Grateful Giving: Anne Straitiff

How a supportive team of MetroHealth caregivers inspired one couple to make an annual gift

Anne Straitiff and Airica Steed
Dr. Airica Steed, President and CEO of MetroHealth, meets Anne Straitiff at the ribbon-cutting for the new Metro Life Flight helipad in 2023.

For most of her life in suburban Cleveland, Anne Straitiff knew MetroHealth only as an important healthcare resource for patients facing acute trauma.

That all changed one sunny afternoon in 2017, when Anne left her home in Bay Village to take a long bike ride west. She had stopped to take a selfie and was heading home when everything went dark. She woke up four days later in a hospital room at MetroHealth. 

“A few people saw me collapse at the time,” Anne said. “They said I went limp, like a ragdoll, and fell straight to the ground.” 

Though she was wearing a helmet, her head took most of the impact as she hit the pavement. Witnesses called 911, and a crew with Life Flight transported her to the hospital via helicopter. She had broken bones, a brain bleed and severe head trauma—and when she woke up in the hospital, she had no idea what happened.

“From that first moment that I came to, everyone I met – from the physicians to the team who cleaned the room – was so helpful and engaging,” she said. “I even used to joke with them: ‘What are they feeding you here?’ I’d never had a healthcare experience that felt so supportive.”

Anne’s husband, Dan, arrived at the hospital within 30 minutes of Anne’s flight in, after a social worker located his number in Anne’s cell phone. He said it was the first time he’d been to MetroHealth, and he was surprised at how many people were immediately involved in Anne’s care.

“Not just the quality of the care, but the holistic approach that the team took – it was phenomenal,” Dan said.

Anne continued to seek care at MetroHealth after her accident, even for unrelated issues.

“I have never once felt rushed for time with my providers,” she said. “Everyone is always willing to answer more questions, happy to take the time to go over anything I need. It seems subtle, but it’s really so important.”

While Anne and her physicians still can’t be sure what caused her initial fall, Anne says she is exceedingly grateful for the care she received throughout her recovery and rehabilitation. Their gratitude for the care Anne received spurred the Straitiffs to give an ongoing annual gift to MetroHealth in profound appreciation for their caregivers.

Anne said she and Dan have always worked to give the resources that they can to organizations they care about. 

“We committed many years ago to give a good amount of whatever we could – time, talent or treasure – to organizations we know that are doing good work,” she said. 

About five months into her recovery, Anne visited some of the Life Flight crew to say thanks. She said it was powerful to be able to meet them and see inside one of the helicopters, even though she has no memory of the day. 

“They told me they rarely get to see the results of their work,” she said. “I like to think it was meaningful for them too.”

To make your own gift of thanks to MetroHealth, or to honor the tremendous work that our caregivers take on each and every day on behalf of greater Cleveland, give to The MetroHealth Fund.


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