City of Cleveland Announces Vaccination Campaign with Support from Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA

City of Cleveland Announces Vaccination Campaign with Support from Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA

By Office of the Mayor

Community Support and COVID-19 Protocols for NBA All-Star Ticketed Guests Unveiled; NBA All-Star Expected to Generate More Than $100 Million in Economic Impact to Cleveland 

Today, Mayor Justin M. Bibb announced a vaccination campaign developed in partnership with the recently announced citywide COVID-19 Taskforce, that will receive support from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the National Basketball Association (NBA) ahead of NBA All-Star 2022 on February 18-20, which is expected to generate more than $100 million in economic impact, according to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The efforts to encourage vaccination, boosters and health education include:

  • The city’s public education campaign featuring NBA and Cavs personalities;
  • Special incentives when residents receive a vaccine/booster, including NBA All-Star tickets, merchandise and special autographed items, tickets to Cavs games and more; 
  • Additional financial donations, resources and support to aid citywide testing and vaccine efforts, including:
    • A donation of 10,000 rapid antigen tests and 100,000 N95 masks or similar to the COVID-19 Taskforce for distribution to schools and community-based organizations.
    • Cleveland Foundation’s Funders Collaborative for COVID Recovery.
  • The creation of additional pop-up vaccine sites in partnership with the COVID-19 Taskforce.

In addition, in anticipation of thousands of visitors coming to Cleveland to enjoy NBA All-Star events, the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA and health officials worked in partnership to develop health & safety protocols for all ticketed guests attending NBA All-Star events. The protocols are guided by the most recent recommendations from the CDC and Cleveland Department of Public Health and are as follows:  

  • Before participating in any ticketed events, all guests aged five and up must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or of having a negative COVID-19 test. Fulfilling the testing option requires either a negative PCR test 48 hours before their first event or a negative antigen test the day of their first event.  
  • Full vaccination is defined by the CDC as one dose of the J&J vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The city’s mask advisory is expected to remain in place through the weekend.

“The health and safety of our residents and visitors is a top priority,” said Mayor Bibb. “We are excited to bring this global event to Cleveland and want to ensure that everyone involved in NBA All-Star has a great experience while following necessary precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

Beyond the health and safety measures and contributions, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have committed to provide additional support to the city throughout the year, including more than $3 million in social and community impact. Those details will be announced in the coming weeks.  

Guest Commentary: Let’s Rethink the Kmart Site

Guest Commentary: Let’s Rethink the Kmart Site, Cleveland, OH, West Park, Redevelopment, City Planning, News, West Park Times, Opinion, Column

By Mandy Metcalf

City planner and Ward 17 resident

The owner of the former Kmart site at West 150th Street and Lorain Avenue is proposing some new tenants for the site, but the vision for the redevelopment of the property should be bolder and more compatible with the historic neighborhood character of West Park than what is being proposed.

I’ve lived in the Kamm’s Corners neighborhood for 15 years. One of the things I love most is its traditional character. Originally a streetcar suburb, as it grew, the West Park area was built to accommodate cars, but not at the expense of people. Details like placing garages behind houses help to create its walkable feel. Preserved clusters of historic commercial and mixed-use buildings built close to Lorain Avenue create a unique neighborhood identity to take pride in. The Kmart development, in contrast, was a product of a different time, when car-oriented convenience took precedence over placemaking across the country.

These days, brick-and-mortar shopping centers are struggling with on-line competition. Those that are successful have once again positioned themselves as community destinations that contribute to neighborhood character, with spaces designed for people as well as for cars. The International Council of Shopping Centers report Envision 2020: The Future of the Shopping Center Industry calls for shopping centers to take on a role as cultural centers and fully integrate into surrounding communities by creating places that offer memorable experiences.

The City of Philadelphia published some helpful guidelines on reimagining shopping centers as community spaces in January 2021. Included are the following ideas:

·         Make them safer. Build walkways through the parking lot and separate them from traffic with trees and shrubs. 

·         Make them more welcoming. Turn areas outside store entrances into public open space that connects the street to the store. 

