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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GREATER CLEVELAND VOLUNTEER HEALTH PLAN

GREATER CLEVELAND VOLUNTEER HEALTH PLAN

The GREATER CLEVELAND VOLUNTEER HEALTH PLAN is a volunteer group that in 1982 replaced the METROPOLITAN HEALTH PLANNING CORP. as Greater Cleveland's health-care planner. The group, privately funded, was formed by business executives, with Donald C. Flagg, a STOUFFER FOODS vice-president, the main organizer. Like its predecessor, the Volunteer Health Plan's main purpose was to "slow the increase in health costs without sacrificing the quality, availability, and accessibility of health care in the Cleveland area." Specifically, the group hoped to: prevent unreasonable expansion of a health-care system already over capacity; encourage price competition among health-care providers; and arouse consumer awareness and action. The Voluntary Health Plan is a 2-tier organization with an 18-member Board of Trustees and a 30-member Board of Governors. The trustees meet 3 or 4 times a year, and the Board of Governors, all volunteers, carry out their directives. Harry J. Bolwell was elected chairman of the first Board of Trustees. Stephen F. Sears was the executive director in 1986. In 1984 the state designated the Volunteer Health Plan as the Greater Cleveland health planner to act as an advisory group to the Ohio Department of Health. The plan was also empowered to lobby on proposed health-care legislation. In 1994 it handled almost $500,000 in federal funds annually.


See also HOSPITALS AND HEALTH PLANNING, MEDICINE.