Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, University Hospitals Parma Medical Center has made the safety of patients and caregivers its top priority. The hospital has adjusted its visitation policies effective June 23. “Allowing visitors into the hospital is a welcomed transition to partner with friends and families, focusing on the care and well-being of our patients,” says Chief Medical Officer Kimberly Togliatti-Trickett, MD. “But masking is important for the safety of all.”
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If you are reading this article, then you probably love Parma as much as I do and are willing to do your part to make it even better. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on 2020. In fact, normally I would be devoting much of my time recently to planning the Parma Run-Walk for Pierogies. It was very saddening to have to cancel this fun summer event. However, I have diverted the time I typically spend on the Run-Walk to a new, exciting project for Parma.
Hello Summer in North East Ohio! Farmers Markets are identified as an essential business that may be open with the required safety and social distancing guidelines in place. Although many traditional summer events in our corner of Ohio have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Seven Hills residents and neighbors can still look forward to getting their fresh, locally grown produce and other products at the Seven Hills Farmers Market. The Seven Hills Farmers Market will be opening Thursday, July 2 at 4:00 pm and continuing every Thursday until October 1, 2020.
COME JOIN KOINONIA!
Nothing is quite the same these days. That includes the City of Parma’s annual Christmas in July Food Drive, which will be an online campaign this year from July 1 through July 31 to benefit the Parma Hunger Center. Why the change? A large quantity of food donated is collected during the Independence Day Parade, but this summer due to COVID-19, the July 4 parade was canceled. Several of the locations, such as the Donna Smallwood Activities Center that accept residents’ food donations, have not reopened. Also, many hunger center volunteers, many who are senior citizens, find it easier and healthier to handle food donations purchased through the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
We all know that small businesses are the foundation of economic vitality in our communities and critical to our state’s financial success. Last week, I was honored to receive the Small Business Advocate of the Year Award from the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE). Along with Lt. Governor John Husted, we received the award that honors elected officials whose initiatives have promoted the success of small businesses. This year, I was selected for the award due to my work on Senate Bill 11, the Ohio Fairness Act.
Recently, Fr. John Carlin, Pastor of my Parish, St. Charles Borromeo, informed me that our summer carnival was being canceled due to the pandemic. In fact, the only other time the carnival has been canceled since 1932 was during World War II! Although this is sad news for our Parish and the community at-large, it was the right thing to do to keep people safe. The St. Charles carnival is one of Parma’s premier family events and raises needed funds for the Parish. As a result, the carnival raffle will continue this summer.
Free books for children from birth to age 5 are available in our community from The Literacy Cooperative and the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library! Did you know that “the single most important factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home before starting school”? (National Commission on Reading). As a parent or caregiver, snuggling up and reading daily with your child is one of the most important actions you can take to help set them up for future success.
In a world historically rife with tension and foray as a resulting effect of cultural, religious, socio-political, and geo-economic differences throughout the intricate landscape of humanity, there are beacons of hope that continue to rise far above the challenges of the past, and lend light to the promise of a new tomorrow.
All are blessed when we express our joy. Any new behavior feels a bit unnatural until we grow accustomed to it. Avoid any person or relationship that would slowly prod you down the wrong path. Be generous with praise. Be cautious with criticism and overcome it with goodness. Be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
When I first joined Parma City Council, one of my goals was to create a city of Parma scholarship to assist our young residents with college costs. Those of you who read this column regularly know my story. My single mother simply could not afford to assist me financially with college costs. So, I had to work – often two jobs – and apply for scholarships so that I could attend. I knew that attending college would go a long way in pulling myself up the socioeconomic ladder. With the help of, then mayor, Dean DePiero and Law Director Tim Dobeck, we created the Andrew Boyko Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
Parma is a community of small businesses. These small businesses are the life blood and backbone of our community. Polish Village Parma, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, staffed by volunteers and dedicated to the 9/10 of a mile commercial district, on Ridge Rd., called Polish Village. This nonprofit has been increasing made aware of the devastation the last few months have done to the small business community. The nonprofits mission is the ongoing development of the community by uniting residents, businesses and the government with plans that focus on the long term economic viability of the area.
