When East Cleveland’s financially troubled and underutilized Huron Hospital closed in 2011, the community was disheartened to lose its local healthcare facility.
But just weeks later, a brand-new $25 million healthcare center opened adjacent to the hospital’s former location, with the express purpose of serving the community in a new way.
The plan worked. Cleveland Clinic Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center now is a vital resource in the neighborhood, promoting the prevention and management of chronic disease while linking patients and their families to other community services.
“We realized we had the opportunity to develop our own way of providing our patients with meaningful healthcare,” says Erick Vidmar, Director of Regional Ambulatory Operations for Strongsville and Brunswick Family Health Centers and the former administrator of the center.
Among its treatment areas, the center focuses on diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure, mental health, and specialized care for women and children. It has an Express Care clinic that’s open on the weekends, a pharmacy and a dialysis center. It also offers behavioral health services, a variety of classes and an expanded transportation system.
Meeting Community Needs
Within the three-story, 50,000-square-foot building are services specific to the needs of area residents, many of whom encounter barriers that make it difficult to obtain medical care.
The center has patient navigators who will guide patients and families through the complexities of the healthcare system, advising them on prescription assistance and other services.
A free shuttle service picks up patients at their homes within a five-mile radius. Thanks to the shuttle, the no-show rate for appointments dropped by 10 percent, Mr. Vidmar says.
And community partnerships and grants support programs such as Mammogram Mondays and Telemedicine for Chronic Disease. “We’re so grateful for the support of programs that have such an impact on patients,” says Marna Borieux, MBA, Director of Regional Ambulatory Operations at the center since August 2014.
A weekly farmer’s market during summer months gives area residents access to fresh produce. The center also offers classes in healthy cooking, fitness and parenting, and even serves as a drop-off location for the Cleveland Food Bank.
“The center is providing services that the community may not realize are needed,” Ms. Borieux says. “We’re able to respond to a lot more than just healthcare needs.”