UH doctors bridge healthcare gap in Cleveland thanks to generous donation

UH doctors bridge healthcare gap in Cleveland thanks to generous donation

It was the 25 million dollar office visit.  Albert J. Weatherhead was at an appointment with University Hospitals doctor, Dr. George Kikano.

He told Kikano he and his wife were donating 25 million dollars to support Kikano and other University Hospital doctors who reach out to Cleveland's under served.

UH had launched a number of innovative community health outreach programs in recent years, including the house calls program.

Even though Weatherhead passed away in September of last year, 19 Action News reporter Dawn Kendrick found out his legacy lives on every time one of these doctors knock on the door of Cleveland's poor and elderly.

People like Rose and Tony Marincic, soul mates, best friends and married for 62 Years.

But 6 Years ago Tony had a heart attack and doctors said he was on his deathbed.

Rose says, "They would always ask me, 'did you make funeral arrangements?' What the heck? Gonna make them when he's dead, not before."

That was a good thing, because Tony's still kicking.

It's due in large part to University Hospitals' Dr. Peter DeGolia.  DeGolia comes to the Marincic's eastside Cleveland home to treat both Rose and Tony essentially bringing quality Health care to them, in their own home.  A program that works for so many of Cleveland's poor and elderly.

"I have some house call patients who haven't seen doctor in 20 years," said DeGolia

Making house calls, he says, bridges the gap between outstanding medical care in Cleveland and the under served group of good people who can't get it.

"There are vulnerable people who live within blocks of some of the best healthcare institutions in the world that haven't been able to access that care as readily as they might need," said DeGolia.

Not long before he died from cancer in September 2011, Albert Weatherhead saw the unmistakable good in the U-H house calls program.  He believed in the mission and gave 25 million dollars to keep these docs going door to door. DeGolia says the proof it's working is in people like Rose and Tony  Marincic.

"We need people like Mr. Weatherhead standing up for primary care in this country saying we can do better and we can do better."