Cleveland looking for to award $2M to financially troubled NEON Well being Providers utilizing pandemic aid cash: Stimulus Watch

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland City Council could pass bill Monday to allocate $ 2 million from the city’s pandemic funds to a nonprofit agency that is providing its CEO with more than $ 500,000 despite pre-pandemic financial difficulties pays.

Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services (NEON) are seeking funding from the American Rescue Plan to strengthen their health services in some of Cleveland’s poorest minority neighborhoods.

Proponents argue that the money could go far in supporting major health programs. but Tax returns from NEON reveal a precarious financial situation – and a CEO who received a $ 100,000 raise in a year the agency was caring for fewer patients and was in the red.

NEON’s plan to spend the $ 2 million American Rescue Plan Act will use the lion’s share – $ 1.4 million – on several new and existing programs, including mental health services, lead prevention and intervention, food distribution, Education about healthy eating, chronic disease control and health literacy. However, this funding pool also includes items such as “NEON Administration” and “NEON Direct Costs – Transportation”, with no US dollar amounts specified for any program.

Another $ 360,000 would work with LegalWorks, Inc. to fund a detox clinic, and $ 200,000 would be used to repair damage to the NEON Hough Health Center, which caught fire in May.

The Hough Center is temporarily closed, and NEON’s other centers are bringing health services to other areas where Clevelander suffer disproportionately from negative health outcomes, including Miles-Broadway, Norwood, St. Clair-Superior, and the Southeast Side.

NEON is a state-qualified health center and, according to IRS filings, brings in primarily cash from contributions – about $ 13 million in 2019 – and program services like Medicaid reimbursements totaling about $ 11 million in 2019. Funding is received through the administration for health resources and services. This agency said that NEON receives funding until the end of the year and has been approved for a 3-year funding from 01/01/2022 to 12/31/2024. The agency spokesman was not yet able to announce the total amount of the funding at the time of going to press.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, NEON Caring for fewer patients each year, down about a third over the past five years – from 31,804 in 2016 to 21,605 in 2020. From 2017 to 2018 – the year that board member granted CEO Willie Austin a $ 100,000 raise – NEON served 2,740 fewer employees.

Although NEON serves fewer Clevelanders, NEON’s tax returns are in deficit in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 – the last available year when net income was nearly $ 1 million in the red.

In 2020, NEON received more than $ 5 million in pandemic-related funding – a $ 3.6 million forgivable loan from the CARES Paycheck Protection Program and $ 1.6 million in additional Health Center Grants and $ 216,000 in Relief Funds. contacted NEON and Austin for this story.

Some of NEON’s financial difficulties are related to a payout of more than $ 1.3 million due to a Unlawful termination lawsuit. In this case, employee James O’Donnell was fired after raising concerns about a financial audit involving the questionable activities of Arthur Fayne, a NEON board member and head of the consulting firm hired to lead the New Eastside Market project, showed that the developer was responsible for the NEON.

In December 2020, Fayne has been charged with embezzling $ 855,000 from the Eastside Market project. The case is pending.

NEON was selected to develop the New Eastside Market in 2015 and rented the property on St. Clair Avenue from the city for $ 1 a year. The city has also deposited over $ 350,000 as well a 75 percent tax reduction for 15 years on improvements to the property, including new plumbing, electrical and roofing. When the project went over budget in 2018, the city approved an additional $ 500,000 grant. Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio also awarded grants of $ 750,000 each.

New Eastside Market opened in 2019 with a vision to operate a full-service grocery store in what is otherwise considered a “food wasteland,” as well as providing health and wellness services. But NEON has yet to deliver on some of his promises for the location, like opening a health clinic or a demonstration kitchen for nutritious cooking classes.

Alderman Basheer Jones, whose ward includes NEON’s Hough Clinic, was the council’s strongest supporter of raising $ 2 million in stimulus funds to NEON. Jones, who has given up his council seat because of an unsuccessful mayoral candidacy, has made the NEON proposal his final legislative proposal.

