Community Benefit

Caring for the community has been an unwavering commitment of University Hospitals since our founding in 1866. Our community benefit programs cover a multitude of important programs that serve residents of Northeast Ohio. One way we do identify needs is by conducting a periodic, comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for each UH hospital facility. The most current assessments include quantitative and qualitative data that serve to guide both our community benefit and strategic planning. Through our CHNA, UH has identified the greatest health needs among each of our hospital’s communities, enabling UH to ensure our resources are appropriately directed toward outreach, prevention, education and wellness opportunities where the greatest impact can be realized.

Our community benefit contributions include financial assistance for those who cannot afford to pay for their health care, programs that help keep people healthy or encourage them to get needed health care, education for today's and tomorrow’s medical professionals, and medical research that is improving and expanding diagnoses, treatment methods and preventive measures for many of our most pressing health issues. More information is available in the 2012 community benefit report.

Two efforts in 2013 born from the sustainability program were included in the 2013 community benefit report, to be released in 2014: the University Hospitals Case Medical Center Community Farmers’ Market and the Healthy Harvest patient food access program at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals MacDonald’s Women’s Hospital.

We have also contributed to community building in large part through participation in community consortia, advisory councils, and other education and outreach efforts. Examples include:

  • We are a member of the University Circle Green Team; University Circle is the neighborhood where our main hospital is located, and is home to many other academic and cultural institutions that are represented on the Green Team.
  • Our system is represented by our Sustainability Manager on the Mayor of Cleveland’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Stewardship Council, and our Sustainability Specialist represented the system on the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit Design Team.
  • Our Sustainability Specialist represents the system in the Zero Waste Northeast Ohio Core Group, a team of representatives based out of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District that actively supports zero waste operating practices within regional businesses and organizations, and is a part of the City’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 network.
  • Our Sustainability Manager is a co-chair of the Economic Inclusion Management Committee, a local collaboration between Cleveland area anchor institutions, foundations and community development corporations that are focused on fostering local and regional economic development.
  • Our Sustainability Manager serves on the Ohio Hospital Association’s Environmental Leadership Council.
  • Our system’s Sustainability Specialist represents UH on the City of Cleveland’s Climate Action Advisory Committee, which developed the Cleveland Climate Action Plan.
  • We are actively involved in our regional Corporate Sustainability Network (a collaborative of many companies and organizations in Northeast Ohio focused on exchanging sustainability best practices) and a partner in the Green Venues consortium (a collaborative of area venues focusing on specific sustainability issues pertinent to these types of organizations).

UH also supported the development of the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative, which intends through a worker-owner business model to create jobs and build wealth in the neighborhoods of Greater University Circle, a 43,000-resident community where UH Case Medical Center is located.

The purpose of this initiative is to:

  • Promote, coordinate and expand economic opportunity and wealth building through a network of green, community-based enterprises
  • Promote community stabilization and revitalization of the disinvested neighborhoods of Greater University Circle and similar areas of the city
  • Promote public understanding of cooperative principles and how cooperatives and other community wealth building models function
  • Encourage and enable cities and other areas throughout Ohio and the U.S. to implement their own local programs based on these principles, models and strategies

15 Environmental Excellence awards

UH received 15 Environmental Excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth, including the prestigious System for Change award, for our systemwide achievements in sustainability in 2013.