So how do you stimulate the local small business economy? Cash Mob!!!!! So how do you reward the consumer? With lots of prizes!!!!!! Small Business Cash Mob with a twist is the brainchild of Polish Village’s nonprofit organization Polish Village Parma, Inc. For every $10 spent at a participating small local business you’ll receive a ticket for entry in several drawings which will occur over a three month long period. Lots of prizes, lots of chances to win. Drawings monthly! Participating businesses will be along the stretch of Ridge Rd from Pearl & Ridge to Thornton, and on Pearl Rd from Pearl & Ridge to Snow Rd. These businesses are located in Parma’s Ward 2, home of Polish Village. Look for the promotional signs that will be coming real soon!
Prama Artspace Gallery, located at 5411 Pearl Rd., is excited to finally reopen. The opening exhibit is titled Visual Hallucinations and features the works of three artists, Samantha Ann of Intention Studio, Jennifer Gleason of JAG Artistry and Shawn Slowburn. Masks are required, and capacity is limited to five (5) people at a time. The gallery is open Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays, from 2 to 7 P.M. Scheduled private appointments are also available. Surreal digital photography and mixed media. This exhibit runs through July 19th. Come and let your mind wander.
Grateful patients adapt their homemade masks for speech therapy patients Many people may be frustrated by masks that conceal facial expressions. But there is one group of patients that are overjoyed to see their caregivers in face masks now. These fortunate patients are those with outpatient speech therapy appointments at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. A grateful physical therapy patient who has sewn hundreds of cloth masks for neighbors, friends and family chose to help out her UH Parma friends by modifying her pattern to add a vinyl window that allows patients to see the therapist’s mouth.
The pandemic prompted the environmentally minded staff at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center to begin making masks out of sterile wrap used for surgical instruments. Organized by nurses and fueled by volunteers sewing them, this effort that yielded more than 300 masks was not just resourceful but environmentally sound.
O From the Greater Cleveland Collaborative to End Human Trafficking….
>> Go here for a copy of “A Parent Guide to online Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking During COVID-19”. Some good stuff here especially near the end of the piece.
>> From ECPAT-USA: Go here for Online Safety Guides for Youth and Adults
O The Office on Trafficking in Persons and the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center are offering a free 1.5-hour virtual SOAR to Health and Wellness training, which teaches providers how to identify and respond to human trafficking. Interested participants can register for one of the trainings below:
Wednesday, August 19, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
O From Cleveland Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund…. Announced its 9th round of grants to to support the Greater Cleveland nonprofit community totaling $928,000 to 18 organizations & groups serving Cuyahoga, Lake & Geauga counties. I’m pleased to see that this time there are several organizations that are recipients of this email & provide services to our area. If you’re a nonprofit incurring costs related to the COVID-19 crises response email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the streamlined funding process & how you might qualify. Learn more here.
O From UH/Parma Medical Center…. Announced that they are once again participating in the Kids Summer Food Program. Starting June 4 through August 21, from 11 am to Noon, Monday thru Friday, children ages 1 – 18 are eligible to receive a free healthy bag lunch. Pick-up takes place at the drive through before you reach the main entrance.
O From OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism & Low Incidence - https://www.ocali.org/ ):
>> Some items of interest picked up from their monthly newsletter:
> Resources related to their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion statement:
Systemic Racism Explained via ACT.TV
Black Deaf Culture Through the Lens of Black Deaf History
They Work For Us: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Getting Through to your Elected Officials (Plain Language Edition)
> Just two of a number of professional development opportunities for people with disabilities and those supporting them—families, educators, caregivers, service providers, and others:
Promoting Access for People Who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind, or Visually Impaired. Try “The Center for the Young Child’s” new suite of resources
>> And for resources/support of all kinds go here: https://www.ocali.org/project/stay-safe-strong-and-supported
O From Aspire Greater Cleveland….They’ve been successful at adapting to the new normal & have implemented an online learning program featuring online classes, one-on-one tutoring & distance education work programs. Current offerings include: GED/HSE Test Prep, ESOL Classes, Citixeenship Test Prep & Basis Reading classes for non-reading or low-level reading adults. Call 1.833.ASPIRE2 (1.833.277.4732) or you can complete a registration form at https://tinyurl.com/AGCorientation .
