following 30 proposals from caregivers throughout Cleveland Clinic. These grants are made possible by the combined gifts of more than $1.6M from thousands of generous donors.
Caregiver Catalyst Grant Recipients
Huma Moulvi, MBA – Nursing Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Support families who lose loved ones by providing Child Life Specialists with more coping resources, like memory boxes and stuffed animals, to aid in the grieving process.
Nicole Berman, MSN – Care Coordination (Cleveland Clinic Akron General)
Idea: Deploy Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to meet with patients for a needs assessment to identify interventions, such as helping to access a patient assistance fund or providing blood pressure monitors, that will reduce future readmissions.
Karl West, MS – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Implement the use of a 3D augmented reality system to improve the use of imaging guidance during cryoablation to freeze and destroy solid cancerous tumors.
Jonathan Sears, MD – Cole Eye Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Create a novel intravenous medicine that only targets the liver to protect premature infants from developing blindness, cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease.
Lianne Piorkowski, LPCC – Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health (Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital)
Idea: Offer an educational clinic to families of children that struggle with functional constipation and fecal incontinence to reduce their stress surrounding toileting and improve their quality of life.
Prabhleen Chahal, MD – Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Become the first academic institute in the world to integrate Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence to enhance visualization of the gastrointestinal system to improve the quality and safety of colonoscopy.
Graham Schwarz, MD – Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Compare two technologies to determine which is more successful at detecting early signs of lymphedema in breast cancer patients so that treatment might be more successful and less invasive.
Swetha Sundar, MD – Neurological Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a low-cost simulator to train neurosurgical residents in durotomy repair, a common spine surgery complication and critical skill in neurosurgical training.
Anne Huml, MD – Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop an opt-out intervention for kidney transplant referral to improve equity, timely evaluations, ascertain key barriers for evaluation and measure patient and provider perspectives.
Ashley Everett, CTRS – Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation)
Idea: Collaborate with Refresh Collective, a nonprofit youth arts program, to offer positive leisure activities with the goals of restoring self-efficacy, building self-esteem, and increasing community involvement for kids who have experienced physical, mental and emotional traumas.
Ian Winter, MD – Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Create a first-of-its-kind quality improvement program that uses simulation to study medical errors in radiation treatments to develop solutions that could spare cancer patients from emotional and physical pain, and even death.
Camila De Carvalho Teixeira, MD – Anesthesiology Institute (Cleveland Clinic Florida – Weston)
Idea: Investigate how a novel neurological monitoring system could automate the process of diagnosing delirium in the hospital as early as possible to have better success in reversing it.
Laura Detti, MD – Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a technology to enhance egg maturation and fertilization for women who underwent ovarian tissue freezing for fertility preservation before beginning cancer treatments.
Saeid Mirzai, DO – Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop an accurate tool to measure sarcopenia – muscle loss – in heart failure patients to study how precise measurements can predict which patients will recover and how to build a targeted rehabilitation and diet program to stop muscle loss and improve cardiac recovery.
Swathi Appachi, MD – Head & Neck Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)<
Idea: Build a novel multidisciplinary center designed specifically to provide care to pediatric patients with voice disorders and collect data on treatment outcomes to help advance the field.
Casey Lawrence – Executive Administration (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Study how providing an amenity kit upon admission – a recommendation found in patient research – can improve patients’ perceptions of hospital sounds and their effect on sleep and healing, to ultimately improve the organization’s vital “Quiet at Night” scores.
Nathan Ogonek, PT, DPT – Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation)
Idea: Provide access to adaptive tricycles for underprivileged children who receive physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy to encourage continued strength training and exercise, and allow them to participate in a childhood activity.
Abigail Brown, MSN, MBA, ACNP – Medical Operations (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Integrate telemedicine capabilities into all four Cleveland Clinic Critical Care Transport (CCT) critical care ground ambulances in order to provide a higher level of care to patients during out of hospital transport.
Nathan Hart, PA-C – Community Care (Cleveland Clinic Business Operations Center)
Idea: Bring specialized evaluation and treatment modalities into patients’ homes to provide a safe, high-quality and cost-effective alternative to low-value emergency department admissions and disease-specific insurance penalties for the enterprise.