Speaking at a committee meeting on November 16, Jones said he saw NEON’s latest funding proposal as a step toward holistic health. Jones said when NEON was founded in 1967 it was one of the few health care providers that the city’s black community felt welcome.

“Well, I’m sure there have been a lot of mistakes along the way,” Jones continued. “Unfortunately we live in a country where some make mistakes and others can’t make mistakes… Why can some organizations as a city make mistakes and then get the resources and still be able to make mistakes? Do business and there are some who are excluded? “

The city council is expected to deliberate on the law at its final session of the year on Monday before a new council and mayor take office in January.

Stimulus Watch is a public service journalism project run by and The Plain Dealer to track federal funding reaching Northeast Ohio through the US rescue plan. Read more

Cleveland might use a few of its federal stimulus cash on police, however ought to it?

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Clevelands recent increase in violent crime could lead the city to spend a sizable chunk of its $ 511 million federal grant on police – but is this the best way to keep the city safer?

President Joe Biden, who signed the American rescue plan in March, announced in June that state and local governments could use their share of the economic funding to combat violence in their communities. The guidelines allow cities to hire more police officers – beyond pre-pandemic levels – as well as to buy more equipment and provide additional social services.

Pro-police organizations also advocate a share in economic funds. Lexipol, a company that trains and advises police services, is call on the city officials to dedicate part of the federal money to public safety.

But the subject is complicated. About a year after police killed George Floyd, the American Rescue Plan money came into the city coffers, and a resurgent Black Lives Matter movement included calls in expose the police and consider alternatives to the police. Both Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have made racism a public health crisis.

While some at City Hall are considering spending American Rescue Plan money on hiring police officers or buying police equipment, some activists don’t believe stimulus money should help police, which it has done so far as part of a declaration of consent with the Ministry of Justice since 2015

Ward 6 alderman Blaine Griffin, chairman of the council’s security committee, said Cleveland is considering spending some of its stimulus money on police and public safety, but it’s too early to estimate how much since the city is still in the initial phase is located Local residents ask how the money will be spent.

“I had a forum with my residents and other people getting feedback, and one of the most important things people really ask about is that we are really spending money on different types of safety tools,” said Griffin.

Griffin said he wasn’t sure the city would choose to use the one-time funding to hire more civil servants as it may not be sustainable to keep their salaries up after the federal grant expires.

“But I think there is a great opportunity for us to improve the technology and do things like cameras and drones,” said Griffin. He suggested buying StarChase devices that attach to cars to track potential suspects instead of chasing them, and ShotSpotter, a system that uses audio sensors and algorithms to detect gunfire and alert the police.

The Cleveland Police Department began using ShotSpotter technology in November. The company then came under fire a July report from Motherboard by Vice News suggested that police authorities have pressured ShotSpotter on several cases to alter evidence to strengthen criminal proceedings against accused shooters.

A spokesman for the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association did not respond to inquiries from and The Plain Dealer about the union’s advocacy for the police department to receive some of the city’s stimulus money. Sgt. Vincent Montague, president of the Black Shield Police Association, said he hoped some of the funds would be used for public safety.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at the ambulances, but they’re a mess and they go from call to call every day,” Montague said. “There aren’t enough police cars for cops, and the cars need to be repaired. The officers are tired because there aren’t enough officers … And we need more training, not only for the police, but also for the fire and rescue services. “

In addition to training, hiring more civil servants, and repairing or buying vehicles, Montague wants part of the funds to support maternity leave for pregnant workers.

“Women who are pregnant are forced to use their own sick time. So when they return to work, their vacation time, their comp time, is burned up. I advocate the city that someone who is pregnant should be able to reserve a lot of time in their infirmary for their pregnancy so that they don’t have to burn all their sick time, “Montague said.

Griffin said one of the biggest challenges with spending stimulus money is making sure the investments are sustainable.

“That money needs to be made available by 2024 and spent by 2026,” Griffin said. “I know that in the past people had to be laid off when the funding ran out. Whatever we do, in using this to hire corpses and get more officials out on the streets, we have to be very careful to make sure we have a source of income to keep them in place after the money is away.”