Cox Communications and Cox Automotive are working together to help feed families in Ohio through local food pantries with a $25,000 donation to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank from The James M. Cox Foundation. The grant will support local families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Ohio the Confederate flag is the flag of the enemy. It is the flag of the armies Ohio soldiers defeated. Waving or displaying the Confederate flag in Ohio is waving or displaying the flag of the enemy. If your father, grandfather or great grandfather fought in the Second World War against fascism, I am sure you would be offended by someone flying the flag of Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan.
Two downpours since March 29 have frayed the nerves of Parma residents and frustrated city leaders as they deal with the ongoing dilemma of regional flooding. “Fixing a city’s infrastructure requires research and money. Flooding is a complex regional issue because all the municipal sewer systems are interconnected, which means a problem in one city contributes to issues in another community. We have been working with Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) and West Creek Conservancy to find solutions,” said Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter.
Many have reached out stating how terrible it must be that in very my first few months of becoming Mayor of Seven Hills, I have had to deal with a global pandemic and the resulting economic disruption. While I’m deeply saddened that so many are suffering and it is stressful dealing with budget tightening, I tell them fret not. Adversity does not build character it reveals it. I was put into this role at time this for a reason. We are all getting a trial by fire that nobody could have predicted. As Mayor, my focus has pivoted toward protecting our residents and employees from COVID-19. Back in March, I instituted numerous emergency measures to help the City navigate these uncharted waters. As we head into June, some of the emergency measures have been lifted; our recreation center has been re-opened with the staff working diligently to create a safe environment for our residents and members.
A COVID-19 survivor who spent 57 days in the hospital had a strong lesson before his recent discharge from University Hospitals Parma Medical Center: "Wear the mask and stay six feet apart. I'm telling you, this disease can kill you." Jerry Gustin, 74, of Parma left UH Parma Medical Center on May 27 following intensive rehabilitation in UH Parma Medical Center's Acute Rehabilation Unit. He underwent at least three hours of occupational and physical therapy every day to regain his strength to walk and care for himself again. The nurses, therapists and physicians became a second family to him, as no visitors are currently allowed in hospitals due to the pandemic. Jerry began every morning with a call to his wife, Linda, and received extensive support from his four children and eight grandchildren, who called and sent signs to motivate him.
Randy Hayne, 68, meticulously packs and then folds the tops of 30 brown paper lunch bags in the nearly empty dining hall of the Donna Smallwood Activities Center, located behind Parma City Hall. Retired from his Borden Dairy supervisor job one year ago, the Parma resident started working at the Smallwood Center in January, pre-COVID and before it shuttered in early March. The West Ridgewood Drive multipurpose center, which serves Parma area seniors, closed before the governor’s directive, a proactive move to protect its vulnerable 6,000 members. Two other workers, whose faces are partially hidden with face masks, physically distance themselves as they pack lunches with gloved hands. In the kitchen, three staff members fill and then seal food trays for hot meal deliveries. After all the meals are packaged, half the staff members stay to clean the kitchen, while the other three leave to deliver meals.
In March when Gov. Mike DeWine was telling Ohioans to stay home, the deadline to submit city income taxes was extended to July 15. With the warmer weather, restaurants and retail reopening, and some activities resuming, it's easy to forget that taxes are due if they were not filed by the initial deadline this past April. As a safety measure to prevent people from congregating and waiting in long lines, the Parma Tax Department will continue to help residents prepare city taxes via mail. A resident can mail a tax return to: Parma Tax Department, 6611 Ridge Road, Parma, Ohio 44129. A W-2, along with other information needed to prepare city taxes, should be included in the envelope. The Tax Department will then mail the completed tax return back to the resident and will indicate if any further action is required.