·         Make them more active. Allowing apartments, offices, and hotels will add more life – and more shoppers – to the centers. Adding small parks, benches, and outdoor dining will create spaces for people to stay instead of grab-and-go.

·         Make them greener. Trees and other plants separate pedestrians from cars, offer shade, and soak up stormwater.

·         Create “Main Streets.” Orienting buildings towards walkways, drive aisles, and green spaces can make shoppers feel like they are downtown.

The West Park Shopping Center site design needs to be rethought to include public gathering places and more mixed uses. This would create a safer, more welcome environment for families and seniors. There are a number of ways this could be accomplished on the site while reusing the existing buildings.

Additional buildings on outparcels could”

A) be arranged around a community green or plaza, or

B) be oriented to create a traditional “Main Street” retail area within the site, or

C) be oriented toward Lorain Avenue in conjunction with roadway and streetscape enhancements to improve the pedestrian experience on Lorain Avenue. 

New buildings could incorporate mixed use, multiple levels, or rooftop dining. The outparcels could be leased by community organizations that would manage some buildings and spaces. 

Importantly, the historic mixed-use Marquard building needs to be saved intact and incorporated into the site. This building should be the inspiration for the character of the shopping center. If a redevelopment of the site cannot manage to include this building, then it is a development that is not able to be compatible with or contributing to the character of West Park.

TLM Realty is working with an architectural consultant, Onyx Creative, that has the capacity to create a high-quality design for the site. We need to raise the expectations for this project. It will have a lasting impact on the character of West Park. Attend the virtual public meeting on April 14 to express your concerns.

Mandy Metcalf is a city planner for Greater Cleveland RTA. She previously worked for Environmental Health Watch, Cleveland EcoVillage, and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. She served on the Lorain Variety Design Review Committee and received a James Marston Fitch fellowship for independent study in historic preservation. Her views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer, any organization or The West Park Times.

Virtual candlelight vigil to remember people experiencing homelessness who died in 2020

Virtual Candlelight Vigil to Remember People Experiencing Homelessness Who Died in 2020, Cleveland, OH


Monday, December 21st, is the longest day of the year and the first day of winter. On this day, homeless advocates, people currently experiencing homelessness, homeless services providers, and others in our community will gather virtually to remember those who died in the homeless community in 2020. 

“Winter is a dangerous and difficult time for people who are unhoused in our community, especially during a pandemic when so many daytime locations are closed” says Christopher Knestrick, executive director of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. “We are focusing on keeping people sheltered and alive this winter, and we are relieved to have additional options to shelter people this season thanks to hotels and alternative shelter space during COVID-19.”

Ohio legislators designated December 21st as Ohio Homeless Memorial Day in 2009. For over 30 years, The Northeast Ohio Coalition For The Homeless has brought the Cleveland community together to remember people experiencing homelessness who have passed away.

The Homeless Memorial will take place at noon on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, on Zoom (register here) and Facebook Live (@clehomeless). We will remember our friends and family with prayers and by reading each name. Remarks will be made from Community West Foundation, the Director of the Office of Homeless Services, and Senator Sherrod Brown’s office to honor those who have passed in 2020.

NEOCH asks all to attend this important event for our community virtually. The reading of names will take place outside in the near west side to provide in-person access to our unsheltered friends in the area. 

Christmas trees available at Der Brau Nov. 25

Buy christmas trees, Der Braumeister, Cleveland, OH

Christmas trees will be available on Wednesday, Nov. 25, during the 12 Beers of Christmas event at Der Braumeister.

The event starts at noon and ends at 10 p.m.

Christmas trees will be located on the beer garden and will be there courtesy of CleTrees.

Note: It’s possible to have the tree secured to your vehicle or delivered to you on the evening of Nov. 25.

Der Braumeister celebrates Iconic 12 Beers of Christmas event featuring new exclusives and special three-course holiday menu – all available to-go

Der Braumeister Celebrates Iconic 12 Beers of Christmas Event featuring New Exclusives and Special 3-Course Holiday Menu - All Available To-Go, Cleveland, OH, West Park, neighborhood, community, news, events


Der Braumeister will kick off what promises to be their best ever 12 Beers of Christmas event on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at noon for a special happy hour and a dinner beginning at 4 p.m. This iconic tradition centers on the unveiling and tapping of 12 of the most unique and hardest to find seasonal beers from around the world.

