July 25, 2022/Community Impact

Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Launch New Accelerator Program to Support Economic Equity and Growth for Local Diverse Suppliers

Five companies chosen to participate in inaugural DEI Supplier Accelerator

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Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have joined forces to boost the economic health of Northeast Ohio’s diverse business communities.

The health systems recently launched the Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Supplier Accelerator, a business development mentorship program. It is designed to expand the knowledge and impact of local businesses owned by traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs including members of the LGBTQ+ community, minorities, veterans and women.

To support participants in growing their companies, and being competitive in the market, the six-month training program offers:

  • Business development coaching and learning the sourcing process of large corporations
  • Direct access to leaders from Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals and other subject matter experts
  • Networking opportunities with decision makers at both health systems, key suppliers and community organizations
  • Comprehensive business review to provide feedback for developing and growing the business
  • $10,000 cash prize upon completion of the program

“We are incredibly proud to welcome our first cohort of diverse business owners in construction, engineering, graphic design and sheet metal manufacturing to the DEI Supplier Accelerator,” said Steve Downey, Chief Supply Chain and Patient Services Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “Investing in the growth and success of minority and women-owned businesses builds on our commitment to the communities we serve. We look forward to working alongside University Hospitals to leverage our combined resources and expertise to help these entrepreneurs strengthen their core business, grow and thrive. As we support them in achieving their goals, the impact will create a positive ripple effect in the community.”

“University Hospitals is steadfast in its support of minority, women, LGBTQ+ and local business enterprises which includes contracting with firms that share the same dedication while providing the best quality and value-added products and services. We are pleased to partner with Cleveland Clinic in mentoring members of Northeast Ohio’s diverse business communities,” said Chad Fleischer, Vice President, Supply Chain, University Hospitals. In accordance with one of UH’s core values – belonging – we are committed to building an inclusive, encouraging and caring culture where all can thrive as demonstrated through this initiative.”

Companies selected for the inaugural cohort include:

CarTeCor Management, LLC (Shaker Heights)Co-Founders: Tommy and Sandra Farmer Created in 2009, CarTeCor Management, LLC is a minority-owned construction contractor that works with architects, developers and homeowners to bring their remodeling projects to life. Led by a husband-wife duo and their sons, the business specializes in designing and building kitchens, bathrooms, custom walk-in closets, roofing and siding.
Halle’s Design & Engineering (Akron)Owner and President: Halle Jones Capers Established in 2020, Halle’s Design & Engineering is the first woman – and minority-owned civil engineering firm in Akron. The company – which services clients in the public and private sector – focuses on designing local roads, highways, tunnels, water treatment plants and site infrastructure for buildings and public spaces such as parking lots, utilities and other amenities.
HR Construction Services (Cleveland)Owner and President: Heather R. Baines Since it began in 2015, HR Construction Services has strived to make an impact in Northeast Ohio’s construction industry by creating more jobs for women and people of color. This woman– and minority-owned company is a signatory contractor that employs laborers from local building trade unions to install reinforcing steel bars for concrete companies, perform concrete placement and other general contracting services.
Nightsweats & T-cells (Cleveland)Owner: Gil Kudrin Founded in 1990, Nightsweats & T-cells is an LGBTQ+-owned commercial screen-printing shop that uses its merchandise – ranging from backpacks to T-shirts – to deliver powerful messages about HIV/AIDS. The socially conscious company is staffed entirely by long-term AIDS survivors and HIV-positive workers who design custom products for AIDS service organizations, special events and mainstream businesses.
WTD Mechanical (Cleveland)President and CEO: Fatima Ware Launched in 2016, WTD Mechanical is a woman– and minority-owned company which specializes in installing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for commercial and residential clients. The company is committed to creating opportunities for women of color to advance in the male-dominated sheet metal industry. The DEI Supplier Accelerator program runs through November 2022.

Media Contacts

Cleveland Clinic:
University Hospitals:
Alicia Reale-Cooney 216.408.7444Andrea Pacetti 216.316.3040
George Stamatis 216.346.9323

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 72,500 employees worldwide are more than 5,050 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,800 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 22 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2021, there were 10.2 million total outpatient visits, 304,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 259,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of more than 20 hospitals (including five joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.

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