Garett LaSalle, MD – Anesthesiology Institute(Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital)
Idea: Develop a method to administer a new treatment methodology for Parkinson’s disease that combines multiple medicines at the same time and injects them directly into the brain.
Wayne Tsuang, MD – Respiratory Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Use geospatial mapping methods in lung transplant patients to investigate how the cumulative social and environmental determinants of health affect outcomes such as infection or survival.
Nicole Seagraves, RT-(R)(CT) – Imaging Institute (Cleveland Clinic Florida – Indian River)
Idea: Create a structured process to coordinate better use and management of power ports for cancer patients to reduce unnecessary needle sticks and that can increase the patient’s risk for infection.
Chirag Shah, MD– Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Study how providing cost-effective preventative cancer screenings and health education to women who are homeless in the Cleveland area affects cancer-related mortality.
Jennifer Hockings, Pharm D, PhD – Pharmacy Department (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a clinical-grade, HIPAA-compliant chatbot that will educate patients on the benefits and limitations of pharmacogenomics testing that can help them make an informed decision about getting tested, and prepare them for the type of results they may receive.
Ghaith Habboub, MD– Neurological Institute (Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital)
Idea: Use machine learning to better identify onset of sepsis 0-6 hours ahead of severe complications to give clinicians actionable and timely information for intervention.
Christopher Whinney, MD– Community Care(Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Invest in portable ultrasound devices to provide a low-cost, radiation-free, and noninvasive diagnostic tool that can lead to more timely diagnoses and therapies, provides more opportunities for patient-provider interactions, and has potential downstream positive effects on hospital throughput, length of stay, patient outcomes.
Midori Hitomi, DDS, PhD – Robert J. Tomsich Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Examine the ultrastructure of capillaries in heart biopsy samples to establish markers that could detect and predict heart transplant rejection to improve patients’ long-term survival rate.
Janice Gonzalez, RN Community Care (Cleveland Clinic Lorain Family Health & Surgery)
Idea: Implement CenteringParenting® at Lorain Family Medical Center – a healthcare model that brings 6-8 parents and their infants together in a shared medical appointment with their healthcare provider(s) to promote hands-on learning and openly discuss age-relevant topics around healthy development, nutrition, safety and early literacy issues.
Ian Houlihan, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Create a novel, nanotechnology-based treatment for kidney stones that would reduce the risk of injury to the tissue when fragmenting the stone’s surface.
Efstathios Kondylis, MD – Neurological Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Test a new device that is placed in the brain to prevent strokes by directly monitoring blood flow through arteries at high risk of spasm after a brain bleed.
July 2021 Grant Recipients
The Philanthropy Institute announces its fourth round of Caregiver Catalyst Grants, rewarding the innovation and initiative of the following 34 proposals from caregivers throughout the Cleveland Clinic. These grants are made possible by the combined gifts of more than $1.7M from thousands of generous donors.
Caregiver Catalyst Grant Recipients
Chris Abood – Community Care (Langston Hughes Community Health & Education Center)
Idea: Partner with Fairfax residents and community organizations to improve population health and well-being and serve as a pilot to execute Cleveland Clinic's Community Health Strategy to other at-risk populations and neighborhoods.
Joel Adu-Brimpong – Neurological Institute (Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health)
Idea: Develop a tool that empowers providers with a user-friendly, centralized and credible source of information on the latest technology-enabled therapies for a variety of health conditions.
Allen Bashour, MD – Anesthesiology Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop an algorithm to predict new-onset atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing heart operations and identify patients who are at risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
Ethan Benore, PhD – Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation)
Idea:Offer access to biofeedback monitoring systems to children experiencing chronic pain to teach them how to improve their self-regulation and regain quality of life
Shane Bobart, MD – Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute (Cleveland Clinic Florida)
Idea: Establish a kidney biopsy patient database to bolster future studies and clinical trials to treat kidney disease and help establish Cleveland Clinic as a kidney disease center of excellence.
Paul Bryson, MD – Head and Neck Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Investigate the efficacy of a lower risk and less invasive treatment for voice tremors using ultrasound technology.
Dusty Burke, MSN – Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health Institute (Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital)
Idea:Develop a program to provide trauma-informed care during pregnancy and childbirth to survivors of sexual assault to create a supportive, healing environment for birth and beyond.
