Case Western Reserve University is committed to helping people live healthier lives through a variety of programs that provide health services and screenings, education and training, as well as research support and fundraising.
The following health programs are listed by name. Use these links for more information.
Case Western Reserve University's School of Dental Medicine is taking the lead to fight against early childhood cavities. The dental school has created a variety of community-based programs to prevent and treat dental decay for urban youth. Signature programs include the Early Childhood Dental Program, Xylitol for Caries Prevention in Inner-City Children and the Healthy Smiles Sealant Program, all of which are aimed at cavity prevention, treatment and education. From the moment a baby receives their first tooth to children age eight, Case Western Reserve, along with Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, have partnered to conduct dental screenings for every child in our community through the Early Childhood Dental Program. Since 2006, Case Western Reserve and Rainbow doctors and staff go to local Headstart centers and schools throughout Northeast Ohio to provide dental care screenings and services for more than 9,000 children thus far. In 2007, a school-based clinical trial aimed at the effectiveness of Xylitol to prevent cavities in elementary school children was created for five elementary schools in East Cleveland.
The Xylitol for Caries Prevention program has enrolled nearly 600 children and follows them from kindergarten to second grade. Children receive oral health education, a toothbrush and paste, fluoride varnish and dental sealants twice a year. The Healthy Smiles Sealant Program examines and treats all second, third and sixth grade school children throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Dental medicine students perform on-site dental exams and place sealants on all permanent teeth at risk for dental decay. Participating school children who are found to have dental disease are referred for follow up dental care. The sealant program also provides classroom education to all pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, third and sixth grade children. The Sealant Program provides an early clinical service-learning experience for Case Western Reserve dental students and sensitizes them to the needs of the underserved. No other dental school in the country has such a program and it is a major reason why dental applicants choose Case Western Reserve over other dental schools. For the community, the sealant program provides annual education to 20,000 school children, annual examinations and sealants to 6,200 children who would likely never receive such care, and referrals to over 3,000 children.
Contact James Lalumandier, School of Dental Medicine, 216.368.3276
Nurses in Cleveland Schools: A Partnership for Health is a partnership between the undergraduate nursing program of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) in which nursing students and faculty work with the CMSD school nurses and others in providing a range of health services to the children of the district. Services include health teaching, health screening and health fairs and account for 20,000 hours of health services to the CMSD each year. This program uses a service learning model where substantive educational benefits are received by nursing students including experience in community based health care, principles of partnership development, community assessment and working with interdisciplinary teams. Benefits to the CMSD are increased health services received by up to 6,000 children each year through the district.
Contact Marilyn Lotas, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, 216.368.5129
Increasing Access to Healthy Foods in Urban Neighborhoods is a program designed to promote good health and prevent disease among residents by increasing availability and access to healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, low-fat options) through the year in urban neighborhoods. To accomplish the goal, the program works closely with Cleveland and East Cleveland neighborhood organizations to customize a healthy food availability plan. The program provides nutrition education, as well as identifies ways to broaden how healthy food makes its way into the neighborhood. Residents participate in community-based events and activities held in schools, corner stores and other retail establishments, community gardens and community centers.
Contact Jessica Kelly Moore, the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, 216.368.8879
SMART Girls (Skills, Mastery and Resistance Training) Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland is a health, fitness, prevention, education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls ages 8 to 17—the key years before and during adolescence are critical in girls' development when many carry behaviors and beliefs from this time into adulthood. Established in 1992, the program is designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable early adolescent girls to develop to their full potential. Students from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine partner with girls at the King Kennedy Club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland (BCGC). This club was one of the first Boys & Girls Clubs in the country to be part of public housing. Medical students have established a trusting relationship with the club members and maintain continuity throughout the year-long program and provide mentoring and role-modeling experiences for the club members. A mutually supportive long-term partnership of the BCGC, SNMA, Office of Urban Health-Urban AHEC gives an ongoing and welcomed opportunity for medical students to serve participants while they meet demands of their very busy academic program. The principal reason for success is the ongoing commitment and energy of the medical students who bring colleagues from new classes on board year after year.