Josiah Quarles, an organizer and executive at Black Spring CLE, said the money would be better used to tackle the root causes of crime.

“The police rarely get into a situation before it happens. The police generally don’t stop murders before they happen, ”Quarles said. “What we have to do is tackle the mess before it happens. And there are so many ways to do that, but we really refuse to dig and put the money into building healthy communities because healthy communities are safe. “

Quarles said he would like to see Cleveland’s stimulus money spent on tackling inequality in education, unemployment, access to affordable fresh food and supporting mental health.

“To combat mental crisis before they turn violent, we need to put people in touch with the resources they need – clerks who move people into homes – without the police,” Quarles said.

In November 2014, 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson’s family called the Cleveland police for help because she was experiencing a mental crisis. Anderson died in police custody on the driveway. No officers were charged with her death, but two officers were given a 10-day unpaid suspension and a written warning.

Griffin, of the council’s security committee, agreed that some emergency calls should be answered by intervention specialists rather than police officers.

“One of the things we have in this town is a mental health problem,” said Griffin. “We really need some non-uniform crisis intervention specialists – people who can step in and provide the social services and psychological care that some people need.”

A Analysis by the Brookings Institute says the US bailout plan could also allow cities to create or expand their own alternative police programs that focus on mental health, like the one in San Francisco Street Crisis Response Team, Seattle Bless you, Denvers STAR program (Support Team Assisted Response) and Portlands Street answer.

Policy Matters Ohio issued a July report on the public safety redesign in Cleveland, which included a list of existing programs to help people with mental health problems, substance abuse problems, or other traumatic events, including the emergency phone number and the mobile team of the nonprofit FrontLine Service; road work coordinated by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless; Teams of crisis co-responders working with Cleveland police officers to respond to mental health calls; Training of crisis intervention teams for police officers; and intervention and trauma-informed training in recovery centers.

Kareem Henton, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Cleveland, said having an alternative to 911 police when callers seek help will save lives.

“That will save many people unnecessary trips to our criminal justice system or grappling with our criminal justice system, which further has a carcinogenic effect,” said Henton. “We believe we definitely need helpers with mental illness, but we do need helpers for someone who asks for money on the side of the road or at a motorway exit. The respondents can see what services they need, e.g. B. Assistance with the provision of accommodation. If there is a harassment complaint, e.g. B. Loud music, make code enforcement respond to give tickets to those people. Unnecessary interactions with law enforcement agencies create the potential for the next hashtag, and we absolutely want to avoid that. “

Antoine Tolbert is president of New Era Cleveland, a community security organization based in the Buckeye neighborhood. He said most calls to the police do not require the response of an armed officer and hopes the city will shift its public safety funds towards community-based alternatives instead.

“I think it’s time we tried something different,” said Tolbert. “The way things are now, it didn’t and didn’t work. Why keep putting money into a system that doesn’t benefit everyone?

“There needs to be more mental health funding and support to organizations that are already doing this work,” said Tolbert. “We don’t have to reinvent the wheel”

If Cleveland spends the majority of its public safety funds on traditional police forces, Quarles of Black Spring told CLE that it would send a hurtful message to many in the community.

“It sends the message that regardless of the talks last year, regardless of protests around the world, they made for good pictures and good nightly news when people were all quarantined in their homes, but at the end of the day It was a lot of lip service that day, ”said Quarles. “And when the rubber hits the street, the money goes to the same places where it always was … It would send the message that it was all for free.”

Reside leisure returns to Downtown Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – It’s been 15 months since the cast and crew performed live on the Playhouse Square stage, but the show finally went on Friday night.

“We’ve been doing this for 10 years, it’s very special,” said Amy Scanlan.

“It’s good to come back to the theater and this is a great show tonight and we look forward to the music and dancing and maybe even a little beer inside,” said John Scanlan.

Also, Southwest General Hospital is COVID-free for the first time in 15 months. Cindy Reitz is a nurse in the intensive care unit there.

