Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine seeks to build a healthier country—starting in its own backyard.
Capitalizing on the medical school's already extensive programs in Greater Cleveland, the Weatherhead Institute for Family Medicine and Community Health enhances the well-being of residents, while influencing the course of medical research, training and practice across the nation.
Thanks to a historic $25-million commitment from The Weatherhead Foundation, the institute serves as an inclusive home for the dozens of university programs that involve Cleveland and its neighboring communities. Priority foci include combatting the childhood obesity epidemic, addressing the plethora of "food deserts" in Greater Cleveland's urban areas and responding to the prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension in inner-city neighborhoods.
Local Care with a Worldwide Reach
Health care in Greater Cleveland is a paradox: The area is home to some of the most innovative and respected medical care and research institutions in the nation, yet its urban residents are gravely underserved. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate more than 25 percent of Clevelanders lack medical coverage, compared with 13 percent countywide. Rates of obesity and high blood pressure also are higher in the city.
The Weatherhead Institute works to combat these disparities with scores of initiatives tailored to address the community's needs. But the institute's reach doesn't end at the city limits. Faculty and students learn important lessons when they work directly with local residents. They see health challenges firsthand and determine which interventions are most effective. They then share these findings with medical institutions and policymakers around the country, thereby planting the seeds from which a healthier nation can grow.