Contact Susan Wentz, School of Medicine's Office of Urban Health and Urban Area Health Education, 216.368.4393
The Case Healthy Homes and Patients Program is designed to improve the health and safety of the home environments of inner city infants and elderly. It also provides first-hand experience for physicians-in-training to assess the home health environment of their patients in an effort to assist in devising both physical and behavioral interventions to improve it. In the infant program, family medicine and pediatrics resident physicians select a young infant patient from their clinic and the Swetland Center for Environmental Health at the School of Medicine coordinates a home visit, which includes the physician and a Healthy Homes inspector from the community-based, non-profit Environmental Health Watch (EHW). Similarly, in the older adult program, family medicine and internal medicine residents accompany the inspector to the home of a patient participating in Dr. Peter DeGolia's 'House Call Program' which provides in-home primary physician care to housebound patients. In both programs, following the home inspection with the residents, the inspector and the head of household together devise an action plan that includes behavioral changes, e.g. parental smoking outside, and handyman level interventions addressing the safety and health hazards found in the home environment.
The EHW inspector returns to perform the interventions, e.g. stair gates and handrails, improved lighting, window guards, cabinet locks, etc., and brings a number of health and safety items for the family, e.g. HEPA vacuum cleaner, smoke and Carbon Dioxide (CO) alarms, digital thermometer (exchanged for the mercury thermometer), etc. The medical resident reinforces the behavioral changes at subsequent clinic visits. A survey of participating medical residents revealed that 71 percent of them felt the experience changed how they practiced medicine. Over the past six years, the program serves 60 patient homes a year.
Contact Dorr G. Dearborn, Dept of Environmental Health Sciences School of Medicine, 216.368.5967
University Hospitals / Case Medical House Calls Program provides medical care to homebound disabled and older adults who are unable to access primary care. The program also educates and trains health science students (medical, nursing and social work) about health care delivery systems (Medicare, Medicaid and the Aging Network) and caring for older adults. Directed by the University Hospitals Center for Geriatric Medicine and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine since 2005, the program helps make it possible to keep seniors living independently in their homes. For the past two years, every medical student spends a half-day on house calls with a medical team. Students experience firsthand direct care in a person's home. Students appreciate the demands placed on a caregiver and the extraordinary aging network that exists to support older adults living independently in their own homes. The program is serves more than 300 people each year.
Contact Peter DeGolia, School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, 216.983.5890
The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland has held a historic partnership with Case Wesetern Reserve University School of Medicine faculty and students who serve as the core volunteer team providing and supporting the diverse medical related services and activities of the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland. Founded in 1970, students are able to integrate the Free Clinic activities as part of their curriculum in addition to individual volunteer activities. Current partnership activities include: First and Second Year Experiences: students participate in hands-on experiences and activities, such as taking medical histories, pharmacy technician, advocacy and quality projects, syringe exchange program, HIV intervention specialist and community outreach educator. Third Year Family Medicine Rotation: 12 students each year are placed at the Free Clinic for a one-month core clerkship in family medicine. Fourth Year Family Medicine Elective: students can elect a two week or four week rotation as part of the provider team in the adult primary care clinic. Additional Fourth Year Elective Options: these options mirror the opportunities available for first and second year students with the more in-depth concentration of time that a fourth year rotation can provide through a full-time two or four week experience. The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland serves more than 11,000 patients each year.
The Community Research Partnership Core of the Case Western Reserve University Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC), includes a number of innovative and integrated activities that partner with Cleveland communities to enhance community based research and involvement with designing, conducting and disseminating research. The goal is to teach researchers, educators, community organizations, and community residents how to appreciate, design and conduct research. Created in 2007, the CTSC offers a variety of programs throughout the year. One program is a consult service for researchers, community organizations and community residents interested in pursuing a research project that requires community involvement in some way. The consult service helps guide a researcher from brainstorming an idea, through applying for a grant. In addition, the Core administers a Community Resident Advisor program, which is an opportunity for community residents to get involved in developing new research projects. The Community Research Partnership Core connects the research with the Cleveland community. The goal is to educate researchers about how to approach the community in a meaningful way as well as teach the community the value of research and how the community can positively influence research.
Contact Ashwini Sehgal, MetroHealth, 216.778.7728
Pandemic Influenza Tabletop Exercise is a community-centered, six-hour educational experience designed for first-year medical students during their first week of medical school. The exercise is intended to give incoming medical students an opportunity to experience the extent and complexity of issues related to a pandemic flu emergency, including medical and public health systems issues; historical precedent; the biology of novel viral infection and vaccination; empowerment for public health preparedness volunteering; and the anticipated toll of such an event. The pandemic influenza tabletop exercise has been conducted for the past two incoming medical school classes (>160 students each year), focusing in the first year on avian influenza and in the second year on H1N1. Large group teaching sessions included the preparation phase; early action phase; the pandemic phase; the biology of novel viruses; field epidemiology and investigation of H1N1 cases; vaccine development; and "hot wash" following small groups. Small group sessions focused on description of stakeholder roles; and on community action planning.