“I’ve been a season ticket holder for years,” says Reitz. “So devastated in 2020 that we couldn’t go to the theater and like I said, I’ve been an intensive care nurse for 37 years and I really needed something to look forward to. When this became available in March, I couldn’t wait to sign up. What a way to celebrate it with our tickets in Playhouse Square! “

The world premiere of “The Choir of Man” took place at the Mini Ohio Theater. It was one of the first Playhouse Square theaters to open 100 years ago after the last pandemic, and the happy audience couldn’t have been more excited to be part of the first opening night.

“It’s exciting to be there on the opening night of the very first show at the Playhouse,” said Joseph Petrak. “We miss our Playhouse family and look forward to seeing the boys perform for us tonight.”

On Friday evening the fans were again in the stands in the Progressive Field, this time without masks and without restrictions, an opening day 2.0!

“Just real baseball in the house, hot dogs, beer, a good time with your buddies,” said one Indian fan.

“The excitement alone, it’s a great stadium when there are a lot of people around it, very exciting, just the whole atmosphere,” said another fan.

Copyright 2021 WOIO. All rights reserved.

NFL draft: Cleveland soccer followers have leisure aplenty

CLEVELAND – The FirstEnergy Stadium was as good as empty on Wednesday afternoon. No fans. No soccer players. Just a touch of moisture under the Cleveland sun.

But next Thursday it will be full – um, COVID-19 capacity anyway – and fans will turn into soccer players.

If only for a weekend.

The NFL opened FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday as part of their Draft Experience for football fans. Those participating in the NFL Draft will have the opportunity to throw passes, score field goals, and roam the stadium’s natural grass.

Children can participate in exercises under the guidance of NFL staff. Fans can also watch the design from the seats in the stadium.

The coverage of the jumbotrons in the stands in each end zone will be televised.

The draft starts on Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

“We are very excited. It’s a great privilege to use this field, ”said Nicki Ewell, NFL events director, as he presented the draft experience to reporters on Wednesday morning.

Of course, the Draft Experience, which will be released again in Las Vegas next year, goes beyond the confines of FirstEnergy Stadium.

Football fans can do the 40-yard dash alongside digital renders of Tennessee Titans with Derrick Henry and New York Giants with Saquon Barkley, two of the league’s best and most marketable players.

Train visitors can test their vertical jump and also browse the NFL “locker room”, a tented area displaying memorabilia from a player from all 32 teams. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has featured his jerseys prominently in a glass case that also includes shoulder pads, studs, and a helmet similar to the one he wears on Sundays.

Concessions are available and the tables are securely set up and next to another hill across from the stadium. Each of the three nights ends with a live concert – the Kings of Leon on Thursday, the Black Pumas on Friday, and the Cleveland-born machine gun Kelly on Saturday.

The entire Draft Experience is located next to the NFL Draft Theater on the shores of Lake Erie, where tomorrow’s stars will greet NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is within walking distance, and Ewell said the NFL intends to showcase the landmarks of the cities where the NFL draft is taking place.

“We really pay homage,” she said. “There have been very different iterations of what we’re going to do here in Cleveland, and this is one of the ones we came up with. … We want to make sure we have as much space as possible to receive as many fans as possible. “

The NFL expects up to 50,000 fans to attend design festivals each day. Ewell said FirstEnergy Stadium in particular is the largest Cleveland campus available to the NFL.

Bad weather is a possibility on Thursday nights, but the Draft Experience is structured to work regardless of the conditions.

Ewell said Cleveland’s passionate, loyal fan base was the main reason the NFL decided to bring the draft to Cleveland. The city is unlikely to ever host a Super Bowl, she said, but it’s more than worth hosting the draft and could be an option in the future too.

Brown’s fan or not, there’s something here to appeal to every single fan making their way to FirstEnergy Stadium. The Draft Experience is free, although fans wishing to participate in stadium activities must pre-register using the NFL’s OnePass application.

“The draft is a celebration for all 32 (teams) who are sure to nod the Cleveland Browns and the Dawg Pound,” said Ewell. “But all 32 are here.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at consequences @ BySamGordon on twitter.

