Cleveland Clinic Lacks a Prescription for its Community
Politico has produced an in-depth investigation of the Cleveland Clinic's expanding physical footprint, and neglected community development influence, in the neighborhood of Fairfax in Cleveland.
Dan Diamond writes of the Clinic's success:
There’s an uneasy relationship between the Clinic — the second-biggest employer in Ohio and one of the greatest hospitals in the world — and the community around it. Yes, the hospital is the pride of Cleveland, and its leaders readily tout reports that the Clinic delivers billions of dollars in value to the state.
But then there's the ongoing struggles of the Fairfax in which the hospital is located:
More than one-third of residents in the census tract around the Clinic have diabetes, the worst rate in the city, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s just one of numerous chronic and preventable health conditions plaguing the area around the Clinic. Meanwhile, neighborhood residents say there are too few jobs and talk of hearing gunfire every night.
Diamond devotes feature-length attention to detail in describing the "world apart" of the Clinic, relative to the real world of neighborhoods like Fairfax and Hough. One example typifying the hospital's influence on the city includes the Opportunity Corridor. The hospital's support of that road project evokes the heyday of Urban Renewal in its approach—wrapping blight removal and congestion relief into one publicly criticized project. That the Clinic's "top tour guide" let slip some less-than-altruistic motivations behind the Clinic's support for the Opportunity Corridor did not go unnoticed by Angie Schmitt, who responded to the article on Streetsblog USA.