News 2020

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November 2020

CHEEER Co-Director Guest on Annals of Internal Medicine Podcast

Dr. Ash Sehgal was featured as a guest on the Annals of Internal Medicine’s “Annals On Call” Podcast. In the episode Dr. Sehgal discusses the rationale for and against incorporating race                                                                                                                                   into equations used to estimate glomerular filtration rate with host Dr. Robert Centor.

         Check it out here!

         Annals of Internal Medicine articles discussed include:

       “Race and the False Precision of Glomerular Filtration Rate Estimates

        For more information on Annals On Call and for more episodes, visit

October 2020

CHEEER Staff Member Featured in USA Today Article “Nature gap: Outdoor recreation isn’t just for white people. Invite Black youth outside.”

The SYATT founding trio about to lead a group cycling event at Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Rockside Station.

Our own Erika Hood and her sister Ebony were featured in a USA today article discussing the social, emotional, and physical benefits of being outside and how these benefits should not be limited to one raced. According to the article, “Black Americans have long faced barriers when it comes to recreating in natural spaces and deep, generational fears that contribute to a gap in access, causing many to miss out on the benefits linked to spending time outdoors.” In order to eliminate these barriers the sisters and their mother,  founded “See You At The Top” (SYATT) with a grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s Neighborhood Connections program. Their goal was to not only increase access to natural spaces for Black youth, but to produce and encourage Black joy in places that haven’t always been safe or welcoming of people of color. Click here to read the article.



Former CRSI Scholar Featured in Cleveland Magazine Article “Do Good Cleveland: Diane Mastnardo Supports Kids With Anxiety”

Diane Mastnardo was featured in Cleveland Magazine in which the article showcased her BAAM technique and its ability to ease stress through breathing, acupressure, aromatherapy and movement. Click here to read the article.

Click here to learn more about BAAM



Ensuring COVID-19 Vaccine Access, Safety, and Utilization: Building Vaccination Confidence in Communities of Color

Click on the image to learn more

Please join Trust for America’s Health on October 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET for a 90-minute webinar titled, Ensuring COVID-19 Vaccine Access, Safety, and Utilization: Building Vaccination Confidence in Communities of Color.

This webinar comes at a critical juncture as COVID-19 vaccine development continues. As has been the case with previous public health emergencies, the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing racial inequities that have long existed in the U.S. Racial and ethnic disparities also continue in vaccine access, due to contributing factors such as lack of access to health coverage and care and issues of distrust.


The webinar will feature expert panelists to educate policymakers and stakeholders on the historical reasons for vaccine hesitancy in communities of color, highlight ongoing vaccination disparities and discuss policy recommendations to build vaccine confidence and access in communities of color. The webinar will include time for Q&A from the audience.

 Register Here


Have you experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or the loss of a baby before his or her first birthday?

Join us for a virtual candle lighting ceremony as we remember and honor our angel babies

What is Wave of Light? Watch this short clip to learn more:

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2020
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Candle lighting ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m.

In order to receive a candle and have your baby’s name read at the lighting ceremony, please register by Thursday, October 1st.

Click here to register


The COVID-19 COMPAS Program presents “Who Gets Sick? Who Gets Care? Inequalities in Health and Health Care”

There is significant variation between groups in rates of infection and incidences of mortality and morbidity resulting from COVID-19. The pandemic has also highlighted the limited access that many people have to adequate medical care, both within the United States and globally. What explains these inequalities? What can we do to remedy them?

Register Here





August 2020

PCORI: Array of Funding Opportunities Now Open for Submissions!

The next cycle of PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs) opened for Letters of Intent/Letters of Inquiry (LOI) today. Letters are due September 22 for two PFAs on implementing PCORI-funded research results into practice. Our Broad PFA, along with PFAs on methods for conducting patient-centered outcomes research and brief interventions for youth suicide prevention, have LOI deadlines of September 29. Finally, the next Engagement Awards cycle for capacity building, dissemination initiatives, and stakeholder convening support all have LOI deadlines of October 1.

Explore These Funding Opportunities!



Dr. Sehgal New Study Featured by and WKYC Local News

Ashwini Sehgal, MD, MPH

CHEEER Co-Director Dr. Ash Sehgal recently published a new study regarding “Lifetime Risk of Death From Firearm Injuries, Drug Overdoses, and Motor Vehicle Accidents in the United States.” This study was featured by the two aforementioned news outlets.

Learn more about the study here.

Articles related to the study: Article

WKYC Article



June 2020

Dr. Sehgal featured in WVIZ PBS Ideastream- “Study: Testing People Without Coronavirus Symptoms Isn’t Accurate Enough”

Our Co-director Dr. Ash Sehgal was featured in an Ideastream on 6/29/2020. He explains what would happen if we tested a million asymptomatic or low-risk people, given what we know about the accuracy of test results.




Third Annual Dissemination Day 2020 Archive

In case you were unable to attend our Dissemination Day event live, we recorded the presentations and provided the video below for your viewing pleasure.