Some Cleveland County Colleges workers to get some more money

Cleveland County Schools staff and bus drivers will have a little more cash in their pockets by the end of this year.

On Monday, the county education authority unanimously approved an increase in the teachers’ allowance and granted all bus drivers a general increase of $ 1 an hour.

Teacher allowances are additional amounts of money given to teachers in addition to their annual salary. The supplement sizes vary from county to county and district to district, with larger areas often offering more money than smaller ones.

“They’re a very important part in teacher recruitment,” said Head Boy Greg Shull. “As soon as we get people in the door, they really like to be here and love Cleveland County as a place to live, work and play. The supplements help us get them in.”

Before the vote on Monday, the additions for teachers were between 3.5% and 4.75%, depending on years of service. All teachers now receive a flat rate surcharge of 5.75% regardless of the length of service. How much money that actually means for each teacher depends on the length of service and the salary level. Base salary for teachers in North Carolina starts at $ 35,000 per year and ranges from $ 52,520 per year.

Teacher supplements are issued at different times throughout the year. The next payouts are set for June and use the newly approved rate of 5.75%.

Deputy headmasters and unclassified school staff will also experience an additional increase due to the vote of the Board of Directors.

The main surcharges for primary school assistants are 2% above the surcharge for teachers. The main surcharges for middle school assistants are 2.5% above the teacher surcharge and the main surcharges for high school assistants are 3% above the teacher surcharges.

All non-certified employees will also receive an annual bonus of 3% this year.

Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337 or Find him on Twitter @DustinLGeorge.

Cleveland Metropolis Council subpoenas for dark-money paperwork in anti-CPP effort go unanswered

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A nonprofit at the center of a $ 60 million corruption scandal has failed to respond to Cleveland City Council subpoenas for documents relating to alleged funding of an alleged Cleveland effort by FirstEnergy.

The Council in February Subpoenas to legal representatives of Generation Now Inc. in Delaware and Generation Now Ohio Inc. of Columbus, sophisticated records.

“They just didn’t answer,” City Council President Kevin Kelley said in an interview with on Thursday and The Plain Dealer.

Attempts to reach Generation Now for comment were not immediately successful.

Kelley said the council will consult lawyers to determine what, if anything, happens next.

City council had previously subpoenaed records of consumers against fraudulent charges, a dark money nonprofit that publicly criticized the CPP and CPP sent out leaflets to residents, in which the tariffs and services of the city electricity supplier were reduced.

This organization, which has since been dissolved, refused to comply with the request of the council, citing a violation of the freedom of speech of the organization.

The city council issued the subpoenas granted under authority in Cleveland’s charter – a power that has not been exercised for more than two decades.

Kelley and his fellow councilors want to know where consumers obtained $ 351,000 against fraudulent charges in 2018. They suspect the money came from FirstEnergy, CPP’s competitor.

The links between FirstEnergy and consumers against fraudulent charges were exposed in the fallout of the state house bribery scandal around HB 6, a legislative rescue of nuclear and coal power plants.

Records have shown that consumers received $ 200,000 from Partners in Progress against fraudulent charges in 2019. It was part of a larger sum of money the pass received from FirstEnergy.

An FBI affidavit and tax returns show Partners for Progress received $ 20 million from FirstEnergy and its affiliates. Partners for Progress donated $ 13 million to Generation Now as well as minor contributions to consumers against fraudulent charges and other groups.

In February, Generation Now admitted its share in the scandal and signed a pledge of guilt against charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

In a plea agreement, the nonprofit with the dark money said it was set up to “raise undisclosed donations that benefit householders and move forward [Larry] Efforts by households to become Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. “

Householder and two others pleaded not guilty to federal extortion charges. One of both, The lobbyist Neil Clark died in March.

Two others pleaded guilty last October.

FirstEnergy has not been billed and the company has announced that it will be working with investigators.

