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Couple’s $42M donation creates sparkling new west side hospital

Details from a mural by Derek Brennan in the three-season pediatric common area

The opening of The MetroHealth Glick Center “unquestionably exceeds our greatest expectations,” philanthropist Bob Glick told the Cleveland Jewish News.

Bob and JoAnn Glick, for whom the $767 million, 11-story building is named, were given that honor after they contributed $42 million for programming – not for bricks and mortar.

The building, which opened last month, was paid for through hospital revenue bonds without public funds. It replaces most of the existing patient care areas in the main campus in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood on Cleveland’s west side.

From top to bottom, the building contains the following: patient care rooms, labor and delivery, pediatrics, a burn unit, a stem cell transplant unit, pathology, a pharmacy, a conference center, a family resource center, endoscopy, interventional imaging and catheterization lab, a post anesthesia care unit, prep and recovery, procedural waiting, respiratory therapy, a meditation room, a gift shop, cardiology testing, imaging, facilities management and mortality services.

By stacking those uses vertically in the 316-bed hospital, many of the surrounding buildings will be demolished to create a park-like campus.

Bob Glick, the founder, former CEO and chairman of DOTS, LLC in Solon, and JoAnn Glick, a registered nurse who worked in inner-city hospitals in Philadelphia and Cleveland, were looking to help eradicate health-care inequities, especially among women and children.

The couple, who live in Hunting Valley and are members of The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, first gave two test gifts of $250,000 each in 2019, prior to making MetroHealth’s largest gift on record in 2020. It was also believed to be the third-largest gift to a public hospital in the United States, MetroHealth officials said.

The major gift meshed with Bob Glick’s desire to give back to the associates and customers of DOTS, LLC, and with JoAnn Glick’s passion to keep people healthy.

“One of our priorities is to give where others don’t give,” Bob Glick told the CJN.

“I often say this is the highest, best use of our charitable dollars.”

The couple also wanted to recognize the caregivers at MetroHealth.

JoAnn Glick said, “It is what they do, how well they do it and for whom they do it.”

As to the building, “I love the color. I love the fact that the hospital is bright and cheery,” she said. “And I think that the patients will heal quicker just because they’re in such a light happy environment.”

HGA of Minneapolis was the lead architect and did the interior design of the hospital. Turner Construction Company of Cleveland managed construction, which finished on time and on budget.

Walking into the hospital, the lobby has banks of floor-to-ceiling windows, art hanging from the walls and opens out and down to a public dining area, where the couple was feted Sept. 24 at MetroHealth’s first Gifts of Hope Dinner.

That dining space rises two stories and is flooded with natural light.

It also holds one of JoAnn Glick’s favorite pieces of art in the building: French-born artist Emmanuelle Moureaux’s “100 colors No. 39 ‘sunshine.’” The installation features more than 1,600 acrylic color discs hanging from the ceiling, referencing MetroHealth’s new logo, which also features dots of many colors.

The dinner was prepared by Michelin star chef and Cleveland restaurateur Dante Boccuzzi, utilizing all of the kitchens in the hospital, including several stations set up near the end of the dining room as well as the café above it.

“I would say it was just simply elegant,” Bob Glick said of the event.

JoAnn Glick said she was particularly pleased that some of MetroHealth’s caregivers were invited as guests to that dinner.

Built to double as an event space, the dining room has a stage, which was put to use at the dinner by musicians from The Cleveland Orchestra, who played the second and fourth movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581.

There are large, colorful murals there as well.

Art was built into the budget and hangs in every patient room, in the corridors of patient floors and in common areas. It was curated by Cleveland’s LAND Studio.

Just above the dining room at the bank of public elevators is a piece by the late Cleveland artist Michelangelo Lovelace, who worked at MetroHealth.

“It’s cheery, it’s bright,” she said. “Kids are the best when it comes to (handling) being sick. They are not challenging patients like the adults are.”

In the burn unit, JoAnn Glick found more art that resonated for her: photos of people who have recovered from burns.

“Those are really impactful,” she said.

Each patient room has a floor-to-ceiling window offering natural light.

JoAnn Glick said she appreciates many aspects of the building’s design, including the decision to separate traffic flow. One set of elevators serves visitors, a second around the corner in a different location serves patient and staff functions.

“It was so well-thought out,” she said. “They have the front stage and the back stage, so you’re not going up the elevator with someone in a wheelchair or gurney.”

In addition, she said she remembers running constantly for supplies when she worked as a nurse. Patient supplies at the new building are kept in built-in cupboards next to patient rooms so nurses and staff will be able to find things they need without having to go to a central supply area.

In terms of design, Bob Glick said he appreciates that the labor and delivery unit overlooks a rooftop garden that serves the pediatric unit.

Outside patient care areas, there are corners with tables and chairs where visitors can enjoy a quiet space. And at the end of patient floors, hallways feature a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows with built-in benches facing the windows, which can also function as gathering space.

Linda Jackson, director of arts in health at MetroHealth, who provided a tour of The Glick Center to the CJN, said she has high hopes for what the design of the building, and the art within it, will inspire.

“It’s really much more than an interior design choice,” Jackson told the CJN. “Besides health and well-being, it can help with wayfinding.

“... We truly hope that people will walk through the door and feel hope and humanity – that it will be reflective of who we are as MetroHealth and who we are as a greater community, that people will feel welcome, that they feel that they belong here.”

With few exceptions, patient rooms have been designed as single occupancy. But they are also “process neutral,” meaning they can flex into alternate uses and many can be set up for either double occupancy, adding 70 beds to the overall capacity, or ramp up for intensive care in the event of a catastrophic event.

Meeting spaces also have walls that can open into larger spaces.

The Glicks’ gift was directed in three ways.

First, it created the JoAnn and Bob Glick Fund for Healthy Communities, which will support programs that promote the health and well-being of Greater Cleveland with a focus on programs that address the needs of women and children.

Second, it created the JoAnn Zlotnick Glick Endowed Fund in Community Health Nursing, which will support the role of nurses as leaders in improving the health and health care of Greater Cleveland.

Finally, the endowment will support a professorship in Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, where JoAnn Glick received her MSN in community health nursing.

Outside the Glick Center, green space on the campus will include gardens, parks, healing spaces, playgrounds, walking and running paths and a connector to the Towpath Trail.

Bob Glick said his favorite piece of art is yet to come: It’s the 12-acre park outside the building that will be open to the community.

The new building is at the center of a transformation of MetroHealth’s main campus, with the hospital having created the first hospital-led EcoDistrict in the world. That includes a three-building, mixed-use housing project along West 25th Street, and convening community partners to develop a Clark-Fulton master plan to improve residents’ access to quality housing, transportation, green space, digital connectivity, workforce development and inclusion.

“It’s like staying in a good hotel,” JoAnn Glick said of The Glick Center. “When we went walking through the hospital and to look out the window on the eighth floor and to see the trees and Tower City, it’s beautiful.”

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