For over ten years, this has become one of the most anticipated events on the west side of Cleveland. Today, in the era of an ongoing global pandemic, both the beer and food will be made available to-go.

Pre-orders for a limited quantity of the full set of twelve beers are available to order online for pick-up from Nov. 12 through 25. With four exclusive beers from Germany and Belgium, this is the perfect gift for beer lovers, connoisseurs, or small & socially distanced gatherings.

Newly appointed Executive Chef Jason Quinlan will also be dishing up a special three-course menu that will also be made available for carryout and will run through the end of the year.

On the night of the official kickoff event, the recently renovated restaurant will be decked out in traditional German Christmas décor where guests can sample full fights of the exclusive Christmas beers and shop for fresh Christmas trees out on their beer garden, courtesy of CleTrees. Special gift baskets will also be available for purchase for that special beer-lover in your life. 

“After enduring one of the hardest years I can imagine for our restaurant, I’m so excited to still be able to commemorate our most beloved tradition,” said Wirtz. “We’ve put in hours of planning to make sure everything we’re doing for this event is conducive for both dine-in and carryout/pick-up so that our customers can celebrate comfortably and safely with us.”

Seating for the kick-off event is limited and the restaurant is requiring a credit card for reservations. The restaurant will also be open that Friday (Nov. 27th) and Saturday (Nov. 28th) where customers can pick-up their beer orders and enjoy a new, special brunch menu that will be available until early January, 2021.

For more information on all the event details, including reservations and placing orders visit:

Old Lorain Road may get new life

Old Lorain Road may get new life, Cleveland, OH

Story and photos by Jerry Masek    

When it comes to bikers and hikers, Old Lorain Road is not very user-friendly.   

The road extends from Valley Parkway in the Cleveland Metroparks, crosses the Rocky River, passes a parking lot for the Little Met Golf Course, and then winds and turns up a hill behind Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital. It passes a hospital parking lot and ends at a often congested intersection with Lorain Road, just east of the hospital.   

There is barely room for two cars to pass each other. Bikers and hikers must often stand in off-road brush for their own safety.   

Despite those challenges, the road remains popular, as it connects the always bustling Kamm’s Corners to the picturesque Rocky River Reservation.   

In a few years, that may change.   

Using $50,000 from the Cleveland City Council, Cleveland Metroparks have engaged a consultant to provide a preliminary engineering study of alternative ways for bikers and hikers to access Valley Parkway and a much-used All-Purpose Trail.   

Partners in the effort are the West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development, and Ward 17 Councilman Charles Slife. Before becoming a councilman, Slife served on the WPKND Board. As a councilman, he is a member of the City Planning Commission.   

“He’s a great partner,” says Sean McDermott, Chief Planning and Design Officer.    

Cleveland Metroparks periodically updates its Master Plan for each reservation. During the last update, in 2017-18, officials determined that Old Lorain Road was an area that needed further study, says Kelly Coffman, senior strategic park planner.   

There is a safer alternative, McDermott says. But bikers and hikers from Kamm’s Corner must cross the 1,300 foot long Lorain Road high-level bridge to access a paved hiking trail near Story Road in Fairview Park. That’s out of the way for many people.   

“We’re looking at different potential routes for hikers and bikers to reach the valley floor. For drivers, we will seek ways to improve the condition of the road. We want to provide a safe connection for all park visitors.”   

The study is not looking at changes to Old Lorain Road, as it is part of the City of Cleveland.   

Several alternatives will be presented at one or more public meetings in early 2021. After a preferred alternative is chosen, funding will need to be secured. Construction will follow. The process often takes several years. 

Cleveland Public Utilities to resume disconnections on Dec. 1

Cleveland Public Utilities to Resume Disconnections on December 1


Beginning on Dec. 1, 2020, the City of Cleveland Department of Public Utilities’ (DPU) will lift the moratorium on shut-offs and reconnections. DPU will resume the regular process for collections and disconnection of service for delinquent water and/or electric accounts.