More from Cleveland City Hall

Buckeye Institute is suing Cleveland for collecting income taxes from commuters during a coronavirus pandemic

How should Cleveland spend $ 541 million on coronavirus aid? The city council’s ideas focus on lasting change

The flood of Cleveland City Council candidates was already handing out petitions to vote in the 2021 election

Will Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Run Again? Previous practices could provide clues

Cleveland City Council approves the retrofitting of fire stations to accommodate female firefighters

Suburban cash fueling Cleveland mayoral race

CLEVELAND, Ohio – More than half of all the dollars poured into high-profile mayoral candidates during the past reporting period came from the suburbs or elsewhere in Ohio, not from Cleveland.

That figure comes from an analysis of campaign funding data submitted for the most recent July-December reporting period by five of the top contenders exploring a run or entering the race to succeed Mayor Frank Jackson – which wasn’t ruled out one Run for a fifth term.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley, Councilor Blaine Griffin, former Mayor Dennis Kucinich, and hopeful 2017 Mayor Zack Reed received much of their donations from outside Cleveland, most of them from well-known suburbs like Shaker Heights or Lakewood. Nonprofit manager Justin Bibb, the only candidate to officially declare a run, was the only candidate to report the majority of his donations from the city, though he also received the highest percentage of his donations from abroad.

Another, Cleveland City Councilor Basheer Jones, did not disclose his donors.

The money in the suburbs gave Kelley a massive cash advantage over his potential rivals. Kelley, who has not officially announced, has more than $ 500,000 in his coffers, with Bibb being the closest at around $ 160,000.

That included raising more than $ 217,000, most of it through a November 19 fundraiser that saw Kelley raise $ 208,150. Most of Kelley’s donations came from unions, corporations and actors in the Northeast Ohio political scene – for example, $ 10,000 from the influential Ratner family.

Kelley received $ 80,000 of his money directly from donors, unions, PACs, and corporations in the city of Cleveland. More than $ 117,000 came from the suburbs or elsewhere in Ohio, and another $ 20,000 came from abroad.

Kelley’s largest spend on media consulting was $ 6,000 for Falls Communication in North Ridgeville. Another $ 2,000 went to Pathway Polling in Lakewood, with most of Kelley’s remaining spending going towards daily campaign expenses such as cell phones and advertising.

Bibb reported raising around $ 27,000 during that time, adding to the $ 144,000 he had in his account. Bibb spent $ 12,000 on a final bill of around $ 160,000. More than half of Bibb’s money came from Cleveland, around 29% – around $ 7,700 – came from the suburbs or elsewhere in Ohio. About 20% of Bibb’s money – $ 5,750 – came from abroad.

Bibb’s largest spend on fundraising advice to LA Harris and Associates, Kentucky was $ 7,500. Another US $ 1,365 went towards housing his finance director.

Cleveland City Councilor Blaine Griffin, who said he was running for re-election but hadn’t completely ruled out an offer for a mayor, raised $ 45,830 for a total of $ 45,830 after spending just over $ 93,000. Nearly 70% of Griffin’s money – $ 31,950 – came from the suburbs or elsewhere in Ohio, and around 29% – around $ 13,000 – came from Cleveland.

Griffin’s largest spend was $ 2,374.92 for a MacBook. Another $ 1,800 went into a Ward 6 event in January 2020.

Former councilor and hopeful 2017 mayor, Zack Reed, who currently works for Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, raised $ 31,150 and only spent more than $ 11,000, with a cash balance of just over $ 20,000 ended. Reed also loaned his campaign $ 40. More than half of Reed’s money – $ 16,900 – came from outside Cleveland.

Former Mayor Dennis Kucinich raised $ 51,000 for his $ 402 in the bank. However, Kucinich also had $ 35,777 in outstanding debt on him in the form of a loan during his tenure as governor in 2018.

All of Kucinich’s donors also gave to Reed. More than half of Kucinich’s money – $ 28,000 – came from the politically active restaurateur Tony George and his family. George also gave Reed $ 5,500.

Another $ 20,000 of Kucinich’s money came from real estate developer James Kassouf and his family, a Republican donor who was recently pardoned by Republican President Donald Trump in December for pleading guilty to a single count of filing a false tax return. Kassouf gave Reed $ 2,500.

