Community Resources and Partners

Explore these initiatives and organizations below to learn what is being done and what you can do.

The Better Health Partnership

The Better Health Partnership brings together multiple stakeholders who provide, purchase, pay for and receive health care, leading collaboration to advance common goals to improve healthcare quality and affordability in our region.
Built on a foundation of trusted data and interpreted and published to motivate improvement opportunities, The Better Health Partnership develops and works with programs that align with core principles of ongoing health care reform. They support primary care as the nucleus of the health care system as well as efforts to shift from volume based payment to value based payment to enable comprehensive, coordinated and patient centered care. The Better Health Partnership is a community of leaders, collaborators, partners and champions for innovative programs that accelerate health care transformation for our neighbors, employees, patients and the economic vitality of our community.

Bridges Out of Poverty

Bridges Out of Poverty, based in part on Dr. Ruby K. Payne’s book A Framework for Understanding Poverty, is a program that reaches out to millions of service providers and businesses whose daily work connects them with people in poverty. The program helps to foster a deeper understanding of the challenges of those in poverty so to better partner with them to create opportunities for success. There are Bridges Out of Poverty communities across the country bringing people from all sectors and economic classes together to improve job retention rates, build resources, and support those who are moving out of poverty. The northeast Ohio Bridges Steering Committee is called Great Lakes Bridges Out of Poverty

The Center for Reducing Health Disparities 

The Center for Reducing Health Disparities helps to direct the Community Research Partnership Core of the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative involving Case Western Reserve University, The MetroHealth System, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and Cleveland Clinic. The aims of this collaborative are to facilitate community based research among faculty, students, community organizations, and community residents.

Its mission is to reduce health disparities through:

  • research on root causes, mechanisms, and interventions
  • education of students, providers, and policy makers
  • partnership with community organizations and government agencies

Cleveland Department of Public Health

Cleveland Department of Public Health is the local public health agency for the city of Cleveland. The department is charged with improving the quality of life in the city of Cleveland by promoting healthy behavior, protecting the environment, preventing disease, and making the city a healthy place to live, work, and play. The Cleveland Department of Public Health is made of a range of programs providing clinical, environmental, health promotion, and population based services.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is a partner in many community health, educational, and research endeavors. They serve as the backbone organization for HIP-Cuyahoga. CHI faculty member Heidi Gullett serves as the Population Health Liaison to the Board of Health, and is embedded there for part of her work. We are working with the Board of Health in a partnership that has many of the components of an Academic Health Department while developing a health partnership of shared learning and action to improve community health—working to resolve problems such as obesity, violence, chronic disease and disparity by focusing on their related determinants, including: inequitable opportunity, fragmented systems, and unhealthy social, behavioral, and physical environments. 

This health partnership aims to advance community health through:

  • research and demonstration projects
  • developing capacity for evaluation of collective impact
  • coordinated educational initiatives
  • bringing academic resources to public health, and public health resources to academia
  • joint policy and advocacy for collective impact for community health
  • publication and creative, interactive communication

Greater University Circle Community Health Initiative (GUCCHI)

GUCCHI was a partnership of the seven Greater University Circle Neighborhoods―Glenville, East Cleveland, Little Italy, Hough, Fairfax, Central, Buckeye/Shaker―Neighborhood Connections and the University Circle Anchor Institutions including Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic to improve community health. This partnership developed relationships, brought together relevant information, and created intentional space. Its initiatives took on the root causes of problems in health through resident led collaborative action while also piloting interventions that potentially could be scaled up. 

Two major current projects involved collaborative efforts to reduce harm from lead poisoning (focused on the Glenville neighborhood with evaluation of scaling options through a pay for success approach), and reducing disparities in infant mortality (focused on the Hough Neighborhood, and scaled up through work by Birthing Better Communities, and by collaboration with First Year Cleveland.

GreenCityBlueLake Institute 

GreenCityBlueLake Institute is the sustainability center of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH). Their work supports making northeast Ohio a leader in transformative urban revitalization—a metropolitan area that demonstrates how urban revitalization can work with nature. GreenCityBlueLake believes the key to sustainability is the development of ecological cities where people can live healthy lives with reduced environmental footprints.

Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga)

Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga) understands that some people are born and live in places where it is difficult to be healthy. The conditions in which people live and the opportunities they have form the foundation for health. Without a healthy foundation, people are more likely to live shorter, sicker lives. That is why more than 100 community partners have come together as the HIP-Cuyahoga Consortium to build opportunities for everyone in Cuyahoga County to have a fair chance to be healthy. When healthy living is easier, we all live longer lives.
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in investing dedicated efforts to the consortium by supporting CHI faculty member Heidi Gullett, MD, MPH embedded as the Population Health Liaison with the Cuyahoga Board of Health that serves as the backbone organization to the HIP-Cuyahoga Consortium.
HIP-Cuyahoga Key Priorities:

  • eliminating structural racism
  • healthy eating & active living
  • chronic disease management
  • linking clinical and public health

The Cuyahoga County Community Health Needs Assessment Steering Committee is excited to share an update on the status of the report and selected priorities that will guide our collaborative work for 2020-2022. The true value of this joint health assessment process is having community residents, stakeholders and other institutions come together at the same table to plan for collaborative action. The 2019 CHNA is a helpful framework for collaborative, multi-stakeholder action planning.

Together with the Steering Committee's input as well as the input of community residents and other stakeholder organizations, the following health priorities were chosen:

1.     Eliminating structural racism

Structural racism is defined as racial bias across and within society. It’s the cumulative and compounded effects of a range of factors such as public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms that work in various, often reinforcing ways to maintain racial inequity.

2.     Enhancing trust and trustworthiness across sectors, people, communities

  • between Hospital/Public Health Systems and Residents
  • between Clinicians and Patients
  • between Social Service Agencies / Community Stakeholders and Hospitals

3.     Addressing community conditions, such as reducing poverty and its effects, including transportation and homicides / violence / safety

4.     Enhancing mental health and reducing substance abuse

5.     Reducing chronic illness and its effects

To view the full report (publicly released on October 22, 2019), please visit this webpage. We welcome your input, feedback and questions.

The Department of Human Health & Evolutionary Medicine 

The Department of Human Health & Evolutionary Medicine is focused on the relationship between human health and natural history. With a focus on the health of modern Clevelanders, the department works to inform and empower people about their own health. It also works closely with the Museum’s Education Division to create and support hands-on health workshops and school programs that encourage education and study about health-related issues.

MyGlenville Project 

There are well-documented and widely publicized health disparities among residents living in greater Cleveland, highlighted by a recently released life expectancy map of Greater Cleveland area showing a life expectancy of 82 years in Lyndhurst but only 70 years in Glenville. The Glenville neighborhood, a predominantly low income African American community immediately adjacent to University Circle, also reports astonishingly high rates of infant mortality (18.9/per 1,000) and neonatal mortality (14.8/per 1,000) which are nearly 3 times the rates reported for the state and national averages. Furthermore, the percentage of children in Glenville with elevated blood lead level is 23.3%, far higher than for the state (3%), the county (9%), the city of Cleveland (12.9%) and the national average (0.6%). Environmental factors at the personal, neighborhood and community levels have been increasingly recognized as important determinants of health disparities. A full understanding of how these factors may drive these stark health disparities in Glenville is critical for implementing evidence based and effective interventions to reduce the observed disparities.
The MyGlenville Community and Environmental Health Assessment project iwa jointly conceptualized by the Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health at Case Western Reserve University, the Coniglio Construction Company, the Famicos Foundation, and the Sears-Swetland Family Foundation based on a shared vision of environmental justice and health for all. This community based participatory project aimed to build a long term partnership with the Glenville community and to comprehensively and longitudinally assess the living, environment, and health of a cohort of 500 residents representative of the Glenville community. This project hoped to provide a foundation for community wide efforts to advance the community and environmental health of the people of Glenville, Cleveland, as well as communities across the country.


PolicyBridge is a nonpartisan, African-American led research and advocacy think tank that prompts and sustains high quality discourse about public policy issues affecting African-Americans and other underserved communities to inform citizens and encourage action. The original intent of the organization was to conduct research and shed light on public policy issues affecting African-Americans by writing research reports and policy briefs and also coordinating community forums. 

PolicyBridge focuses its policy work in the following content areas: 

  • economic development
  • urban education health and wellness
  • community development and revitalization
  • social justice
  • cultural diversity, inclusion and equity
  • workforce development 

Since 2005, PolicyBridge has broadened its research boundaries to include other minority communities and underserved populations.

Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

The Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) was formed in 2009 to address chronic health issues faced in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the greater Cleveland area.

The mission of the PRCHN is to foster partnerships within low resource urban neighborhoods to develop, test, and implement effective and sustainable strategies and interventions to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic disease. This is undertaken by collaborating with neighborhood residents, leaders, and community organizations in greater Cleveland to address the significant environmental and lifestyle issues that serve as barriers to good health.
Some of the initiatives taking place within the PRCHN:

  • Food Access and Community Nutrition 
  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
  • Supportive Environments for Healthy Eating & Active Living 
  • Place-Based Environmental Surveillance