The City of Cleveland suspended utility disconnections for non-payment on March 13 as part of Mayor Jackson’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency to help customers during the coronavirus pandemic. The City’s suspension was in advance of Governor DeWine and the Ohio EPA’s order on March 31 and has continued well beyond the state order, which ended on July 1, 2020.

The decision to resume disconnections has been done with great concern and awareness of the financial difficulties and other vulnerabilities many of our customers are facing due to the pandemic.

Financial relief tools are in place to assist customers in need. In addition to our current affordability programs, we are offering extended payment plan options as well as coordinating with outside agencies to refer customers for additional services.

We continue to diligently notify customers with past due accounts, so they receive plenty of notice in addition to the regular multi-notice procedures.

It is always our goal to keep customers connected to utility service. We encourage customers who need assistance to contact Cleveland Water at (216) 664-3130 or Cleveland Public Power at (216) 664-4600 to discuss their payment options as soon as possible.

College Club West announces scholarship winners and information for 2021

College Club West Announces Scholarship Winners and information for 2021, Cleveland, OH


College Club West awards scholarships to women who are at least 25 years of age, living in the greater Cleveland area, and who wish to pursue a graduate or undergraduate degree program.  

This year four women were each granted a $3,000 scholarship.  

The winners include: Tammy Bailey who will be attending graduate school at Kent State University; Stephanie Furino who is working on her MFA in Creative Writing at Ashland University; Silvia LaBoy who is working on her MBA at Walsh College, and Sinegugu Ghasa who will be graduating from Hiram College with a bachelor’s in business management.

Applications for 2021 are available at

Completed forms and supporting letters must be submitted by March 20 to the Chair of the Scholarship Committee.

Awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting.  

Recipients will be chosen on the basis of academic record, goals, commitment, and need.

No member of College Club West or her family is eligible for tuition grants.

New Bayern pop-up brunch at Der Braumeister

Limited Brunch Menu at Der Braumeister Restaurant in Cleveland, OH

Bayern Game Days at Der Brau

Der Braumeister is now the official Cleveland FC Bayern Munich Fan Club with the best Game Day deal in town. Get a growler, howler, food and official game gear for 2 people – for less than $35/person! Are you a FC Bayern SUPERFAN? Save 10% and get additional fan club benefits. Visit for full details. 

NEW Bayern (pop-up) Brunch!

Not a soccer fan? We’ve still got you covered. Every WEEKEND Game Day, we will be serving up a pop-up brunch with brand new dishes and cocktails (available for dine-in or TO-GO). Visit to view the full menu and pop-up brunch schedule

West Park welcomes new yoga studio

New yoga studio opens in West Park, Cleveland, OH, InwardCompass, Yoga

By Jerry Masek     

Yoga is a practice in calming the waves of the mind during stressful times.    

Vern Sherrill certainly called on that training as he worked to open a new yoga studio in the middle of a pandemic.   

InwardCompass Yoga (often shortened to ICYoga) officially opened Aug. 28 at 15903 West Park Road, at 5 Points.   

Sherrill faces a continuing challenge. Because of social distancing, only 5 persons can take each class. So, he’s trying to offer as many class times as he can.   

“I’ve already hired three other yoga instructors, and I hope to hire more,” said Sherrill, who discovered the benefits of yoga in 2015.   

These specials should appeal to both newbies and veterans.    

From 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, there is an open donation class. Proceeds are split among between three ICYoga programs — Sponsor a Yogi, West Park Helping Hands, and a local charity.    

From 7:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, classes alternate between those involved in health care (including support people), and those who are first responders (bring your badge to the first class). These classes are also based on open donations.   

Classes start at $14, with additional savings when a package deal is purchased. Students and senior citizens pay $10 (bring your student ID to the first class).   

Because of COVID, wear a mask. Mats are available; they must be cleaned after each use.    

Persons must pre-register at   

Questions about yoga? Call the studio, 216-999-7466, or send e-mail to icyoga@outlook.comAttachments area.

Are you a worker? Do you feel #LostInTheSystem?

