Boutros stresses social justice at MetroHealth annual meeting
MetroHealth's commitment to social justice and caring for all helped to drive the system toward the massive makeover of its aging West 25th Street campus.
And rather than focus on several months of transformation news — including the sale of $945.7 million in hospital revenue bonds at the end of May — MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros talked about the hospital's mission during the system's annual meeting on June 9.
He could talk numbers (like MetroHealth's $1.04 billion in operating revenues last year) or the challenges facing health care providers, he told the audience gathered at the Global Center for Health Innovation. He instead stressed the importance of lifting up all members of the community, and highlighted the stories of people affected by MetroHealth.
A high school student at Lincoln-West School of Science now wants to be a part of MetroHealth's Life Flight team after seeing the crew in action in the high school MetroHealth opened inside its hospital last fall. A man hired through the job training program at the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities now works full time at MetroHealth, where he can make money, meet new people and help new employees learn the ropes. Another man, whose son with a schizoaffective disorder stabbed him and his wife 14 times, volunteers with Survivor Recovery Services at MetroHealth to ensure that the system can help those like his son who are in need of help.
Social justice, he said, is not simply giving food stamps to the hungry and public housing to those in need of a home.
"Social justice is giving people that one thing they need to find their gift, to find their passion, to harness that innate human goodness that lives deep inside each one of us," Boutros said. "We see that goodness every day at MetroHealth. We also see how easily it vanishes when someone loses a job or their way, or doesn't have enough to eat or good health."
After his roughly 25-minute speech, Boutros said he chose to talk about MetroHealth's impact through stories and social justice to assure people "we're going to be here for everyone, no matter what happens in D.C., what happens in health care — we are focused on them."
It can be easy to forget that the money and transformation plans are about more than just buildings, he said.
"What we've been trying to build is a good life for everyone who lives here, and hope, hope that gets passed from one good person to the next; hope that builds a better Cleveland, a better world and ignites the future we all dream of," Boutros said at the conclusion of his speech. "And now we can do that, thanks to you."
"Boutros stresses social justice at MetroHealth annual meeting" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.
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