Marni Dargis, RN – Robert J. Tomsich Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute (Cleveland Clinic Florida)
Idea: Study the correct dosage of plasma to correct an inability to form blood clots and reduce excessive bleeding.
Chase Donaldson, MD – Anesthesiology Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Give critically ill patients in the cardiovascular ICU access to specialized hand and leg bikes that can help them maintain strength and conditioning as they prepare for an organ transplant.
Charis Eng, MD, PhD – Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Idea: Predict the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in people with cancer and those known to have a high genetic susceptibility to cancer, and provide proof-of-concept for efficacy and safety of the vaccine in other immune system syndromes.
Laura Hoeksema, MD – Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea:Create a centralized program for caregivers across the enterprise to request confidential, one-on-one peer support from any location when experiencing distress after an unanticipated clinical event.
Torey Hovest, MBA – Cleveland Clinic Innovations (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Design and develop an operating room workstation to reduce musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries common among physicians performing hours-long operations.*
*This project was also identified as the winner of the 4th annual Hickey Innovation Impact Award through a combined application process with Cleveland Clinic Innovations. The streamlined application allowed caregivers to apply for two grant opportunities at once. Innovations works with the Hickey Family Foundation to steward their generous contributions into a $25,000 grant each year to fund innovative medical technologies.
Dawn Howard – Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital)
Idea: Develop video lessons offered through MyChart that prepare families to take home their premature babies to help prevent readmission of our most fragile patients.
Cynthia Johnson, PhD – Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation)
Idea:Build bridges between early Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, treatment and future life transitions to improve patient care and parent support.
Mattathias Johnson – Human Resources (Cleveland Clinic Florida)
Idea: Offer a bi-weekly mental health literacy training from licensed therapists and counselors for all Cleveland Clinic Florida patients and caregivers in Weston to address social stigmas surrounding mental health and reduce stress overload.
Stephen Jones, MD, PhD – Imaging Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a minimally invasive approach to treat deep brain hemorrhages that are often too risky to remove and may result in devastating outcomes.
Jennifer Kambies, MBA – Office of Professional Staff Affairs (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Build a program and outreach strategy to enhance diversity recruitment efforts to meet our goal of making Cleveland Clinic the best place to work for Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine (URiM).
Peris Kibera, DO – Community Care (Cleveland Clinic Akron General)
Idea:Study the effect of proper nutrition on chronic diseases to help inform “food as medicine” efforts among Cleveland Clinic patients.
Vinod Labhasetwar, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Demonstrate that increasing anti-cancer drugs in lymph nodes is more effective in treating advanced-stage cancer than IV injection and minimizes side effects through lower, more targeted doses.
Susan Linder, DPT – Neurological Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Study the effects of employing a specific mode of aerobic exercise, originally developed at Cleveland Clinic to treat symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, to improve the gait and cognitive function in persons with Multiple Sclerosis.
Catrina Litzenburg, PhD – Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland Clinic Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center)
Idea: Enable community agencies serving families of preschool-aged children to complete the Chicago Parenting Program that provides education on emotional and behavioral problems specific to families of diverse backgrounds.
Jeannette Messer, DVM, PhD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Develop a novel approach to diagnose and treat Inflammatory Bowel Diseases that could address underlying disease triggers and decrease or eliminate the need for chronic immunosuppression and surgery.
Chad Michener, MD – Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Study whether a combination of chemotherapy and a protein inhibitor can effectively treat recurrent ovarian cancer to avoid chemotherapy resistance.
Breanna Perlmutter, MD – Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea:Study how a prehabilitation regimen for patients undergoing pancreatic surgery can improve baseline metrics after surgery, result in a shorter hospital stay, and increase overall survival rates.
Adam Pires – Cleveland Clinic Regional Operations (Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital)
Idea: Offer a workshop for new dads where expectant dads can learn from "veteran" dads about techniques, bonding, forming a parent team, safety and supporting their partners.
Lorraine Rhoden – Center for Behavioral Health (Cleveland Clinic Florida)
Idea: Provide clothing and hygiene items upon discharge to indigent patients to improve their hospital experience and comfort inside and outside of the health center.
Susannah Rose, PhD – Patient Experience (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Study how caregivers view the role of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare to ensure that a primary goal of employing this technology is to enhance empathy – not merely to make providers more productive.
