CEO Update | Answers to your recent questions about the pandemic

CEO Update | Answers to your recent questions about the pandemic

Fellow caregivers,

Thank you for paying attention to our messages during this pandemic.

There have been many developments over the past few months and we are reading your questions.

Today, I am happy to answer several of them in the video above.

I know this has been a lot of change, and the future still seems uncertain. You are doing a wonderful job working together to overcome the challenges we face.

Thank you for your dedication.

Dr. Mijahlevic |  Cleveland Clinic

Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President

Mother and daughter team up to virtually teach students about COVID-19

Mother and daughter team up to virtually teach students about COVID-19

Kristin Englund, MD, has been working with our K–12 Education Department for more than a decade.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for their role in not only local and distance learning but also in mentorship for so many students,” says Dr. Englund, Department Vice Chair, Infectious Disease.

Earlier this year, as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were put in place throughout the U.S. and schools were closed, the Cleveland Clinic K-12 Education’s School Programs team recognized the need for online educational resources and lesson plans related to the pandemic. They quickly put in place a spring schedule of free, web-based sessions for students, parents and educators.

With her daughter, Gabriella Bal, home from college once schools closed, the two saw an opportunity to co-teach the sessions, something they had not previously done together.

“She helped develop separate content for kindergarten through 5th graders and 6th through 12th graders, then presented with me,” Dr. Englund says. “I think students appreciated the younger viewpoint.”

Getting reliable information to the public is so important during this time, so who better than healthcare workers directly caring for patients with COVID-19 to share resources?

“The students were able to see the actual personal protective equipment we use, the care we are taking in the hospital to isolate patients and the remarkable innovations our MICU teams have developed to limit caregiver exposure while providing state-of-the-art care,” says Dr. Englund. “We also discussed how students can be empowered in this time of fear and protect themselves and their families by using cough etiquette, hand hygiene and masks. And we reminded them that their feelings are real and they need to talk to family and friends about them.”

Sessions were held in April and May with 500 participants total. Students represented more than 150 schools and came from multiple states including California, Florida, Ohio and Tennessee.

A high school teacher in Michigan shared a note of appreciation: “Thank you Cleveland Clinic for providing these priceless opportunities for students. Please let Dr. Englund know that her service to our students is extremely valuable in shaping the future of healthcare and the young people that will be charged with making it better. Outstanding presentation!”

“This pandemic is asking a lot of our educators and our students,” says Dr. Englund, “and they continually amaze me with their dedication and resilience.” 

Learn more about Cleveland Clinic K–12 Education programs and resources at