Workers Lost in the System, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio, OH, job loss, pandemic, COVID-19, news


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Ohio in early spring, most residents couldn’t have predicted the economic impact it would have. Like many others, maintenance technician Noah Bowler (name changed to protect client privacy) lost work when the state shut down and immediately applied for unemployment benefits.

Noah’s hopes for relief were dashed when Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services denied his application, claiming he did not meet the minimum amount of weeks worked to qualify. Noah knew this was not true, yet he felt helpless on his own up against a complicated administrative system. He contacted Legal Aid and a paralegal helped him file an appeal with all of the appropriate documents. The appeal was approved, and Noah now has the financial support to weather the pandemic.

“The Ohio unemployment compensation system was not set-up for the type of volume we’ve seen in 2020,” explained Tom Mlakar, deputy director at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. “Sadly, so many lives depend today on this safety net. The stability that UC brings helps people remain stable as they anticipate returning to work. UC benefits help pay for rent, food and other basic needs.”

Ohio’s unemployment system, operated by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, has seen unprecedented numbers of applications since the pandemic began. These issues have been further complicated by the complex system of multiple layers of programs being offered right now by both the state and the federal government. Legal Aid is encouraging people who have been waiting for five or more weeks to contact them.

“Our team is poised and ready to stand by the side of people who need help,” Mlakar explained. “Knowledge is power in this uncertain time, and our Legal Aid staff can do important problem-solving work.”

In early April 2020, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland launched a Worker Information Line, for people who were unsure about talking with an attorney and perhaps just needed a question answered. If a caller asks a question that needs legal action, they are immediately referred into Legal Aid’s intake system.

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is also available to help anyone who may have been denied benefits. “The appeals process can be intimidating, and sometimes, people can be wrongly denied,” Mlakar said. “Legal Aid can help people through the process of appeals.”

Think you need help? Contact the Worker Information Line or contact Legal Aid for legal help by visiting:  Online intake is open 24/7 and phone lines are open during most business hours.

Visit for more information Legal Aid’s work to extend justice throughout Northeast Ohio.

Rep. Sweeney’s statement on anniversary of Dayton shooting

Calls Republican inaction on commonsense gun safety unconscionable


State Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) today issued a statement on the one-year anniversary of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, which left nine dead and 17 wounded.

“My heart still aches for the souls we lost in Dayton last year from senseless gun violence. When the victims’ families and countless others demanded that we do something, they didn’t mean just anything: they meant real, commonsense gun safety reforms,” said Rep. Sweeney. “I heard those calls for change and introduced HB 316 to create an Extreme Risk Protection Order that respects due process while stopping preventable gun violence. While other states have shown that this measure saves lives and the majority of Ohioans support it, it’s deeply unfortunate that the Ohio Legislature is so insulated from public opinion that the GOP Majority has refused this legislation a single hearing in the 363 days since I introduced it.”

Democrats have continually pushed for commonsense gun reforms, including:

  • House Bill (HB) 316 (Russo/Sweeney): Extreme Risk Protection Orders;
  • HB 240 (Miranda/Kelly): The Child Access Prevention Act, which would ensure firearms are stored safely and securely out of the reach of minors;
  • HB 317 (Robinson/Miller): universal background checks;
  • HB 315 (Liston): Provide mental health and suicide prevention information at the purchase site;
  • HB 319 (West/Miller): Restore local control so that everyday Ohioans can decide what commonsense safety solutions work for their community;
  • HB 320 (West): Prohibit the sale of a gun if the background check is pending;
  • HB 335 (Lepore-Hagan/Boyd): Require subject of certain protection orders to surrender firearms;
  • HB 348 (Miller): Prohibit a person subject to a protection order from purchasing or receiving a firearm for the duration of the order;
  • HB 349 (Weinstein): Ban possession of high-capacity magazines;
  • HB 647 (Strahorn): Prohibits manufacture/sales of high capacity magazines;
  • HB 658 (Galonski): Train school employees if authorized to carry firearms in schools.

None of the Democratic gun safety bills have been called for a committee vote.

Meanwhile, House Republicans have prioritized legislation opponents say will make Ohioans less safe, including the kill at will bill and legislation to eliminate the duty to notify law enforcement of a concealed weapon, which passed the House in June.