Cleveland-based immigration attorney Margaret Wong also gave both candidates $ 2,000 to Kucinich and $ 500 to Reed.

Cleveland City Councilor Basheer Jones raised just over $ 80,000. However, with just $ 11,500 in the bank and $ 44,000, Jones was left with just under $ 48,000 in cash.

Jones took the unusual step of not disclosing the full names and addresses of his contributors, which is required by law. A spokeswoman for Cuyahoga County Electoral Bureau said Jones’ treasurer was in the process of updating the report with the full list of donors.

Jones spent nearly $ 24,000 on consulting and marketing alone. The biggest beneficiary was the Columbus-based Redfern & Rossi owned by former Ohio Democratic Party leader Chris Redfern for $ 7,000. Philadelphia-based Youssef Komah, described as a campaign strategy and marketing advisor, received $ 6,500.

If Jackson runs for re-election, he doesn’t raise any money for it. According to the latest report, Jackson has not raised any money since July, which ended up with just over $ 6,000 in his campaign account.

Well being, schooling establishments unite with huge cash, lofty targets for Cleveland Innovation District

Ultimately, the pandemic accelerated collaboration. After working with advisors, mediators, and various stakeholders to build a partnership, the heads of institutions eventually revolved around and split one representative from each institution, said Jacono, who represented MetroHealth in discussions that had been going on for months.

“I think what the five CEOs said is that we should put a small team together, remove all outside influences and put you in one room and see what you can come up with,” said Jacono.

All five institutions have worked with each other in different ways over the years – some formal (joint ventures and investments, institutional research and grants) and others informal between friends or neighbors.

But previous attempts to get all five behind a project didn’t materialize for various reasons, Jacono said.

“It was more platitudes than substance,” she said.

This time it looked different.

Scott Cowen, interim president of the CWRU, said the five institutions had good relationships in the past and had a lot in common. They had no reason to get together as a group beforehand, he said.

“JobsOhio encouraged us to come together and through that conversation we learned that we can do a lot more together than we ever thought possible,” said Cowen.

Dr. Jim Merlino, the clinic’s chief clinical transformation officer, invited representatives from the other four institutions to dinner in August where they “were pretty straightforward about the challenges we were going to face,” he said. Health systems compete for patients, universities compete for students, and all five compete for investment and philanthropy dollars.

They found common ground in a common enemy: COVID-19.

Building a framework for each organization to continue its own work and expertise with the assistance of others also helped solidify the plans for collaboration. Instead of mixing resources and creating a common governance, each institution could bring its own focus and expertise to reinforce the work of the partners.

“So it doesn’t force either of us to take a detour, but it does force us to split up among the other four institutions so that we can get there faster,” said Jacono.

Although CSU President Harlan Sands believes the efforts would have come together without COVID-19, he said the pandemic has changed the nature of the partnership. It brought health systems together in ways that made the group think about health care in a post-pandemic world, including socio-economic factors and the unequal distribution of health care in the United States, he said.

“I think the pandemic is drifting where this group work is going and how it’s going to be good not just for the Cleveland Clinic or UH or Metro, but for all of Cleveland’s citizens as well,” Sands said.

Whether the new ways of working together are sustainable is the “million dollar question,” Merlino said, adding he was optimistic. With the structure they put in place and the commitments made by the leaders of the organizations, “we will uphold it,” he said.

Historically, the notion that competition should separate businesses from one another has set the trend that institutions should take care of themselves, Sylvan said. And while they will continue to compete when it makes sense, the communications channels established last year and formal commitment to collaboration in the Cleveland Innovation District mark a new chapter.

“Of course, at the end of the day, a patient is a patient when it comes to community,” said Sylvan. “And I think it took some catalyzing event like a pandemic to force us to get rid of the ego and force us to think about ‘coopetition’ versus pure competition. And I think those elements are likely to be sustained. “

Reporter Michelle Jarboe contributed to this article.