Roxana Siles, MD – Respiratory Institute (Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital at Richard E. Jacobs Campus)
Idea: Address racial and ethnic disparities affecting Hispanic/Latino patients living with asthma to improve overall asthma management and minimize the risk of ER visits and hospital readmissions.
Christine Skovira – Clinical Transformation (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Build a model to predict changes in depression and anxiety at a neighborhood level to support Cleveland Clinic’s ability to make behavioral health resource allocation more targeted and patient-centered.
Sarah Stamp – Cleveland Clinic Innovations (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Enable Cleveland Clinic Innovations to facilitate Structured Innovation sessions across the enterprise to help caregivers identify problems and opportunities, generate creative ideas, and transform solutions into effective action.
Tyler Stimpert – Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Address the pandemic-related decline in new cancer diagnoses through an educational campaign to increase awareness and screening rates in underserved neighborhoods.
Wilson Tang, MD – Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Idea: Test whether retinal photography can be used as a non-invasive predictive tool for heart failure that can be scaled as a population health disease-monitoring initiative.
Christine Traul, MD – Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland Clinic Children’s, Main Campus)
Idea: Expand the reach of the main campus-based Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) team to regional hospitals so they can provide grief support and transitional care items to more families who experience the loss of their child.
Chiedozie Udeh, MD – Anesthesiology Institute (Cleveland Clinic Administrative Campus)
Idea: Enhance the accuracy of the virtual ICU care model to allow providers to triage their time more effectively.
January 2020 Grant Recipients
The Philanthropy Institute announces its third round of Caregiver Catalyst Grants, rewarding the innovation and initiative of the following 20 proposals from caregivers throughout the Cleveland Clinic. These grants are made possible by the combined gifts of more than $825,000 from over 10,000 generous donors.
Caregiver Catalyst Grant Recipients
Carl Tyler, MD – Cleveland Clinic Community Care
Idea: Establish infrastructure to provide comprehensive, cost-effective care to people with disabilities and develop collaborative, ongoing relationships with community organizations that serve this population.
Michele Acheampong, MPH – Cleveland Clinic Community Care
Idea: Provide local, underrepresented talent with an 8-week paid internship experience to develop their skills and increase their likelihood of pursuing healthcare careers.
Saket Saxena, MD – Cleveland Clinic Community Care
Idea: Implement a set of uniform cognitive assessments for signs of dementia in patients 65 and older at all Family Health Centers.
Louie Hendon III, BSME – Continuous Improvement
Idea: Offer a 12-month, mentorship-based and experiential training program to African-American caregivers interested in career growth and leadership development.
Michael Klingler, MD, MS – Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute
Idea: Conduct a study that examines the effects of a novel endoscopic treatment for gastroparesis in patients with diabetes to help patients manage blood sugar more effectively.
Duriye Sevgi, MD – Cole Eye Institute
Idea: Develop quality assessment tools for ophthalmic imaging tests to increase eye exam efficiency, decrease the need for repeated testing and minimize caregiver workload.
Mary Beth Mercer, MPH – Office of Patient Experience
Idea: Expand the reach of “Care to Share” posters at main campus. The posters allow patients to voice their values upon hospital admission, fostering empathy and communication within the caregiver-patient relationship.
Prabalini Rajendram, MD – Respiratory Institute
Idea: Implement a nine-month interprofessional education (IPE) program for Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic Health Education Campus students to collaborate with Fairfax neighborhood residents and organizations.
Jennifer Bayer, MSSA – Pediatric Institute
Idea: Provide a sleep sack and an educational book to parents of NICU babies at discharge to prevent SIDS.
Rebecca Wellman, PhD – Neurological Institute
Idea: Bring children and older patients with memory loss together to engage in music therapy in order to enhance older patients’ memory recall and reduce behavioral challenges.
Amy Colver, MSSA, MA – Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center
Idea: Provide blood and marrow transplant patients with kits that include items meant to keep patients “afloat” during the intense recovery period, such as coloring books, word puzzles, writing activities, and more.
Reena Mehra, MD, MS – Neurological Institute
Idea: Use blood samples to study a genetic link between Alzheimer’s disease and sleep disruption.
Steve Insler, DO – Anesthesiology Institute
Idea: Study the association between the effectiveness of postoperative pain management and patient phenotypes of specific pharmacogenomics genes in order to combat opioid addiction.
