Artist rendering of the potential future MetroHealth Main Campus with walkable streets and community amenities including public plazas, baseball fields, community gardens and parks.
The MetroHealth System, Cleveland, has served the community as one of the oldest surviving institutions in the city with the mission of “leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community.” To achieve this mission, MetroHealth is transforming its main campus and operational model to focus on delivering care where, when and how patients want it.
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At the community scale, MetroHealth has expanded points of patient access into the local communities and neighborhoods to include 26 health centers, 14 public schools and numerous Discount Drug Mart walk-in clinics. This includes expanding access to emergency care into the community with the opening of four freestanding emergency departments in 2015 to improve service to Cuyahoga County residents in their local neighborhoods.
The physical transformation at the MetroHealth Main Campus is expected to be a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization and economic development along the urban corridor. The design and planning process began with community engagement meetings, including health design impact sessions, to gather feedback on how the campus could support the goals and vision of the surrounding neighborhood. The feedback from local residents included employee housing, healthful food access, safe parks and sidewalks, and better access to transportation. A key design driver for the project is how open space on the campus connects to the community.
As an organization, MetroHealth’s partnerships with local community groups already have begun to address this feedback through a number of initiatives to enhance the health of the community, including summer education and health care programs for students, partnerships with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to provide healthful food access and the MetroHealth Arts in Medicine program.
The MetroHealth transformation will have a positive, wellness-focused impact on the health and quality of life in and outside of MetroHealth’s walls, taking into consideration the physical, social and mental potential of its community members to improve population health.