(Disclaimer: The preliminary results shared during this session are for informational purposes only.  Any duplication or plagiarism of pilot project designs or ideas is prohibited. )


The American Thoracic Society and The American Geriatrics Society Collaborate on Official Policy Statement

Click to read full article

Co-Director Dr. Daryl Thornton is a member of the American Thoracic Society and has contributed to this work entitled, “Making Medical Treatment Decisions for Unrepresented Patients in the ICU.”









May 2020

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) Announces Webinar on Navigating the NIH for Researchers Interested in DSD and Intersex Populations

Webinar Info

The Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office is pleased to announce a webinar about Navigating the NIH. This webinar is targeting researchers who are interested in conducting research on differences of sex development (DSD) and with intersex populations.

The goals of this webinar are to increase understanding of the NIH structure and processes, enhance capacity to conduct SGM research, and provide researchers with the opportunity to interact with NIH staff.








April 2020

Dr. Thornton featured on News Channel 5 Cleveland, urging shoppers to continue wearing masks following Ohio re-open

Our own Dr. Daryl Thornton appeared on News Channel 5 Cleveland. He spoke on the continued importance for the general public to keep wearing masks despite it not being a requirement.

Watch the clip here



Dr. Sehgal lends his voice of concern on Ohio May 1st re-opening date from quarantine to News Channel 5 Cleveland

Following the news that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s comprehensive plan for re-opening businesses statewide will be put into action on May 1, experts are weighing in on the benefits of postponement. One such expert is our own Dr. Ash Sehgal.

Watch the clip here

For the start of Dr. Sehgal’s comments skip to 1:12



Ohio Capital Journal features Dr. Sehgal’s op-ed on COVID-19 high price self-correcting decisions

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
Ohio Capital Journal

Dr. Sehgal submitted this op-ed to Ohio Capital Journal, in it he comments on the how the course corrections that have been made during the pandemic, while necessary, have come at a cost. Also, he includes details for the four tasks that should be considered in deciding when and how to relax Ohio’s social isolation restrictions.

Click the pic for article link






March 2020

The Columbus Dispatch features Dr. Sehgal’s coronavirus focused op-ed

Click to view article

Dr. Sehgal recently wrote this op-ed that was published by The Columbus Dispatch. The column explains the importance of COVID-19’s reproduction number, the average number of people to whom an infected person transmits the disease, and how it effects the duration of the pandemic.









Dr. Sehgal op-ed featured in Cleveland Plain Dealer

This op-ed written by one of our directors was published in the Plain Dealer on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020. Dr. Sehgal discusses two major misconceptions about COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Article Link






CTSC Community & Collaboration Component Translational Research Project Pilot Funding Opportunity Application Deadline 2020: Last Call

The Community and Collaboration (C&C) component of the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) is pleased to announce a funding opportunity intended to support, promote and highlight interdisciplinary teams – which include translational partners – by providing pilot funding for a Translational Research Project1 (TRP) that addresses a particular population or public health issue.  The C&C will fund up to two $30,000 awards. Deadline MARCH 15, 2020.

For more details click on the image to left or visit the CTSC website here.





Breast Massage Study Featured in WVIZ Ideastream

Room set-up for the massages at The Gathering Place

Our Massage study was featured in this Ideastream article/interview. Read and give it a listen, it provides some insight into how the project originated, including excerpts from one of our directors and one of the licensed massage therapists.






February 2020

Former CRSI Scholar Diane Mastnardo ACCELERATE 2020 Runner-Up!

On February 27, 2020, twenty-nine civic visions were pitched at Accelerate 2020: Citizens Make Change , an annual competition presented by the Cleveland Leadership Center with support from Citizens Bank, for a chance to win funding to help advance their ideas.

“Diane Mastnardo and her son, seventh-grader Jacque Mastnardo, of Avon Lake, want to offer a program that decreases symptoms of anxiety and stress through breathing, aromatherapy, acupressure, and movement. Their pitch, ‘Integrating You into Your Healthcare, BAAM!,’ which they have tested in Lorain County schools, was in the Health & Wellness category presented in partnership with The MetroHealth System and Thompson Hine LLP.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As a runner-up Diane and her son were awarded $2000 for their pitch!


Apply now for a Collaborative Working Retreat with the CTSC.

CTSC Flyer (Click to view)

“Interdisciplinary research teams have the opportunity to participate in a retreat aimed at moving the team from collective ideas to translational research projects which include community, clinical or industry stakeholders as part of the research endeavor. Retreats are 4 hours in length and are led by a professional group facilitator. A limited number of tailored retreats are available each year.* In order to be considered, teams must be interdisciplinary, with an engaged stakeholder, focused on a translational research health topic and demonstrate commitment by completion of retreat pre-work.”

For more information visit:


Now recruiting breast cancer survivors in the Northeast Ohio area for a clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Click to view full flyer

Did you know that many women who have had breast cancer surgery develop persistent pain in their chest wall or issues with shoulder mobility?  These chronic problems are often treated with physical therapy or pain medication with varying results.  Researchers here at the CHEEER, in partnership with The Gathering Place, are conducting a community-based trial looking at two types of massage to address these pain and mobility problems.

