A tough new national article released Monday by the website Politico takes aim at The Cleveland Clinic, namely its relationship with the neighborhoods surrounding the main campus.
They say while the Clinic lures wealthy patients from places like London and Abu Dhabi, those living in the shadow of their Cleveland buildings are some of the sickest Americans.
The article is titled: “How the Cleveland Clinic grows healthier while its neighbors stay sick”.
Politico draws visual contrasts.
From the elegant reflecting ponds outside and waiting rooms that look like apple stores inside to the sharp edged, rugged and run-down neighborhoods that flank it’s campus in most directions.
They say, in the shadow of the clinic homes are blighted, infant mortality is three times the national average with striking numbers in heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Ronald Young lives less than a half mile from campus.
“Are they a good neighbor? Yes. Their presence does serve a purpose. But it would be better if the Clinic was more involved.”
He would like to see them do a better job of hiring people from the immediate neighborhoods, and play a larger role with Cleveland schools.
The Clinic issued a statement Monday....saying in part: "…we are extremely proud of our longstanding commitment to the many communities we serve. Our mission is to deliver high-quality clinical care, advance medical education, and conduct research to improve care to patients."
Citing these numbers to help make their case against Politico:
In 2014, Cleveland Clinic’s economic activity that benefits Northeast Ohio includes:
• $12.6 billion – total economic impact in Ohio
• 93,560 – jobs directly or indirectly supported
• $5.9 billion – labor income
• 70,430 – households supported
• $4 billion – household spending made possible
While it is true some patients may fly in from around Ohio or the world and never see the blight next door, those like Ronald Young who live next door say the real answer between good neighbor or bad neighbor is somewhere in between.
“That article is a little too harsh. There is a medium in there.”