Cuyahoga County HHSA Committee Approves Contracts Aimed at Reducing Teen Pregnancy
By William Tarter, Jr. 
Policy Planning Associate & Community Advocacy
June 27, 2017

On June 21, 2017, the Cuyahoga County Health and Human Service and Aging Committee approved a contract extension request from the Cuyahoga County Family and Children First Council for ongoing programming aimed at reducing teen pregnancy. The contracts, with Beech Brook and Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio for $10,000 and $20,000, respectively, will be extended through the end of 2017. 

The contracts are funded by Cuyahoga County Health and Human Service Levy dollars. Beech Brook and Planned Parenthood will work together with local school district students that have high teen pregnancy rates compared to county and U.S. rates — including Cleveland, South Euclid-Lyndhurst, and Bedford, among others (see teen births mapped by district, below). The students participating in the education seminars are sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth graders, who will continue to be involved in teen health awareness campaigns and have increased access to health services, among other program offerings.  The resolution discussed was an amended version, as the Law Department sought a technical change to move it forward because of a conflict with Section 501 of Cuyahoga County Code, related to Contracts and Purchasing Procedures. 

Read More


How over 20 Private and Public Organizations in Northeast Ohio Came Together
in Support of Comprehensive Sexual Health Education
By Shaina Munoz
Health Associate
April 6, 2017

In this inaugural blog of a 3-part series on Community Solutions’ commitment to adolescent sexual health, I will be highlighting the work of the Collaborative for Comprehensive School Age Health.

Did you know, reviews of published evaluations on sexual health education have consistently found that comprehensive sexual health education does not: encourage teens to start having sexual intercourse, increase the frequency with which teens have intercourse, or increase the number of sexual partners teens have? Did you know that the same evaluations have found that these programs do: delay the onset of intercourse, reduce the frequency of intercourse, reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase condom and contraceptive use? Additionally, national surveys of adults[i] demonstrate that 93 percent of parents of junior high school students and 91 percent of parents of high school students believe it is very or somewhat important to have sexual health education as part of the school curriculum. So, how is Northeast Ohio supporting comprehensive sexual health education?

Read More

State Hard at Work on Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan

Tara Britton, Fellow
May 2, 2016

As mandated by the Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA/HAB) and the Centers for Disease Control, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (CDC/DHAP), the State of Ohio has begun working on a five-year plan on HIV prevention and care needs, existing resources, barriers and gaps within jurisdictions, and how it plans to address them for 2017-2021. The plan is due to the federal government by the end of September, 2016, so there will be a full schedule to achieve this goal in the coming months. Traditionally, HIV care and HIV prevention produced separate plans and submitted them to their respective federal agencies. This is a great opportunity to think about integrated care and prevention and set goals for the state.

Presented with this opportunity to develop an integrated plan, the Integrated Plan Steering Committee (The Center for Community Solutions is a member) is looking at the big picture and assessing the barriers, gaps, and needs of all people living with HIV/AIDS in Ohio. In other words, the committee is looking beyond just people served by the Ohio Department of Health care (Ryan White Part B HIV/AIDS Program) and prevention programs to develop a plan that will improve services and target investments that provide the greatest impact. The committee has representation from the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, and the Ohio departments of Health, Medicaid, Aging, and Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee (JMOC), the Cleveland and Columbus Ryan White Part A programs, AIDS service organizations, Medicaid managed care organizations, and many other stakeholders in order to take this broader look.     

Read More

Will my insurance cover my IUD?
Navigating the maze of IUD and implant coverage in Ohio
Rose Frech, Fellow, Applied Research
April 12, 2016

It has been well-established that long-acting and reversible methods of contraception like IUDs and the implant are a good option for many women. They provide the most effective coverage of all available contraceptive methods available, with failure rates of less than one percent; they can last up to a decade; and they can be easily removed when a women decides to become pregnant. There are also significant public health implications associated with an increased use of these methods, including decreased rates of unintended pregnancy, teen births, and abortions. Clinicians and public health advocates are increasingly recognizing the benefits, and efforts are underway across Northeast Ohio to educate women about the benefits of IUDs and the implant. However, despite some growth, these methods remain underutilized. More work is necessary to increase access and to understand the challenges women face when receiving family planning services. 

Read More

So Many Hospitals, But Where’s the Health?
Kate Warren, Policy & Planning Assistant
March 23, 2016

Those of us who are from Greater Cleveland know the pride with which Clevelanders talk about our local hospital system. People come from all over the world to be treated for chronic conditions at The Cleveland Clinic. MetroHealth’s Level 1 Trauma Center was Cuyahoga County’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, until this past December, when University Hospitals opened their own. UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital provides excellent healthcare for our region’s young people. All of these hospitals and doctors make Cuyahoga County a leader in the state for clinical care, but the data show that we’re not actually a very healthy county. So what’s the problem?

Read More