Women who have had breast cancer surgery within the last 18 months, regardless of where they received their care, are encouraged to call our study staff to see if they qualify.  Eligible surgeries include unilateral mastectomies and other breast conservation surgeries.

For more information or to see if you qualify, please call study coordinator Mary Jo Day at 216-778-8456.



Apply Now to the NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute 2020!

“The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will host the next Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) from August 3 to 7, 2020. Click here  to sign up for NIMHD updates to receive notices about the course, application cycle and other announcements.”

“The HDRI aims to support the research career development of promising early-career minority health/health disparities research scientists, and stimulate research in the disciplines supported by health disparities science. Applications will only be accepted from individuals who meet NIH’s Early Stage Investigator (ESI) eligibility criteria.


4th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium: Cultivating Science and Community Engagement to Address Cancer Health Disparities:

Friday, March 6, 2020 | Tinkham Veale University Center, CWRU campus

“The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Office of Cancer Disparities Research will present the 4th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium: Cultivating Science and Community Engagement to Address Cancer Health Disparities on March 6, 2020.

The symposium will feature keynote presentations by renowned disparities researchers and community leaders, a poster session highlighting academic research and community programs, networking session  and an interactive panel discussion.”

Register here:

For more information visit:


NIMHD appoints CHEEER Faculty Member Dr. Monica Webb Hooper, a leader in minority health and cancer health disparities research, as Deputy Director

Dr. Webb Hooper, Ph. D.

“Monica Webb Hooper, Ph.D., has been selected as Deputy Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health. She will begin her appointment on March 15.”

“Dr. Webb Hooper joins NIMHD as the institute celebrates its 10th anniversary. She will be part of the leadership and work closely with Dr. Pérez-Stable on all aspects of the Institute.”

Click here to read the full story on the NIMHD site




December 2019

Former CRSI Scholar works with the Center for Health Affairs to disseminate new health data resource

Click to read the full press release here

Cuyahoga County Board of Health and The Center for Health Affairs, in collaboration with regional hospital and public health partners, announce the launch of Healthy Northeast Ohio, a new website designed to provide access to population health data, evidence-based practices, and information about regional health resources and activities.

Healthy Northeast Ohio: Sharing Knowledge to Create Healthier Communities, at, will provide hospitals, health departments, community-based organizations, and philanthropic agencies with the resources to support regional and community health improvement activities and strengthen collaboration in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, and Portage counties.


July 2019

CHEEER Director receives grant to test effectiveness of massage therapy following breast cancer surgery

Ashwini Sehgal, MD

Ashwini Sehgal, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Health Equity Engagement Education and Research (CHEEER), was awarded a 4-year, $2.2 million NIH R01 grant to evaluate the effectiveness of massage therapy to reduce pain and immobility following breast cancer surgery. About 25-50% of women who undergo breast cancer surgery develop persistent chest wall pain and shoulder mobility limitations following surgery. Myofascial massage, a treatment that provides deep tissue massage with focus on muscles as well as the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, and ligaments, may be effective in reducing post-mastectomy pain and immobility.

The grant will support a community-based, randomized controlled trial involving 202 women with persistent pain and mobility limitations. Participants in each group will receive 30 minutes of treatment twice weekly for two months. The treatment group will receive massage therapy while the control group will receive light touch therapy. Primary analyses will determine the impact of myofascial massage on pain and mobility limitations. Secondary analyses will examine the impact of myofascial massage on several outcomes, including range of motion, quality of life, sleep, and body image.

Dr. Sehgal is the Duncan Neuhauser Professor of Community Health Improvement and Professor of Medicine, Bioethics and Population and Quantitative Health Services at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Co-investigators on the grant are Richard Wilson, MD, Director of the Division of Neurological Rehabilitation at MetroHealth and Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at CWRU; Jacquie Dolata, MBA, Research Manager, CHEEER, and Jeff Albert, PhD, Professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and Medicine at CWRU.

MetroHealth Information Village © 2019 The MetroHealth System

June 2019


Pilot study indicates your home may be making you sick; but there’s help

The BUILD Health Challenge is a national program that supports partnerships between community organizations, hospitals, and public health departments working to solve the root causes of chronic diseases through upstream approaches. In Cleveland, the BUILD Health Challenge partnership works to reduce the occurrence of lead poisoning, and exacerbation of asthma and COPD in the community by tackling unhealthy housing conditions and advancing supportive local housing policies.

J. Daryl Thornton, MD, MPH, and researchers in the Center for Health Equity Engagement Education and Research contacted the patients and asked if they’d like to enroll in the Healthy Homes, Healthy Lungs housing rehab program; 38 consented. EHW sent an inspector to look at those houses to determine what easily remediable environmental issues were present. In collaboration with home owners and tenants, assistance was provided to improve the home environment.

You can read the complete BUILD Health Challenge study here.

MetroHealth Information Village © 2019 The MetroHealth System