The Cleveland Museum of Art Presents MIX: Viva

The Cleveland Museum of Art Presents MIX: Viva

Free virtual event celebrates Latin culture and features a digital dance fiesta


Virtual MIX at CMA returns Friday, Aug. 7, from 8 to 9 p.m. Celebrate the diverse sights and sounds of Latin culture in honor of the current exhibition A Graphic Revolution: Prints and Drawings in Latin America.

DJ Cause&Effect will spin contemporary and classic Latin hits (salsa, bachata, merengue and reggaeton). Texas-based artist Michael Menchaca, whose work is on view in A Graphic Revolution, presents a selection of original party visuals. Menchaca’s video art combines imagery from video games with ancient Maya texts to explore Latinx identities in a contemporary landscape. The event also features salsa and Afro-Caribbean dance basics with dance group Caribe Conexión. The night begins with an original poetic response to artist Belkis Ayón’s print I Always Return, on view in the exhibition, by actor-poet Andrew Aaron Valdez, host of Voces Fuertes Open Mic, Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center.

Get ready for the event with a virtual MIX: Viva kit featuring a Spotify playlist created by DJ Cause&Effect, a list of local Latinx-owned restaurants, instructional dance videos from Caribe Conexión, artist bios and downloadable Zoom backgrounds.

Share your photos of your MIX vibe using #MIXatCMA and #museumfromhome.

About Graphic Revolution: Prints and Drawings in Latin America

This is the first exhibition to highlight the museum’s collection of works on paper produced in Latin America over the past century. Representing a wide range of countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba and Mexico, the works survey how artists have explored national and cultural identity during periods of political upheaval and dramatic social change. 

Curator Britany Salsbury discusses several works from the exhibition in the museum’s “On View Now” video series.

The CMA is a leader in the use of technology to enhance visitor experience both on-site and online.

MIX: Viva and “On View Now” are part of the museum’s free dynamic digital initiative Home Is Where the Art Is, which showcases the museum’s globally recognized digital resources and features a variety of newly created fun and engaging programs for people of all ages. With this initiative, the CMA has leveraged technology to bring works of art to people, responding to changing needs in new, enriching and innovative ways. These sustainable digital experiences will continue now that the museum has reopened. 

How to Join MIX: Viva:

Zoom (with “dance cam”) Join the party through Zoom for a chance to be featured in a live “dance cam” that will spontaneously occur throughout the hour. A link to join will be posted to or on the museum’s Facebook page. You can also send an email (subject line: “MIX: Viva”) to to receive a link in your inbox.

Facebook Watch live on the CMA’s Facebook page from your smartphone, iPad or computer.

NOTE: Virtual MIX parties are both pet- and child-friendly.

Upcoming Virtual Events

Desktop Dialogues

Wednesdays at noon

Instructions for Joining

Join CMA curators, educators and other invited guests in a live online discussion about works in the collection that address issues people are facing today. Participate in the conversation by making comments or asking questions.

Re-visioning Art and History 
Wednesday, Aug. 5 at noon

At this moment, engaged citizens across the world are questioning the systems, structures and values that museums are built upon. Join Andrew Cappetta and Key Jo Lee to discuss how these much-needed critiques will inform CMA programs like Desktop Dialogues and Close Looking at a Distance, explore objects that reshape what is known about art and museums including Fred Wilson’s To Die upon a Kiss, and learn the value of adopting multiple perspectives to understand works of art. 

Starting at 12:30 p.m., all participants are welcome to continue the conversation and interact in an informal, live Zoom video conference meeting. A link to join this additional discussion will be provided during the program. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art would like to thank Chase Private Client for their generous support of MIX: Viva.

Image by Michael Menchaca

Local City Wide Glass offering COVID-19 plexiglass shields

City Wide Glass selling COVID-19 Plexiglass to Protect Workers Cleveland, OH

By Jessie Schoonover

City Wide Glass Ohio, Inc., 12909 Bellaire Rd., is now offering COVID-19 plexiglass shields to protect employees. 

