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April 07, 2022

Mayor Bibb Keynotes Event Hosted by The Center for Health Affairs

Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb shared an inspiring vision for the city’s future at an event hosted by The Center for Health Affairs on March 24.

“Cleveland can lead the next chapter of America’s recovery, to be a leading mid-size city in America,” he told the crowd of approximately 60 attendees of The Center’s sponsorship program kick-off event. “To do that, we must do a better job of partnering and embrace a true spirit of collaboration.”

Collaboration was the theme of the evening, with The Center for Health Affairs’ President & CEO Brian Lane, along with Heidi Gartland and Susan Fuehrer, echoing that theme in their own remarks.

Heidi Gartland is Chair Emeritus of The Center’s Board of Directors, a long-time supporter of and participant in The Center, and Chief Government and Community Relations Officer for University Hospitals. Susan Fuehrer is Chair of The Center’s Community Health Affairs Board of Directors, which focuses on collaborative community initiatives, as well as President of The MetroHealth System’s Institute for H.O.P.E.

Together, these leaders sought to create a sense of unity and partnership among the community members present that evening. Through its collaborative community health needs assessment initiative and the ensuing work that seeks to address identified needs, The Center aims to bring together not only hospitals and public health agencies, but also community organizations and local businesses who share an interest in making Cleveland and Northeast Ohio a place where people can flourish and meet their full potential.

Mayor Bibb and Brian Lane each shared their interconnected goals and priorities and offered community and business leaders the opportunity to connect and take part in this work. The mayor illustrated the success that can be achieved through collaboration by providing an example.

“I’m proud to announce that in just 80-plus days, we have increased our [COVID-19] vaccination rate by over three percentage points,” said Bibb. “When I took office on Jan. 3, our city had a 45% vaccination rate. Now, we’re at 48.7%. We have a city-wide goal of 60%. And so I’m going to be counting on all of you in this room to make sure that by the end of this year we get to 60% of our residents being vaccinated.”

He emphasized the importance of the collaboration that he and his administration led among healthcare institutions, schools and other nonprofit partners across the city through the city’s COVID-19 task force to achieve this success. He also highlighted the collaborative efforts of organizations working together to address the lead paint crisis and discussed his administration’s plans to further that work.

“How are we building a city where everyone can thrive and live up to their God-given potential?” Bibb asked the crowd, and then shared his administration’s goal of making Cleveland one of the first cities in North America to adopt a 15-minute city planning framework, so that development focuses on ensuring there are important resources like grocery stores, public transit and quality parks within a 15-minute walk for every resident.

“That’s how we eradicate these healthcare disparities in our city,” he said.

To hear Mayor Bibb’s full remarks, along with those of the other speakers, view the 30-minute recording available as part of The Center’s BrightTALK Healthcare Leadership Series.

For more information on The Center’s community initiatives, contact us.


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