With school buildings closed, activities canceled and distance learning in place over these last few months, many local families are concerned about skill regression and are seeking academic, social and/or emotional support for their child this summer.
O From Cleveland Rape Crisis Center:
>> It’s now offering their extensive list of prevention/education programs to schools, student groups & community members via CRCC Virtual Classrooms. Platforms include, but are not limited to: Zoom, MS Teams, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Go To, etc. Go here https://clevelandrapecrisis.org/prevention-education/request-an-education-program/ to view programs offered & to complete the online presentation request form.
>> For assistance and/or to make an appointment for any service, contact the hotline 24/7: Call or Text (216) 619-6192 or (440) 423-2020, or chat online at www.clevelandrapecrisis.org/chat
O From All Faiths Pantry….Considered an essential service, AFP continues to respond to the increased need for home delivery of groceries to low-income seniors and those with mobility challenges. Requests for services have increased significantly and additional volunteers are needed to expedite deliveries. Call 216.496.4329 or go to www.allfaithspantry.org to learn more about the program & how you can help.
O From OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism & Low Incidence - https://www.ocali.org/ ):
>> For parents as well as professionals, visit their web site where you’ll find a whole host of resources addressing issues related to working w/youth on the autistic spectrum and for folks who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.
>> HIGHLY RECOMMENDED….Click on the “#HearToHelp” link on the home page, scroll down to the “Connected” section & click on the “Inspiring Change Podcast”. Here you can listen to any one of, currently, 10 episodes of folks sharing their experiences during this lockdown period. Number 10, in particular, was fascinating to listen to.
O From Ibn Sina Free Clinic (6055 W. 130th St, Parma; http://clevelandibnsina.com )....If you’re not already aware, ISFC is now set up to handle virtual appointments “…so patients can continue to see their physicians, get medications refilled, obtain referrals & get any sort of pharmacist assistance they may need.” To schedule an appointment call 440.644.0511.
Operation Happy Pups is the story of a little guy on a big mission. Lucas Woronischtsche’s story begins in October of 2018. To a 4 year old, Halloween is a very special time. It’s magical. You get to choose a costume, dressed up as whatever you want to be. It can be the latest super hero from the comics, or something funny, like a clown, or whatever you want to be when you grow up. Lucas chose his policeman costume with care.
Prama Artspace & Gallery, 5411 Pearl Road, will be reopening on June 1, 2020 with new hours. For dates and times check their website for details, at www.pramaartspace.com. Visual Hallucinations, the next exhibit, with open on June 26, 2020, featuring the works of Samantha Vickers of Intentions Studio, Jennifer Gleason and Shawn Sloburn. For details check the web page or follow Prama on Facebook. Prama also has a small boutique with unique numerous items at a reasonable cost. They have an assortment of face masks available in many patterns. During this health crisis, health and safety protocols are in place for your convenience.
CLEVELAND IBN SINA CLINIC - Located in the great city of Parma, Cleveland Ibn Sina Clinic is proud to announce its new telemedicine program that will allow physicians to continue to see patients in the comfort and safety of their homes. Through avirtual set-up, patients can maintain communication with their physicians, obtain medication refills, and receive public health education, including information on how to deal with anxiety and stress during this pandemic. We have expanded our clinical pulmonary services to address the additional burden of respiratory symptoms in our fight against COVID-19. We also offer appointments for an expansive network of physicians in the fields of endocrinology, cardiology, internal medicine, allergy/immunology, behavioral health, and more.
We can be apologists for only so long, before we become excusists. Whether you realize, choose to, or not, your deeper wisdom matters more significantly right now than you could ever imagine; not merely in the many ways you intend to impart a favorable life and legacy unto your family, community, and conscience, but moreover in how we honor what we know to be morally right and just, lest we reside in the thin sticky film of our very own grimy hypocrisies.
