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, 23.3% of children younger than 6 in Glenville, have an elevated blood lead level greater than 5 micrograms per deciliter [μg/dL]. This far surpasses the average elevated blood lead level for children younger than 6 in the City of Cleveland (12.9% >5 [μg/dL]), Cuyahoga County (9% > 5 [μg/dL]), State of Ohio (2.81% > 5 [μg/dL]), and USA (3.31% > 5 [μg/dL]). These numbers were taken from 2015 data from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Ohio Department of Health, and CDC.

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 is 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 aims 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 will 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.


To assess the impact of the broad environment (biological, physical, neighborhood, and community) on the observed health disparities in the Glenville community, and to ultimately implement evidence-based interventions to reduce these disparities. Specifically, the project will:

  • Examine the baseline characteristics (diet, lifestyle, behavior, environment, and biological factors) of a representative sample of Glenville community residents.
  • Fully engage the community for long-term improvement for a healthy environment and healthy living.

Partners & Collaborators

  • Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health
  • Ms. Margaret W. Wong
  • Sears-Swetland Family Foundation
  • S. Livingston Mather Charitable Trust
  • Stonebrook Montessori
  • The Coniglio Construction Company
  • The Famicos Foundation
  • The Presidents’ Council Foundation

Study Design

The study is conceptualized by and built upon a community and academic partnership guided by principles of community-based participatory research. The project will be implemented in 4 phases:

  1. Community Engagement
  2. Recruitment
  3. Data Collection
  4. Data Analysis & Dissemination

Data will be collected at baseline of ~500 Glenville residents. Data collection will be coordinated by the Famicos Foundation and Swetland Center for Environmental Health. Baseline data will be collected using a computer-assisted personal interview in order to capture dietary, health, lifestyle, environmental, and behavioral information. This interview will be supplemented with questionnaires and biosamples (hair, toenails, urine, and stool) that will be self-collected by the participants in mailed out/pre-labeled kits. In addition, soil and household drinking water samples will be collected. Participants will be actively followed longitudinally (beyond year 1) for health outcomes.

Project Timeline & Activities

Months 1-3

  • Community Engagement
  • Training of Data Collectors
  • Consenting & Recruitment

Months 4-9

  • Baseline Data Collection
  • Refinement of Data Collection Strategies

Months 10-12

  • Data Analysis
  • Data Sharing
  • Results Dissemination

Follow-up Beyond 1 Year

  • Seek Federal Funding
  • Implement Evidence-based Program
  • Assess reduction of health disparities


There is increasing recognition of the inextricable links among biological, social, and environmental determinants of health and health disparities. MyGlenville Community and Environmental Health Assessment initiative will provide a lasting infrastructure for diverse community partners to work together to generate community-relevant knowledge, to advance the health of greater Cleveland, and to reduce health disparities.