Professorship leverages power of nurses to lead healthcare
As healthcare systems across the country feel the mounting pressures of an aging and increasingly diverse patient population, staff burnout, a workforce shortage and rising costs – a partnership between The MetroHealth System and Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School (FPB) of Nursing seeks to leverage the power of nursing leadership to improve the health and well-being of the underserved and vulnerable in Greater Cleveland and beyond.
The JoAnn Zlotnick Glick Endowed Fund in Community Health Nursing, created as part of a significant investment by JoAnn and her husband, Bob, in The MetroHealth System to reverse health inequities, supports an endowed professorship at FPB. Named for JoAnn Glick, an FPB graduate who worked as a registered nurse in medically underserved urban hospitals in Cleveland and Philadelphia, the professorship will be held by MetroHealth’s Melissa Kline, senior vice president and system chief nurse executive. It is believed to be the first-of-its-kind nursing professorship given to a safety net hospital.
The two will be recognized Wednesday, September 13 at 3:30 p.m. at the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Grand Ballroom in the Tinkham Veale University Center at Case Western Reserve University.
The event will feature keynote presentations from nationally renowned nursing and research leaders Jeanette Ives Erickson, chief nurse emerita at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Joanne Spetz, director of the Phillip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy at UC San Francisco. The two will discuss the role of nursing in an evolving healthcare system and the critical role nurses will play in the future of health care.
“As a nurse, I saw firsthand how residents from underserved urban areas entered the healthcare system with preventable complications from their diseases and, therefore, needed much more care. As nurses we need to be more proactive,” said JoAnn Glick. “Working with people to manage their health leads to a healthier and more productive community. It’s time we focused on health and wellness.”
“A commitment to community health – to meeting people where they are, became so much more important coming out of COVID,” said Kline. “I am hopeful our work here will not only help us respond to underserved populations but also to advance our efforts from being reactive to proactive. The partnership between MetroHealth and the School of Nursing will aid in changing nursing education to take on a more preventative approach to improve the health of our community.”
Dr. Airica Steed, MetroHealth’s president and CEO, is a fourth-generation nurse. She says, “The fact that this professorship will focus on the education, practice and scholarship of community health nursing makes it not just groundbreaking but earth-shifting for our efforts to widen health access, end health disparities and advance health equity. And it’s all possible because of the passion and generosity of JoAnn and Bob Glick.”
This sentiment was echoed by School of Nursing Dean Carol Musil. “This endowed chair between MetroHealth nursing and the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing directly addresses what nurses have known and studied for a long time: that social and environmental forces have a great impact on health,” said Musil. “And nurses can change that relationship.”