Richard Aguilera, MD – Neurological Institute
Idea: Increase access to rehabilitation robotics to offer advanced patient interventions, improve patient outcomes, and facilitate more medical education and research.
Nora Knipper, MSN, NEA-BC – Nursing Institute
Idea: Improve care for vulnerable infants before they go home through education and providing airway challenge test-compliant car seats.
Rasheeda Larkin, MPA – Cleveland Clinic Community Care
Idea: Aim to reduce infant mortality through education at community baby showers in high-risk neighborhoods.
Asha Kallianpur, MD, MPH – Lerner Research Institute
Idea: Identify potential drivers of chronic kidney disease and cognitive impairment in individuals with HIV to suggest novel interventions and attract external funding for a larger study.
Donnamarie Cook, CHES, M.Ed. – Government and Community Relations
Idea: Prevent opioid abuse through a youth-led public service announcement project.
Ahila Subramanian, MD, MPH – Respiratory Institute
Idea: Study the impact of vaping on patients with asthma and provide multi-prong educational interventions to prevent patients from vaping in the future.
Ashley Torgerson, BS – Pediatric Institute
Idea: Provide children living with chronic conditions or disabilities access to therapeutic photography.
July 2019 Grant Recipients
The Philanthropy Institute announces its next round of Caregiver Catalyst Grants, rewarding the innovation and initiative of the following 32 proposals from caregivers throughout the enterprise. In total, over $1 million is being awarded to these ideas and concepts from a pool of dollars given generously by more than 12,000 donors. The next round of Caregiver Catalyst Grants is set to begin August 1, 2019.
Caregiver Catalyst Grant Recipients
Sarah Beinkampen, MHA - Chief of Staff
Idea: Create a fellowship program to train medical scribes in order to ease the burden of documentation for staff, and give them more face-to-face time with patients.
Carol Bennett, MBA, MSN, APRN, PCNS-BC - Nursing Institute
Idea: Reduce sound and noise levels in the NICU to mitigate the negative effects noise can have on the development of the fetal central nervous system.
Anirban Bhattacharyya, MD, MPH - Respiratory Institute
Idea: Use artificial intelligence to develop an algorithm to help determine when patients should be discharged from the Medical Intensive Care Unit.
Jaclyn Bjelac, MD - Cleveland Clinic Children's
Idea: Examine the effectiveness of boiled peanuts oral immunotherapy to safely treat children with peanut allergies.
Robyn Busch, PhD - Neurological Institute
Idea: Integrate cognitive health test results into electronic medical records to inform real-time clinical decision making in the Neurological Institute.
Donnamarie Cook, MEd - Government and Community Relations
Idea: Create a new school-based initiative to provide programming focused on nutrition and physical activity to students and families in Lorain County, Ohio.
Caitlin Durnil, LPN - Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute
Idea: Develop a registry dashboard to coordinate patient care, track outcomes, and set up patient surveillance efficiently for early GI cancer patients.
Kate Eshleman, PsyD - Cleveland Clinic Children's
Idea: Provide new and expanded education and social activities to support siblings and families of children diagnosed with hematological and oncological disorders.
Aldo Fafaj, MD - Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute
Idea: Work with physical therapists, nursing, and surgical staff to design an early ambulation initiative to improve patient recovery after surgery.
Susan Farris, MEd - Neurological Institute
Idea: Create advanced care planning documents and standardized protocols for patients and their families when diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease.
Aaron Fleischman, PhD - Lerner Research Institute
Idea: Create micro-pressure sensors that will be used to measure pressure in a variety of applications such as patients with glaucoma or hydrocephalus.
Kelly Gaffney, PharmMD - Medical Operations
Idea: Examine the impact of increased pharmacist involvement in cancer patient care.
Emily Guthe, MM, MA, MT-BC - Arts and Medicine Institute
Idea: Provide new forms of support for families with infants diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses.
Anny Ha, MS, RD, CDE, CEDRD - Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute
Idea: Create an eight-week program for patients that aims to improve diabetes self-management skills and the psychosocial impact of living with diabetes.
Bridgett Harr, MSN, APRN-CNP, AOCNP - Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center
Idea: Provide new learning experiences to residents while measuring the efficiency of a pen-tablet device in radiation oncology contouring.
