Newswise — BEACHWOOD--Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic this year, University Hospitals (UH) Ahuja Medical Center’s Medical Executive Committee donated to two organizations in need. The committee provided $10,000 to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. A donation of just one dollar provides enough food for four nutritious meals, meaning this donation helped give 40,000 meals to those in need.

In addition, the committee donated $10,000 to the UH COVID-19 Caregiver Support Fund , which provides comprehensive support caregivers need during this critical time. Offering services and resources aimed at providing comfort, compassion, special recognition and relief for caregivers is vital while they attend to the health and wellness of our communities.

Each medical center within UH has a Medical Executive Committee comprised of physician leaders who are elected into different roles, including division chairs, a secretary, a treasurer, advanced practice professionals and members at large. This council works with hospital presidents, Chief Medical Officers and Chief Nursing Officers to review finances, quality measures, and policies, and also completes all credentialing for providers.

The committee creates an innovative team culture within their own hospital, and has opportunities to connect with other committees in medical centers across the health system. The committee’s budget is made up of physician dues and utilized for operations endeavors such as staff annual meetings, processing applications, renewing the hospital for privileges, and staff appreciation. Rather than hosting a holiday event for staff this year, the committee felt it was important to put this funding to good use within the community.

“With people out of work during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Medical Executive Committee wanted to ensure people still felt safe and had enough food to eat, and so it was an easy choice to pick these organizations,” said Sandhia Varyani, MD, Chief of Staff of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UH Ahuja Medical Center, and Director of the Office of the Independent Physicians at University Hospitals. “We also wanted to support employees across UH who may be food insecure, so we decided to double our donation and give to the UH COVID-19 Caregiver Support Fund efforts as well. Our UH Chef, John Selick, works closely with the food bank and made the connection possible.”

The Medical Executive Committee strives to give back to the community each year, and in 2019, under past committee president Dr. Eric Shapiro, donated to Circle Health Services, a free clinic in the University Circle neighborhood.


About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 19 hospitals (including 4 joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located in Cleveland’s University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, a high-volume national referral center for complex cardiovascular procedures; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute–part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with 28,000 physicians and employees.  Advancing the Science of Health and the Art of Compassion is UH’s vision for benefitting its patients into the future, and the organization’s unwavering mission is To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals. For more information, visit