ChildSight® Video (1999 - 2009)

Learn about how this program has been serving Cleveland's children.

Health Policy

Notwithstanding significant support from the private sector and philanthropy, government at all levels remains the single greatest financial contributor to the health of at-risk populations, including children, seniors, and the poor. Through strategic initiatives in the area of health policy, the Foundation seeks to support projects that maximize the effectiveness of government in meeting its safety-net obligations and the obligations of the Affordable Care Act.

supporters of health insurance for children

Non-partisan Policy Research and Analysis

Ohio ranks 46th in the nation in health value, indicating that Ohioans pay more for health care while living less healthy lives. Mt. Sinai helped to create and sustain the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) to advance evidence-informed policymaking at the state level. HPIO produces educational resources and presentations, convenes stakeholders, provides technical assistance to policymakers, and helps ensure that data drive decision-making.

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio, based in Columbus, was established in 2003 by health-focused grantmaking foundations from around the state to inform state health policy and to ensure that decisions on health program spending in Ohio are research-based and data driven.

nurses reviewing chart

Translating Knowledge into Action to Safeguard the Health Care Safety Net

Almost 400,000 adults in Cuyahoga County receive health care coverage through Medicaid, making it the largest source of coverage in our community. Mt. Sinai has partnered with the Center for Community Solutions to operate its Center for Medicaid Policy (CMP) and advance innovative Medicaid-related policy change that improves population health, addresses social determinants of health, and lowers health care costs. This support enables CMP to provide thought leadership to state officials and legislators, equip safety net providers for Ohio’s most vulnerable populations with tools for effective advocacy, and connect these community voices with policymakers.


Capacity-Building for the Policy Ecosystem

Early childhood education (ECE) is a critical venue for healthy development and, ultimately, health and well-being into adulthood. However, children in Cuyahoga County, particularly African-American children, face disparities in access to high-quality ECE. Mt. Sinai has partnered with Groundwork Ohio in retaining a Policy Analyst to spearhead efforts aimed at increasing funding for and expanding the reach of publicly-funded child care and evidence-based home visitation programs. This support builds upon Groundwork’s advocacy initiatives and complements other Mt. Sinai partnerships to provide high-quality, developmentally appropriate ECE that supports healthy behaviors among both children and parents.


Coalition-Building to Transform Policies and Systems

The vast majority of homes in Cuyahoga County contain lead-based paint, which exposes children to harmful toxins that, at any level, threaten health and development. Since 1990, more than 40,000 children in Cuyahoga County have been poisoned by lead. Mt. Sinai has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Cuyahoga County through cross-sector collaboration between community organizations, policy experts, and academia.

Mt. Sinai is leveraging the work of Environmental Health Watch to build a grassroots movement among individuals directly impacted by lead poisoning and continue resident and landlord engagement through healthy home assessments. Mt. Sinai has also partnered with Enterprise Community Partners to develop innovative policies and identify funding sources to assist landlords in making housing improvements to protect children from lead exposure—by convening public and private stakeholders, conducting landlord outreach, and sharing best practices. To facilitate this evidence-informed policy development, Mt. Sinai has supported partners at the Center for Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University in conducting an in-depth analysis of Cleveland’s landlords and properties and estimating the costs of lead-safe housing changes, as well as the societal costs for not taking action.

This public-private partnership, known as the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, has galvanized public support and laid the foundation for innovative policy development and community-wide impact. After successfully advocating for passage of Cleveland's historic lead ordinance, the Coalition announced the creation of the Lead Safe Home Fund in September 2019. The Fund is a first-of-its-kind investment tool to help drive compliance with the lead ordinance.


State Policy Change with Local Impact

Ohio is the only state without K-12 health education standards, which provide critical guidance to educators seeking to improve student knowledge and encourage healthy behaviors. Mt. Sinai has partnered with the Ohio Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (OAHPERD) and the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) in a cross-sector collaboration to create K-12 model standards and curricula, including learning outcomes aligned with the Centers for Disease Control National Health Education Standards. These health education standards will serve not only as an immediate tool for local school districts to support their instruction, but also as a policy demonstration that facilitates discourse with state policymakers on the importance of skills-based learning.