Place Matters Cuyahoga County (OH)

Team Profile Summary

The Cuyahoga Place Matters team’s focus is to ensure health implications and equity considerations are at the forefront as policymakers and others make decisions that substantially impact the residents of Cuyahoga County and the neighborhoods in which County residents live. To that end, the Cuyahoga County Place Matters team exists to:

  1. Focus on a broader definition of health. Health is not simply the absence of disease.  Health begins where people live, work, learn, age, and play. Health includes the social conditions one life in, such as the jobs we do, the money we’re paid, the schools we attend, the neighborhoods we live in, as well as our genes, our behaviors, and our medical care.
  2. Inform, influence, and engage policy-makers and community members to develop policies, using an overarching health equity lens, that has long-term impacts, create conditions for optimal health and reduce inequities; and
  3. Utilize “place-based” interventions to engage and empower residents in under-resourced communities to revitalize their communities.

Team Profile Details

Problem Statement

  • East Cleveland, with a land area of about three (3) square miles and a 2000 U.S. Census population of 27, 217, is one of the most densely settled communities in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
  • The city has a poverty rate of 32%. In 2000, 17% of all housing units were vacant.
  • Heart disease mortality rates are higher in East Cleveland (355/100,000) compared to the county and the nation (10% and 32% higher respectively)

Team Objectives

  1. Build effective partnerships – creating a cohesive agenda and message(s) upon which to act
  2. Strive for equal opportunity for all – A community where there is equal access to economic, social, and environmental resources and opportunities impacting health.
  3. Equity – everyone has the ability to achieve his or her full potential and no one is disadvantaged because of social position or circumstances
  4. Place – Health begins where people live, learn work, age and play. recognizing that  neighborhood condition is the context in which health and well being begins
  5. Policy/Advocacy – we subscribe to the principle of “health in all policies”, e.g. efforts to educate policymakers on relevant issue and influence institutions, systems and community members on issues related to making policy, plans and system changes using a health equity lens
  6. Mobilize community for action – creating capacity to empower individuals and groups to take action which facilitates change within the environment and/or people within a circumscribed geographic area
  7. Measuring indicators of social determinants of health – Capture impact that the PM team is making toward improving selected determinants, using a dashboard of indicators; will include information from projects that have infused PM principles info work, e.g .PM core team organizational initiatives.

Community Partners:

  • Cuyahoga County District Board of Health
  • City of Cleveland Planning Commission
  • Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio
  • City of Cleveland, Public Health Department
  • Neighborhood Progress, Inc.
  • Cuyahoga County: Health and Human Services; Department of Development, and County Planning Commission  (3 departments)

For more information and to become involved, please contact:
Team Leads:

Sandra Chappelle Email:

Phone: (216) 431 – 8010
Martha Halko Email:

Phone: (216) 201-2001