- JoAnn and Bob Glick – Our Community. Our Commitment.
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After more than 35 years of running the successful retail chain Dots, Bob Glick in 2011 signed the paperwork to sell the company he founded to a private equity firm. The sale gave him and JoAnn Glick, a former nurse, the means to accelerate their support of local charities and nonprofits. It gave them the time to be deliberate and strategic.
As they crafted their mission of giving, the Glicks made promoting health and wellness paramount, especially for underserved women and children. They wanted to support causes that had clear goals, offered innovative solutions, could show measurable results, were guided by successful/promising leaders and could inspire others to provide financial support.
Around that time, they began hearing about MetroHealth’s plans to shift greater focus and resources on keeping patients healthy. They were intrigued.
“We didn’t know what MetroHealth was,” Bob admits. “We thought they were funded by the county.” (In reality, county taxpayers account for just a fraction of MetroHealth’s revenue, only 2.5% in 2019.)
JoAnn and Bob asked community leaders and physician friends what they thought about MetroHealth. They got positive feedback.
They researched the history of MetroHealth, its mission, its programs, the health system’s plans for the future. They also asked about the vision its President and CEO, Akram Boutros, MD, and the depth of its leadership team.
They liked what they heard.
In 2019, the Glicks made two significant gifts, to the MetroHealth Autism Assessment Clinic and to the SAFE (Students Are Free to Express) Project, an arts- and school-based mental health initiative.
As they went through that process, they learned more about the system, the caregivers and mission.
“Everything is done with a passion for the community,” says JoAnn. “They just go so far beyond.”
“The more we learned about MetroHealth, its people and the work they do, the more it became clear that this was a perfect fit,” Bob says.
On December 1, the Glicks announced plans to donate $42 million to MetroHealth, by far the largest gift in the institution’s 183-year history.
In honor of the Glicks’ powerful philanthropic statement, the new hospital building at MetroHealth’s main campus will be named The MetroHealth Glick Center. None of the gift is being used for construction of the building. Instead, the funds will be used for programs and initiatives that support the health and well-being of Greater Cleveland.
“I’d like our gift to change the dynamics of health care in our community,” JoAnn says, “This is about fairness, about a good education, access to healthy food, places to walk, safety, good health care. It’s about giving communities in our city the same opportunities that other communities have.
“This is not a zero-sum game. It’s a win-win.”