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March 04, 2020 (Cleveland)

$5,000 Donation to Support The Literacy Cooperative Highlights Commitment to Community: Gift Enables 2,500 Books to be Mailed to Children This Year

Support The Literacy CooperativeThe Center for Health Affairs and CHAMPS Healthcare announced an exciting $5,000 donation to support The Literacy Cooperative’s program management and expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Cuyahoga and Lake counties. This critical program supports literacy in the home, fosters optimal family literacy habits and supports kindergarten readiness by mailing a new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until five years of age. The program is available to all children ages 0 to 5 in Cuyahoga County and those living in the cities of Kirtland and Wickliffe in Lake County.

Supporting this critical program with a financial contribution aligns with the community health work that The Center carries out on behalf of its membership to respond to pressing health needs in the community. One of the five priorities identified in the 2019 Cuyahoga County Community Health Needs Assessment is improving community conditions, including poverty. Low literacy levels pervade all of Cuyahoga County and literacy is foundational to future success. Research has demonstrated linkages between low literacy and both poverty and adverse health outcomes.

Based on a 2019 survey of Imagination Library families in Cuyahoga County, Imagination Library books comprise 75% or more of the books in home libraries in nearly half of responses from high poverty zip codes.   

A $5,000 check was presented to Robert Paponetti, president and chief executive officer of The Literacy Cooperative, at The Center for Health Affairs’ February 27 board meeting.

“We are grateful to receive this generous donation from The Center for Health Affairs and CHAMPS Healthcare, which will help us expand efforts to boost literacy rates in Cuyahoga and Lake counties through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” said Robert Paponetti. “With this donation, more than 2,500 books will be mailed to children during this year.”

Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are:

  • Christopher McKenna, managing director, Carleton McKenna & Co., LLC
  • Brian Lane, president and CEO, The Center for Health Affairs and CHAMPS
  • Yolandi Myers, senior vice president of Business Operations, The Center for Health Affairs and  CHAMPS
  • Lisa Anderson, senior vice president, Member Services, The Center for Health Affairs
  • Timothy Longville, chief accounting officer / controller, Cleveland Clinic
  • Robert Paponetti, president and CEO, The Literacy Cooperative
  • Albert Matyas, vice president of Ambulatory Operations and Business Development, Southwest General Health Center
  • Mario Franco, senior vice president of Finance and Operations, The Center for Health Affairs
  • Craig Richmond, executive vice president and chief financial officer, The MetroHealth System

Board members not pictured include:

  • Richard Cicero, senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development and executive director, Lake Health
  • Ralph Dise, president, Dise & Company
  • Susan Fuehrer, president of Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity, The MetroHealth System
  • Heidi L. Gartland, vice president of government and community relations, University Hospitals
  • William Young, Jr., president and CEO, Southwest General Health Center

The Center seeks to raise $25,000 collectively with its members and partner organizations to support The Literacy Cooperative’s management and expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

“Today we are challenging our members and other committed community partners to support The Literacy Cooperative with a financial contribution,” said Brian Lane. “As we collectively seek to boost literacy rates in Northeast Ohio and drive down poverty, we are ultimately working toward a long-term positive impact on the health of our community.”

To learn more about The Literacy Cooperative initiative, including how to make a contribution, click here.