The HOUGH-NORWOOD FAMILY HEALTH CARE CENTER was established in 1967 with an Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) grant to serve the needs of the inner-city poor, long neglected by the medical community. The center, at 1465 E. 55th St., offered primary care to any residents of HOUGH, Norwood, or Goodrich whose income fell below the poverty line—about 30,000 of the 76,000 Hough residents. Within the first year, hundreds of AFRICAN AMERICANS, SLOVAKS, CROATIANS and members of the hispanic community registered at the center. By 1971 there were 16,000 on the center's active roles and an average of 1,500 patients per week; the clinic estimated that it served over half the neighborhood. The center opened satellite facilities at 8300 Hough in 1972 and at 12108 Superior in 1980. The center maintained a walk-in service for minor emergencies and ties with Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, UNIV. HOSPITALS, and MT. SINAI MEDICAL CENTER for major ones. The center was staffed by pediatricians, dentists, internists, optometrists, medical assistants, dental technicians, and family-care workers; a night telephone center made referrals after hours. The center trained neighborhood residents for outreach and "health action" work, as well as other paraprofessional positions. It offered transportation, child care, and a friendly atmosphere.

A 1978 government report accused the center of misspending. Of the $1.1 million waste found at 6 neighborhood health centers throughout the nation, over half was concentrated at the Cleveland operation, which had 1 extra doctor and 45 more support workers than was deemed necessary. Director James Turner made some staff cuts, losing drug rehabilitation programs that required extra personnel. When the government transferred OEO funds to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1973, the center feared a loss of funding. With the support of the Cleveland ACADEMY OF MEDICINE, however, it obtained additional federal grants; it also solicited the business community to finance special projects, such as remodeling a building in GLENVILLE donated by AMERITRUST. A new branch of the center was scheduled to open in 1995 at 15301 Euclid Ave. With 450 employees, the Hough-Norwood Family Health Care Center and its 6 branches served over 150,000 neighborhood residents in 1995.


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