Betul Hatipoglu, MD - Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute
Idea: Assess physician burnout and its health consequences and minimize through combined mindfulness-based intervention and nutritional counseling.
Gayle Kanary - Cleveland Clinic Children's
Idea: Create a day camp experience for children and families who are unable to typically participate in a traditional day camp setting due to the child’s illness or injury.
Irene Katzan, MD, MS - Neurological Institute
Idea: Address persistent “hidden” symptoms post-stroke (anxiety, sleep disturbance, depression, and memory issues) to improve care for stroke patients.
Varun Kopparthy, PhD - Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Institute
Idea: Develop an automated ex-vivo normothermic perfusion machine, a device that will preserve amputated extremities.
Suet Kam Lam, MD, MPH, MS - Pediatrics
Idea: Mobilize the efforts of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine students who are in the Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association to provide outreach into the Asian-American community about Hepatitis B.
Haider Mahdi, MD - Ob/Gyn & Women's Health Institute
Idea: Use plasma samples of ovarian cancer patients to analyze tumors in DNA to ultimately develop a non-invasive test for ovarian cancer.
Christine McDonald, PhD - Lerner Research Institute
Idea: Use a molecule inhibitor to evaluate the effectiveness of a topical skin cancer treatment.
Laurie Ann Moennich, MPH, CPH - Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute (Miller Family)
Idea: Compare the acquisition of clinical measures through telemedicine vs. in-person to improve clinical trial participation.
Andrea Mucci, MD - Cleveland Clinic Children's
Idea: Provide Fit-Bit monitors to children, along with three of their family members, to improve the health and fitness of families who are participants in the CCF “Be Well” Program.
Kathy Praisler-Wood, MSN, BSN - Community Care
Idea: Provide a certified nurse practitioner to Amish communities in Northeast Ohio for primary healthcare support.
Therese Kastelic, LISW-S - Neurological Institute
Idea: Use virtual reality software that increases mindfulness and reduces depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and panic attacks to enhance substance abuse treatment outcomes.
Courtney Shell, MS, PhD - Lerner Research Institute
Idea: Use well-established perceptual illusion to help reduce the pain and anxiety of pediatric patients during needle stick procedures.
Stefanie Shimko-Lin, RN - Information Technology Division
Idea: Develop a comprehensive workflow in the electronic medical record to increase timely organ donation referrals.
Stephanie Smith, RN, CCRN - Nursing Institute
Idea: Create a private space for nurses and other caregivers in the Medical Intensive Care Unit to grieve the loss of a patient.
Susan Snyderburn, PA-C - Respiratory Institute
Idea: Arrange transportation for patients in need to reduce the no-show rate for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, and Pulmonary Hypertension Clinics.
Ellen Walter, MSN - Neurological Institute
Idea: Improve Parkinson’s disease-specific health literacy of care partners of individuals with Parkinson’s disease in order to empower the care givers and ease their burden.
Judith Welsh, MD - Emergency Services Institute
Idea: Enable the community paramedicine team to provide a broader range of services to homebound, chronically ill adults.
January 2019 Grant Recipients
The Philanthropy Institute announces its January, 2019 Caregiver Catalyst Grants, rewarding the innovation and initiative of the following 29 proposals from caregivers throughout the enterprise. In total, over $1 million is being awarded to these ideas and concepts from a pool of dollars given generously by more than 20,000 donors.
Caregiver Catalyst Grant Recipients
Michelle Del Toro, MPH, MALS - Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Idea: Integrate fun, educational dialogues and fitness activities with incentive-based awards and prizes to encourage youth to be physically active and adopt healthy behaviors.
Robert DeBernardo, MD - Ob/Gyn & Women's Health Institute
Idea: Use augmented reality in the operating theater to give physicians the ability to visualize anatomy from any perspective.
Tina Ulanowski, MEd, CCLS & Michelina Bacisin, BA, CCLS - Nursing Institute
Idea: Create kits of developmentally appropriate journals and expressive art items to comfort children and create keepsakes.
Gayle Ivory - Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center
Idea: Expand an existing cancer survivor’s support group to provide continued encouragement and empowerment to cancer survivors.
John O’Toole, MD - Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute
Idea: Use computational tools to identify individuals with unrecognized advanced kidney disease, and establish a care plan that will improve transitions of the disease, reduce barriers, and promote kidney transplantation.
