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University Hospitals opens innovative urban academic medical center

UH and Rainbow Babies & Children's logo


UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children offers transformative model of care

University Hospitals (UH) opened the doors to a new model of care in the heart of Cleveland’s MidTown neighborhood. The UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children is designed to provide community-centered care that addresses medical, social, and environmental factors influencing health – and to take a collaborative approach with patients and community stakeholders to address health disparities. 

This healthcare service unlike any other delivered by an academic medical center welcomed its first patient, three-day-old Na’Tour Brown, and his family, pictured with Na’Tour’s UH Rainbow pediatrician, Dr. Sarah Ronis

“University Hospitals and members of the community designed the Center to help meet the specific needs of this community,” said Tom Zenty, UH Chief Executive Officer. “Together, we’re not only providing families with convenient access to compassionate medical care, we’re integrating resources to truly help enhance their health.”

Beyond traditional treatment and medical therapies, UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children aspires to improve the overall health and wellness of the Cleveland community. In addition to pediatric primary care and adolescent medicine, as well as pregnancy and gynecologic medical care for women, the Center will have community and educational areas for programs focused on prevention and total health needs in a convenient, one-stop location.

These programs include integrated mental and behavioral health services; dietitians and nutrition education; a full-service vision clinic from OneSight; dental screening and cleaning; legal services; and an on-site WIC office and pharmacy. To help determine the different types of resources to offer beyond traditional healthcare, and to incorporate community-centered design features in the building, UH launched a Community Advisory Board that includes more than 70 stakeholders representing 35 different organizations.

UH and the Community Advisory Board are collaborating with Dave’s Supermarket, a family-owned and operated grocery chain in Cleveland, in its relocation to the neighborhood. When Dave’s opens in 2019, area residents will have access to fresh, healthy and affordable food, as well as to a test kitchen that will offer UH patients, their families, and other community residents cooking classes.

“We believe that by transforming the model of care to provide resources for patients and providers at the point of service, we can improve health outcomes,” said Patti DePompei, President, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and MacDonald Women’s hospitals. “We’ve built in data-driven measures of success to the work flow of the new Center, and we look forward to sharing what we learn with other healthcare organizations. We hope the UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children can be a national model for addressing health disparities by treating the whole patient with individually tailored care and support.”

UH Rainbow Center exterior

One of the Center’s goals is to decrease the infant mortality and pre-term birth rates in Cuyahoga County, both of which are among the highest in the nation. The Centering® model of group healthcare is a proven effective strategy, and UH’s CenteringPregnancy has achieved positive results. In 2017, the program’s pre-term birth rate was just 3.8 percent, compared with Cleveland’s overall rate of 14.9 percent (according to March of Dimes) – the UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children will allow expansion of CenteringPregnancy and other evidence-based group care programs.

For its leadership, UH has received national recognition and grant funding to expand its group care model to obesity care, nutrition education, postpartum and breastfeeding support, and hypertension management. This team-based approach to medical visits will be routine at the UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children, bringing patients out of the exam room and into a setting where they can learn from their providers and each other. 

Co-medical directors Aparna Bole, MD, FAAP, Division Chief of General Academic Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine at UH Rainbow; and Ann Konkoly, CNM,Medical Director of the Women’s Health Center and midwife at UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital, will lead the Center.

“As a pediatrician, my hope is for all children to thrive into adulthood,” said Dr. Bole. “We know from research and experience that multiple contributors impact overall health and wellness. I’m grateful that University Hospitals has embraced addressing non-medical health needs, and I’m excited to work with our patients, their families and the community as partners.”

The 40,000-square-foot, three-story urban medical center is located two miles west of UH’s main campus. It’s the new home for two outpatient practices previously located on the first floor of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Together these clinics log more than 45,000 patient visits per year, and are primary UH training sites for the next-generation of pediatric and OB/GYN clinicians.

UH Rainbow Center interior

Conveniently located near public transportation and with free parking, the Center will improve access to quality care for residents of Cleveland and surrounding communities. The freestanding facility is a national example of sustainable building best practices, designed for optimal environmental performance with special attention to energy efficiency and indoor air quality. An announcement about U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) status will be forthcoming after the building is fully operational.

The UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children, a $26 million capital project, was fully funded by generous support from donors, as well as New Markets Tax Credits.


UH’s vision is “Advancing the science of health and the art of compassion,” and its mission: “To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.”  Follow UH on Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals. For more information, go to


Original source: UH Press Release, CLEVELAND, July 9, 2018