Cleveland Clinic will receive gifts totaling $8 million from Jones Day and the Jones Day Foundation to help it further support a healthier community. These gifts will establish two new initiatives – a community health worker program to connect local residents with community-based services and a legal-medical partnership with The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.
Community health workers are certified, trusted members of local communities who are experts in navigating complex systems of care, serving as a link between clinical and community-based services and the people who need them the most. Community health workers advocate on behalf of vulnerable patients, effectively delivering basic health messages in a culturally appropriate way. They play important roles as facilitators, translators, counselors and supporters, allowing healthcare systems to provide the care that meets the needs of the communities they serve.
Cleveland Clinic’s goal is to create the healthiest community today and for future generations through actions and programs to heal, hire and invest for the future. The health of every individual affects the broader community.
“When patients have significant medical needs – whether that be behavioral health, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease – they also often have significant social needs, like access to healthy food, transportation, financial support and insurance,” says Nazleen Bharmal, M.D., PhD, Associate Chief of Population Health at Cleveland Clinic. “And when you have both of those, it can be very difficult for an individual to figure out where to get help.”
The Jones Day Foundation has committed a gift to launch a community health worker program that will further enable Cleveland Clinic to take care of the neighborhood residents living near its main campus. The hope is that the program will expand to neighborhoods surrounding other Cleveland Clinic hospitals as well.
“Cleveland Clinic is a global healthcare leader that seeks to provide opportunities for better, healthier lives for the members of the communities it serves,” says Chris Kelly, a Jones Day partner based in the firm’s Cleveland and New York offices. “Like Cleveland Clinic, Jones Day has a long-held belief in the transformative potential of giving back to the communities in which we live and work. The community health worker program is intended to make a tangible difference for our neighbors who need and deserve access to health resources.”
The gift also will help individuals and families solve legal issues that impact health by having access to legal services in a healthcare setting. In this new partnership, legal aid lawyers will work alongside Cleveland Clinic clinicians, case managers and social workers. Medical-legal partnerships integrate the expertise of legal aid lawyers into health care settings to help care providers address barriers that prevent people from achieving their best health.
The new legal-medical partnership is an evidence-based model of care that will better enable providers to help their patients achieve healthy lives. Studies have shown that when patients have access to legal services in a healthcare setting, they are more likely to take their medications as prescribed, experience less stress and better mental health, and have greater access to financial resources.
“There are times when clinicians meet with pediatric patients who have needs such as individualized education plans, neglect or abuse, or they live in a home where they are exposed to lead paint,” Dr. Bharmal says. “Many clinicians do not know how to navigate the system to find the solutions. Having a legal member on the care team who understands those factors will help educate the providers. It is more than just offering legal advice; it is a sustained relationship to reduce health disparities.”
Honoring a legacy of community care
Jones Day and the Jones Day Foundation also are honoring Patrick McCartan, a distinguished leader of Jones Day and former member of Cleveland Clinic’s Board of Trustees who was passionate about community care.
“Pat would be extremely proud to see these new community health programs moving quickly from vision to reality,” said Steve Brogan, Managing Partner of Jones Day. “He knew the struggles faced by any community are surmountable by collective, compassionate action from inspired organizations and individuals. These programs are reflective of his vision and his compassion.”
In recognition of the investments from Jones Day and the Jones Day Foundation, as well as the firm’s desire to honor Mr. McCartan’s leadership, he will be memorialized in the Patrick F. McCartan Centennial Gallery. This new space is a centerpiece in the front lobby of Cleveland Clinic’s main campus that will provide an opportunity for calm and reflection to the thousands of patients and family members who visit the hospital each day.
“The Patrick F. McCartan Centennial Gallery serves as a testament to Pat’s visionary spirit and commitment to Cleveland Clinic, its patients and the community,” says Lara Kalafatis, Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Philanthropy Institute. “His compassionate leadership will live on through the impact of these new community health programs initiated with the support of Jones Day and the Jones Day Foundation.”