Through research, outreach and direct care, members of the Case Western Reserve community aim to enhance the lives of our neighbors in Cleveland—and well beyond.
Mayor of Cleveland Justin Bibb speaks at a podium wearing a blue suit and smiling during his State of the City address, given at the Maltz Performing Arts Center.
Mayor Justin Bibb

From CWRU to City Hall

By the time Justin Bibb began graduate study at Case Western Reserve, he’d already worked in the private and public sectors—and even launched a nonprofit.

He saw CWRU’s joint JD/MBA program as an opportunity to prepare for a position that touched on them all.

Collaboration, communication and trust are keys to building the open and responsive and transparent City Hall that we promised you. ... Cleveland, this is just the beginning.

Alumnus and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb at his first State of the City address, held on campus

Nearly four years after earning the two degrees, Bibb came to campus to provide an update on his new job. Elected Cleveland’s second-youngest mayor with 63% of the vote, he opted to present his first State of the City address from the same stage where he received his JD diploma in 2018.

The following month, he returned as the university’s commencement speaker. “This is the time to be bold,” he told thousands seated in the audience and viewing via livestream, “To challenge the status quo. To be fearless.”

School of Medicine Professor Sanjay Rajagopalan poses for a photo in front of an imaging machine, dressed in a suit.
Sanjay Rajagopalan

The Heart of the Matter

Black Americans are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure and 30% more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic white Americans.

Now, through an $18.2 million National Institutes of Health grant, researchers in Cleveland and Detroit are studying the impact of interventions involving a community health worker-led, personalized, adaptable approach to lifestyle and life circumstances.

Their ultimate goal?

Improving Black Americans’ cardiovascular health—and closing the “seismic gaps … that continue to result in disproportionate and disappointingly poor outcomes” for the Black community, said School of Medicine Professor Sanjay Rajagopalan, also the division chief of cardiovascular medicine at University Hospitals.


partner institutions on the Addressing Cardiometabolic Health Inequities by Early PreVEntion in the Great Lakes Region (ACHIEVE GreatER) grant to address inequities in healthcare

A Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing student in a face mask administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a person sitting in a chair with a face mask on.

A Shot of Hope

After nearly 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents finally breathed sighs of relief when vaccines were approved for children ages 5 and up in fall 2021. Within days of approval, nursing and medical school faculty and students brought the shots into Cleveland elementary schools, administering vaccines to more than 200 people in one day.

"It's really satisfying that I could actually make a difference, and build that relationship with our community members," said nursing student Hannah Han.

Case Western Reserve University Assistant Professor Suparna Mahalaha and another person pose for a photo outside of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.
School of Dental Medicine Assistant Professor Suparna Mahalaha (right)

Spreading Smiles

Decades of trauma—related to fear, judgment, misunderstandings of identities and more—have led many LGBTQ+ individuals to avoid healthcare. School of Dental Medicine Assistant Professor Suparna Mahalaha wanted to create a better experience for these patients, so they would be more likely to seek the care they need.

The faculty member and alumna provided oral health education, tobacco cessation counseling and cancer screenings at an LGBT Community of Center of Greater Cleveland pop-up health clinic last spring.

The impact? Increased trust among her patients—and healthier smiles all around.

Case Western Reserve University’s campus from above with the Cleveland skyline in the background on a fall day.

Paving the Way for a Lead-Safe City

Nearly four years ago, data from Case Western Reserve helped persuade Cleveland officials to require landlords to secure lead-safe certifications by 2023.

Today, university researchers are highlighting landlords’ progress with an online dashboard.

Lead exposure poses tremendous risk to children’s neurological development, and Cleveland’s rates far exceed national averages.

The dashboard is part of the Lead-Safe Cleveland Coalition, a public-private partnership emerging as a model for other municipalities.

"[It's] now at a place where it becomes a major transparency mechanism for this vital community initiative," said Rob Fischer, co-director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development and associate professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.


Cleveland children had elevated blood lead levels in 2019

A Push Toward Justice

After fleeing torture in his native El Salvador, a man was detained by U.S. immigration officials for more than two years.

As deportation loomed, he found himself with unexpected allies: law students and faculty who argued his case in federal court— and prevailed.

It’s just one example of transformative legal experiences made possible through the school’s 10 pro-bono law clinics—and it’s among the reasons preLaw magazine ranked CWRU No. 5 in the country for practical training.

A smart industry robot arm for digital factory production technology pictured with a person with a hardhat on.

Manufacturing Revitalized Neighborhoods

In the wake of Northeast Ohio’s industrial decline, small- and medium-sized manufacturers have struggled to adapt to advanced technologies.

With support from a three-year, $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant, faculty from regional institutions are working to catalyze a comeback.

Led by Robert Gao at Case School of Engineering, the team—composed of researchers from Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State University and Lorain County Community College—aims to position these manufacturers to compete with larger companies.

By teaching concepts related to the “Internet of Things” and helping to update machinery, they hope to help modernize manufacturing, assist with workforce development and keep more talented workers in the area.

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Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers in the U.S., including one at CWRU that opened last spring with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and partners