The exercise engages more than 35 community stakeholders in small group teaching roles, communicating the details important for consideration for their particular constituency to the students, who in turn represented that community constituency during a second small group action planning session. Stakeholders included representatives from three local health departments (leadership, epidemiologists, nurses, preparedness planners); primary care and emergency physicians; intensivists; infectious disease specialists; hospital administration; the county coroner; safety forces (police, EMS, fire); community mental health professionals; nursing school; Red Cross; elected public officials; law and bioethics; university preparedness personnel (including student health services); families; and special populations (elderly, disabled, chronically ill); media (local TV anchor); and private sector. Learning objectives are identified for each stakeholder group and each component of the pandemic influenza tabletop exercise.
Contact Scott Frank, the Masters of Public Health Program, School of Medicine, 216.368.3725
The Extensive Care Unit (ECU) is an integrated, experiential, service-learning health curriculum designed to introduce medical students to epidemiology, biostatistics, community assessment, health risk behavior, health advocacy and leadership and social determinants of health. While the Intensive Care Unit is often considered the hotbed of medicine, the health of our nation demands that student physicians apply a comparable level of understanding the sciences that contribute to health improvement in populations and not just individuals. While biomedical sciences are essential, effective health care also requires an external focus on patterns of illness; prevention; recognition of social, behavioral and environmental factors; and the capacity to communicate with cultural competence. The ECU is conducted during the first five weeks of the medical student education with students divided into 20 groups, each assigned to a high need urban middle school and the surrounding neighborhood. The ECU groups analyze publicly available data (race, education, poverty rate, household structure, youth delinquency); use GIS mapping to identify social demographics by census tract; interview key community contacts; conduct a windshield survey; perform secondary analysis of Youth Risk Behavior Survey based data (including violence/safety, substance use; sexual behavior; fitness and nutrition; mental health and health quality of life) from their assigned middle school; generate a report made available to the community; and conduct service projects during the remaining academic year. Groups are supported by facilitators in community assessment and population health sciences.
The program is a required component of the medical school curriculum and involves more than 165 medical students each year. The community and middle school assessments conducted by the students are shared with community stakeholders. Based on results of the community assessment, each of the 20 small groups of students designs and performs a service project (called the Swetland Project) in the neighborhood they have analyzed. These service projects are planned over a four-month period of time and involve direct contact between the students and people in the neighborhoods. Previous projects have focused on nutrition and fitness; education, mental health; alcohol, tobacco and violence prevention.
Contact Scott Frank, School of Medicine's Masters of Public Health Program, 216.368.3725
Relay for Life is an 18-hour walk fundraiser to increase the awareness for cancer prevention, celebrate survivorship and direct energy toward fighting back against cancer. The funds raised directly support the programs and services provided by the American Cancer Society of Greater Cleveland. The event is held annually at the university's track and field at the Village at 115. The event impacts more than 1,200 people and has raised nearly $200,000 in just three years. Coordinated by the university's undergraduate and graduate students, the event successfully integrates the involvement of the campus and community.
Contact Colleen Barker Williamson, Office of Student Activities and Leadership, 216.368.2679
The Alaskan Indian Health Service program attracts dental students who are interested in completing a two- to three-week externship each year. Dental students between their third and fourth years volunteer to travel to Alaska in assisting Indian Health Service dentists in treating Native Americans and Eskimos.
Contact James Lalumandier, School of Dental Medicine, 216.368.3276
The Dominican Republic Dental Program is a student-initiated program that sends student volunteers to the Dominican Republic twice a year to provide dental services to those without access to oral health care. While students and faculty pay out-of-pocket expenses, there continues to be an overwhelming number of volunteers.
Contact James Lalumandier, School of Dental Medicine, 216.368.3276
The World Health Organization (WHO) was established in 1948 by the United Nations as its specialized agency for health. WHO's objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. WHO Collaborating Centres (WHOCC) are national institutions around the world designated by the WHO to collect and disseminate information on world health issues, provide education and training and participate in collaborative research. The WHO Case Center is charged with research and clinical training in home care nursing and is one of only 12 designated centers in the United States.