As relentlessly as we may try, we cannot think one thing and experience something else. Everyone that sincerely loves others is borne of God. If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. If there is disagreement between what the secular world says and what God says, there is no contest. It is better not to live than not to love. It is not easy to understand what people might become. Let our conversation be without covetousness; be content with such things as we have.
Life is not a holiday but an education. Life is the gift of God and enjoyed most by those who obey God’s commandments. Love is the universal language that is understood by all.
Thousands of Patients Connect with Health Experts through Webinars From the convenience of your living room, now you can talk to the experts. University Hospitals has transformed its popular health seminars, which previously took place in person at the hospital and at community locations, into a virtual format. Patients can now sign up quickly online and watch free physician talks, with an opportunity to ask questions. Thousands of patients can access these webinars, offered on Zoom and reaching far more people than was possible in the previous format.
Sadly, many folks have lost their jobs or their hours have been reduced due to the pandemic. So, I thought I would provide some money-saving suggestions in this month’s column. In fact, these tips can help anyone save money, including those on a fixed income. I should begin with a disclaimer that everyone has their own unique needs, wants, acceptable levels of risk, etc., therefore, the suggestions below might not be right for everyone.
Hundreds of Ohioans every year are diagnosed with brain cancer and, for the vast majority of brain cancer patients, this disease is unfortunately a death sentence. Few that are diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor survive beyond 16 months and the survival rate after five years is even more grim—only 5% live to see the five-year anniversary of their diagnosis. We can and must do more to fight back against this terrible disease. This is the reason why I support “Going Gray in May” to support Brain Cancer Awareness Month and this is why last year I proposed formally recognizing the month of May as Brain Cancer Awareness Month in Ohio with House Bill 230.
COLUMBUS- - Last month, I hosted a virtual town hall to provide Covid-19 updates to her constituents. We was joined by Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan and state Representatives Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland), Jeff Crossman (D-Parma), and Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood).
On the evening of Thursday May 21, I was jolted out of my sofa by a police siren followed by the loud horn of a fire engine. Something was going on, so I went outside to look. What I saw was amazing. The police car and fire engine were followed by a long parade of cars decorated up with the Valley Forge High School graduating class of 2020. Unlike previous graduating classes, the class of 2020 could not have their traditional graduation ceremony or a senior prom.
June’s Asset Category: BOUNDARIES & EXPECTATIONS
Well, we are certainly living history and maneuvering our way through this time is not always easy and often confusing. As things change on a daily and weekly basis, the City of Parma Heights strives to share information with our residents, businesses, and community in as many ways as possible and I am grateful to the Parma Observer for the opportunity to communicate here.
In early March, Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and city council members were looking at a balanced budget for 2020. Then COVID-19 hit. Most state governors took drastic measures. When Gov. Mike DeWine gave the Stay-at-Home order, forcing many businesses to close, the balanced budget was not immune to the economic impact. “It’s all based on projections,” said Parma Treasurer Tom Mastroianni. “The closures are going to impact the city. Cities mostly rely on income tax. Our projected income will be down $5.5 million, of which $4 million is collected from income taxes.” The other $1.5 million comes from income obtained through court costs, traffic citations, building permits and recreation registration fees. “We are still getting requests for building permits, but with the courts temporary closed, less traffic on the streets and rec sports suspended, that income is not coming in at the same rate,” said Parma Auditor Brian Day. “In a normal year, we can project for the year. We are still looking ahead, but it is hard to determine where we will be. This is such a moving target.” Mastroianni noted that the city will know much more at the end of July when more people file their city income taxes. Federal, state and city 2019 income tax deadlines were extended to July 15, 2020.
Family-owned Legacy Health Services, which operates 10 skilled nursing facilities and three assisted living communities in Northeast Ohio, hosted a parade in tandem with “National Superhero Day” to honor its company heroes working to keep their residents safe. Called “Honk for Heroes,” the parade was held on Tuesday, April 28 – “National Superhero Day” – and featured local firefighters and their trucks, city leaders, including the mayor and city council members, plus families and community members who wanted to show their support for the Legacy staff.