Cleveland Clinic Hosts Second Community Conversation with Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin

Event featured Q&A with CEO Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., and Councilman Griffin, as well as discussion sessions about housing, neighborhood safety and other topics important to residents

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Five years ago, Cleveland Clinic hosted its first community conversation at the Karamu House. This meeting gave Fairfax residents an opportunity to voice their views on the most pressing challenges facing the neighborhood.

During that meeting, the most prevalent issues to the community included:

  • Food insecurity
  • Jobs
  • Housing
  • Youth education and internships
  • Workforce development

Those insights helped Cleveland Clinic lay the groundwork for a new strategic plan to heal, hire and invest in the well-being of the community.  

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, Cleveland Clinic convened nearly 200 Fairfax residents at its Health Education Campus for a second conversation.

The town hall opened with a one-on-one interview with Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., and Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin.

Dr. Mihaljevic and Councilman Griffin set the stage by sharing the significant progress Cleveland Clinic has accomplished in partnership with the community over the past five years: 

  • Facilitating a $52.8 million development that includes a 40,000-square-foot Meijer grocery market and 196-unit apartment complex on East 105th Street and Cedar Avenue, which is expected to open in January 2024.
  • Investing $52.5 million towards making Cleveland homes lead safe, which to-date has helped more 200 Cleveland children live in lead-free homes.
  • Establishing a Center for Community Health Workers designed to support at-risk women throughout their pregnancy and through their infant’s first year of life.
  • Training and recruiting individuals from vulnerable communities to support under-resourced patients experiencing barriers to care and unmet social needs.
  • Becoming a founding member of OneTen, a national coalition of top employers to hire Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs, which has thus far resulted in more than 2,000 hires.

After the Q&A, members from Cleveland Clinic’s executive leaders team led small group discussions with residents on topics ranging from healthcare access, marketing and neighborhood safety. Dinner was provided by Del’s Catering.

Vickie Eaton Johnson, Chief Community Officer of Cleveland Clinic and Denise VanLeer, Executive Director of the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, closed the event by affirming their unified commitment to supporting the community’s needs.