Convenience stores, doctor’s offices (particularly where the receptionist sits), and public places with cashiers are among those that can benefit from having COVID-19 plexiglass shields, says Lisa Setser, office manager at City Wide Glass. 

“It has a real clean look and it’s totally temporary,” she says, adding that they are designed with “acrylic feet on the bottom so that nothing has to be screwed into the counters or walls or anything.”

“When the time comes, just take it away; you don’t have to damage any surfaces,” says Setser. 

The process begins with a consultation with the store owner. The area the owner would like to cover is then measured and then cut to size. 

For more information about these or to schedule a consultation with City Wide Glass, call (216) 476-1888.

Virtual visits now at Neighborhood Family Practice


Telemedicine appointments are now available via Neighborhood Family Practice (NFP). 

A telemedicine appointment allows a patient to utilize video and/or audio to meet with an NFP provider virtually or remotely. 

Originally, say officials from NFP, restrictions made it difficult for urban providers to offer telemedicine. 

“A lot of focus has been expanding this broadband to rural areas,” says NFP’s Assistant Medical Director of Medical Informatics Chad Garven, MD. “It was originally used to get access to more rural patients…” 

However, in light of COVID-19, things have changed― and fast. 

“What happened in mid-March is, it became alarmingly clear that just about any in-person interaction is going to be not only unsafe for patients, but potentially for our staff.” 

As officials at NFP began looking at how a digital platform could work for them, laws in place regarding telemedicine changed as well. 

“The laws became a lot less restrictive. There was not a distance qualifier, as far as ‘could the provider be near a patient but on a virtual platform?’ That was one of the ones that made a lot of sense for our urban population, particularly where our clinics are located,” says Garven. 

“It was a combination of safety concerns but then sort of our mission, which is to care for this near-West Side that otherwise often goes uncared for or underappreciated. We said we have to do something. And by virtue of necessity, sort of jumped at that opportunity.” 

“We completed a strategic plan about six months ago,” says NFP President and CEO Jean Polster. “We looked at telemedicine and what we were really thinking about is that the laws were super restrictive in terms of being able to bill for telemedicine.” 

“We were thinking about it more as how are we going to get patients connected with specialty care? And maybe ways that they would be able to stay in our offices but still see a specialist because our patients are most comfortable in our location.” 

In July reimbursement opened up, says Polster, loosening some of those restrictions. But even then, she says, restrictions still remained when it came to urban vs. rural access. 

“I just have to give a shout out to the handling of the crisis by our Governor DeWine and his director of the Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton. One of the first things they did, when they saw this happening, is, not only did they open up the ability to do remote access for appointments― and not only for behavioral health, which is really where there had been the most telehealth in the state going on prior― but they just threw all the regulations aside and said go for it. Serve your patients in the best way that you can.”

It was about helping patients while maintaining their safety, which meant keeping them out of public spaces as much as possible. 

“Within a week we were able to develop these applications and teach folks how to use some of the applications,” says Polster. “But it was a pivot. It took us a week to make the pivot and it would have taken us months, if not years, to make that pivot in a non-crisis situation.” 

According to Garven, around 90-percent of NFP visits are now telemedicine based. 

“It is a video platform and it visually looks like what a Facetime or Skype or Zoom call would look like,” he says. 

Many of the telemedicine health processes are the same as an in-office visit. There is a registration process, and a medical assistant will talk to the patient about their medications and acute issues. 

It is also convenient, as there is no driving to the facility or hanging out in the waiting room. 

“The no show rate has rapidly declined,” says Garven. 

“We are excited to accept new patients,” says Polster. “We definitely want to serve more people in the community. We do have the capacity to serve more people, and we are able to do appointments on a same-day basis. We welcome new patients and hope that we can keep more community members healthy and safe at this time.”

“We do have some face-to-face visits available when it’s urgent,” Polster adds. “If we are very concerned about something we are seeing, we are bringing you in the office. Or if there’s care that you need that can only be delivered in person, like a shot, like a birth control monthly shot, we’ve created an environment that’s safe for folks to come in― widely spaced; only certain hours. We’re giving people access to the care that they need. Most of it is delivered while you’re still in your home but if things are needed, we do have the ability to see you safely in six locations.”