Jennifer Negrey, MOT, OTR/L, BCP, CLT - Cleveland Clinic Children's
Idea: Host a series of six free evening events that will give parents a respite from caring for children with complex medical needs.
Shannon Sonnhalter, CCLS - Nursing Institute
Idea: Use distraction kits and novel devices, partnered with provider training to make vaccines and needle procedures more comfortable for pediatric patients.
Jessica Marzulli - Cleveland Clinic Hospice Care Center
Idea: Use virtual reality software to provide hospice patients with the ability to engage in interactive, once in a lifetime experiences, such as riding a roller coaster or walking with elephants.
Ryan Klatte, BSBME - Lerner Research Institute
Idea: Create 3D printed exact replicas of organs to enable surgeons to better examine anatomy, and design the appropriate surgery.
Ritika Jaini, PhD - Lerner Research Institute
Idea: Conduct a study to confirm the importance of maternal genetics in determining severity of in-utero inflammation and incidence/severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Vladimir Bolshinsky, MD - Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute
Idea: Conduct a study that will determine the anatomical factors associated with the quality of the rectal resection in curative rectal cancer surgery to improve the quality of rectal cancer surgical outcomes.
Brian Yard, PhD - Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute
Idea: Conduct a large profiling effort to identify gene mutations that affect survival to radiation therapy.
Margaret McKenzie, MD – Center for Occupational Health
Idea: Provide home blood pressure monitors to residents in Warrensville Heights, Ohio to help facilitate individuals taking better control of their health, and increase awareness of blood pressure.
Francois Bethoux, MD - Neurological Institute
Idea: Conduct a preliminary study to evaluate the therapeutic use of exoskeletons for patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
Jessica Timms, MS, CCLS - Nursing Institute
Idea: Record parents’ voices to be played at various times throughout the day for their children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to foster the attachment between parents and their newborns.
Jeremy Weleff, MD - Neurological Institute
Idea: Connect homeless individuals with community partners to optimize how homeless patients are identified and treated within the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare System.
Salena Ramsey, BA, CCLS - Imaging Institute
Idea: Decrease anesthesia and implement interactive demonstrations with pediatric patients to promote a more positive MRI experience.
Laura DePiero RN, BSN, CHPN – Center for Connected Care
Idea: Expand Camp Promise, a summer camp for children ages 6-11 years old who have suffered a loss.
Jason Hale, MD - Anesthesiology & Pain Management
Idea: Provide a Nitrous Oxide treatment to patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome as a safer, more comfortable treatment alternative.
Milvon Wright, MSW, LSW - Cleveland Clinic Children's
Idea: Provide wellness bags, pillbox locks, and establish a financial hardship fund to help remove barriers for patients with Sickle Cell Disease.
Xin Xin Yu, MD - Neurological Institute
Idea: Pair medical students with patients who live with chronic conditions (such as Parkinson’s disease) to meet and interact one-on-one outside of typical clinical encounters.
Jessica Timms, MS, CCLS & Katie Eureka, CCLS - Nursing Institute
Idea: Purchase sensory items to help children with sensory issues become more comfortable during their hospital visits.
Rebecca Rothstein, MA, BCBA - Cleveland Clinic Children’s Lerner School for Autism
Idea: Purchase specialized equipment to aid caregivers treating patients with high levels of severe aggression and self-injurious behaviors.
Donna Driscoll, PhD - Lerner Research Institute
Idea: Train and educate women and minorities in biomedical research as a part of the program, RISE in Cleveland, to develop a diverse pipeline of talent for the future.
Nathan Mesko, MD - Orthopedic & Rheumatologic Institute
Idea: Alleviate financial hardship for patients who need specialty Sarcoma care at Cleveland Clinic.
Aaron Ritter, MD - Neurological Institute
Idea: Conduct a study to develop a treatment for cognitive decline in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Brandon Hopkins, MD - Head & Neck Institute
Idea: Create a tracheostomy care path to improve quality of care and decrease remissions and complication rates for patients.
Jason Turowski, MD - Respiratory Institute
Idea: Study the utilization of a Virtual Visit program for lung transplant patients to improve patient engagement, satisfaction, and retention of transplant educational material.