Cleveland Clinic Akron General Receives $1 Million Grant to Help Patients with Addiction Issues Get Follow-up Care after Emergency Department Visits

Funding comes from Summit County Opiate Abatement Advisory Council

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Beth Hertz 330.590.7377

AKRON: Cleveland Clinic Akron General has received a $1 million grant from the Summit County Opiate Abatement Advisory Council to improve the follow-up care provided to patients who are seen with Substance Use Disorder as a primary or secondary health issue in any of the hospital’s four 24-hour emergency departments in Summit County.

Funding for the grant, which will support Akron General’s new Recovery’s in Reach program for one year, comes from a settlement of a federal lawsuit regarding the overuse of opioid medications.

“Our emergency departments often serve as the front door for patients in need of help dealing with addiction issues, and this grant will allow us to improve our response to the continued drug epidemic by changing the trajectory of patients in our community with Substance Use Disorder,” said Steven Brooks, M.D., Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Akron General.

Emergency patients who are identified as needing help with addiction will be matched with a peer recovery coach onsite who will make sure that they get proper long-term supportive care to address their issues. These coaches will be provided through Catholic Charities. The initiative will be accomplished in partnership with BrightView Health, a drug and alcohol treatment center, as well as the Cleveland Clinic Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center and Community Health Center Addiction Services. 

“This effort will help fill in the missing piece in helping people with addiction issues get proper follow-up services after an emergency visit,” said Dr. Brooks. “The need is clear: in 2020, 263 visits to one of our emergency departments on the main campus, or the Green, Stow or Bath Health & Wellness Centers, was due to an overdose.”

All patients who have been affected by addiction will be offered help, including at-risk populations, such as the homeless and those with mental illness. Patients seen in Akron General’s PATH Center, which provides care to victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse, human trafficking, elder abuse and neglect, as well as pregnant women will also be referred when Substance Use Disorder is identified. 

The program will be directed by Erin Simon, D.O., an emergency medicine physician at Akron General, and Dan Jones, Ph.D., a psychologist in the hospital’s Center for Behavioral Health. Lead Program Coordinator will be Jonathan Sanchez, M.B.A., B.S.N., R.N., who is the nurse manager of Akron General’s main campus emergency department.

“We have seen the opiate crisis in Summit County cripple the health and well-being of our community for many years,” Sanchez said. “With the support of the Summit County Opiate Abatement Advisory Council, we will now be able to provide the proper resources for necessary treatment to help stop the devastation we are seeing in the lives of our community members on a too-frequent basis.”


About Cleveland Clinic Akron General
Cleveland Clinic Akron General is a nonprofit healthcare organization that has been improving the health and lives of the people and communities it serves since 1914. Akron General is the hub for Cleveland Clinic’s Southern Region and includes a 532-registered-bed teaching and research medical center in downtown Akron; Akron General Partners, which includes Partners Physician Group; three Health & Wellness Centers; Lodi Hospital; and Akron General Foundation. For more information, visit

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 67,554 employees worldwide are more than 4,520 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,026-bed health system that includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 19 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2019, there were 9.8 million total outpatient visits, 309,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 255,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at