University Hospitals

Introducing you to a healthcare organization that continues to positively impact northeast Ohio. Let’s take a look at University Hospitals.

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Narrator

Each month, Kaulig Giving and Fox 8 will highlight people, organizations and charities making a difference in northeast Ohio. It's time to celebrate Cleveland's Own!

Matt Kaulig

Hi, I'm Matt Kaulig and I'd like to introduce you to a healthcare organization that continues to positively impact northeast Ohio. Let's take a look at University Hospitals.

Matt Kaulig

Dr. Megerian, and thank you for hosting us today. You're in a little bit of a big transition. You're here at university hospitals. So tell us about that.

Dr. Cliff Megerian

Well, Matt, I'm honored and privileged, really, to be following Mr. Tom Zenty, who's been really an unbelievable leader and has created a tremendous legacy here at University Hospitals. When Tom leaves in early 2021, we will continue and actually double down on our goal and our pursuit of the science of health and the art of compassion.

Matt Kaulig

How is long has Tom been CEO?

Dr. Cliff Megerian

Tom has been here 17 years. And so it'll be really our responsibility to make sure we put the team together to continue the fantastic legacy that he started and to make sure this continues in the years to come.

Matt Kaulig

And how long have you been with the University Hospitals?

Dr. Cliff Megerian

I've been here. Matt, actually, in two stents. First, I trained here and here in late 80s, 88 to 93 as a surgical resident and left to go out east and came back in 2002 to be a junior surgeon in the Department of Organology. So in this stent, I've been here close to 18 years and Tom actually arrived a year after I arrive in 2003.

Matt Kaulig

And how long have you known that you were going to replace Tom?

Dr. Cliff Megerian

You know, I found out for the first time officially on December 19th last year in 2019. And there was prior to that evaluation process and a succession process that was run by the board that went on for some time. But I was obviously delighted and honored and frankly, realized what a big challenge it's going to be when I was informed in December that I was going to be his replacement.

Matt Kaulig

Share with us some other ways that University Hospitals is making a positive impact on the Northeast Ohio community.

Dr. Cliff Megerian

You know Matt, that's an excellent question. And as we speak, both locally and nationally, there's a significant amount of unfortunate disparity with regards to in-healthcare outcomes in minority communities, specifically in our area, with regards to infant mortality, with regards to how people with chronic diseases fare in the long term. And we have not taken that lightly. In fact, we've doubled down. And some of the things that we're very proud of and we'll do more early highlighted by some of the efforts that we've made in the past few years, specifically with regards to infant mortality. We've realized that if we could deliver healthcare to communities in their own neighborhood, like in the midtown community, in the Huff area where we built the Rainbow Center for Women's and Children's, we actually are beginning to see a lessening that disparity in infant mortality because we deliver prenatal care right to the home. We've delivered significant assets to the Otis Moss Jr. Healthcare Center in creating a primary care outlet right in the Fairfax neighborhood. And finally, things like first year Cleveland, which are designed to improve the health of babies in our communities, are all, I think, emblematic of the activity that UH has taken to specifically target the disparities in healthcare in the minority population and more importantly, in these vital parts of our community.

Matt Kaulig

I can speak for all people in northeast Ohio that we're very blessed to have UH in our community and the impact and the amount of things that you do for the community. Everybody knows about it and really appreciates it. So thank you.

Dr. Cliff Megerian

Thank you, and I'll add, you know, during this really unfortunate Covid situation, UH along with its other hospital partners, I think all of us together worked well in responding and making sure Northeast Ohio was very, very fully prepared for even the worst possible surge of Covid patients. Unfortunately, we work together well, but out of that, we realize that as the economy was starting to open up, that many industries, companies that are not necessary in the health care area had some concerns and maybe some trepidations about how to open up their doors again to their customers and their employees. And so we were the first, I think, to develop what's called a UH playbook. Which was and is run by Dr. Joan Zoltanski, who you'll meet, which is a incredible document and really source of information for our communities and our companies to develop the necessary skills to be prepared to safely welcome both customers and employees back into the workplace.

Matt Kaulig

I obviously want to do everything I can to keep my employees, our facilities, our customers safe so doctor Zoltanski, as Chief Experience Officer here at University Hospitals, why did you think it was necessary to have the UH Healthy Restart Playbook made?

Dr. Joan Zoltanksi

Well at University Hospitals during this pandemic, we have been taking care of the community patient by patient, providing medical care and medical care advice to individuals. And as the governor talked about restarting and reopening public spaces, there was a lot of outreach from the community to us, to ask us about guidance in public spaces. And so we felt it was important to offer our subject matter expertise to the community in that way as well. So what we did was we stood up this healthy restart effort, this content to try to give best practices to the community so that we could be safe as we re-enter the workplace.

Matt Kaulig

Now, how many people were involved in putting that together?

Dr. Joan Zoltanksi

You know, really, our whole hospital system, because we've been operating during Covid, we have been thinking about all of these things, about keeping our people safe facilities safe when operating in public spaces. But what we did was we took these trusted resources that we use and many people use, like Centers for Disease Control, Ohio Department of Health and then we asked our subject matter expertise to really give some depth to that and also some practical examples of that that businesses could use.

Matt Kaulig

What will you find in the playbook?

Dr. Joan Zoltanksi

So in the playbook, we have advice for businesses and individuals and how to support re-entering into these public spaces in a healthy way. And so we took recommendations from the CDC and Ohio Department of Health, these trusted resources and combine them with our subject matter expertise to offer advice to businesses and also to individuals like you and me and what we should expect when we go into businesses. So for employers, for businesses, we have offered advice on the questions that they were asking us around how to keep their people safe so their employees, their customers, how to keep their facilities and equipment safe and clean. And then also how to lead during these times. How do you communicate during these times? And for customers, for individuals like you and me, you could look at the playbook and find the things that you should expect when you go into a business around how they are cleaning, how they are screening their employees before they enter the workplace. And so we have a phrase in there that we've coined that resonates in our organization, I think also in the community, which is screen, clean and six feet in between.

Matt Kaulig

I love it!

Dr. Joan Zoltanksi

But that's really the basics of what everyone needs to know. So masking, and then when you go into a workplace, how am I screening my employees before they enter? How am I cleaning in times of covered? And what are the physical distancing measures that I'm taking to support the safety of the community?

Matt Kaulig

Did you come up with that?

Dr. Joan Zoltanksi

That's a UH phrase and we love it. It's really the basics of what we all need to be doing.

Matt Kaulig

How can Fox 8 viewers find out more information about the UH Healthy Restart Playbook?

Dr. Joan Zoltanksi

If you go to our website at universityhospitals.org/restart, you'll find there, content. You can download the playbook. And also, one of the things to know that people love is there's a spot to ask our subject matter experts questions. If you go to that, ask an expert spot, you can put in a question and we answer the most frequently asked questions for the community.

Matt Kaulig

Well, thank you for being awesome and thank you to you age for everything that you guys do for the community. We really appreciate it.

Dr. Joan Zoltanksi

Well, thanks for inviting me.

Matt Kaulig

To learn more about how you can help, go to uhhospitals.org/restart. Make it a great day!