Happy Wednesday, and a very happy birthday to Eliot Ness (1903-1957).

  • The "Untouchables" prohibition agent, and namesake of Cleveland's best amber lager, was sworn in as Cleveland's safety director in 1935 at age 32.

🌀️ Today's weather: The sun returns! High around 57.

πŸ₯ Sounds like: "AMBULANCE" by My Chemical Romance

πŸ’¬ Situational awareness: Mayor Justin Bibb will deliver his second State of the City address at 7pm at East Technical High School.

Today's newsletter is 943 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: A way to reduce EMS calls

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A Cleveland EMS pilot program that directs frequent 911 callers to MetroHealth's "Multi Visit Patient" (MVP) program has reduced emergency calls by 2% in its first two weeks.

Why it matters: Patients who frequently call ambulances and visit emergency rooms often require a suite of ancillary services β€” things like recovery resources, food, housing and preventative care.

  • Reducing calls from frequent users frees up overtaxed Cleveland paramedics and emergency medical technicians for urgent cases.

By the numbers: Tim Sommerfelt, secretary for the Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees (CARE), the union representing EMS workers, told Axios that last year just 25 people made nearly 1,800 calls to 911.

  • The most frequent user called more than 180 times.

Context: While EMS can prioritize calls, it can't legally abandon a patient once an ambulance is on scene, even if a more serious incident occurs nearby.

What they're saying: "Some days it seems like you might as well take the 'E' off EMS," Sommerfelt said. "Call volume is up 37% since 2011. We are fast becoming the gateway to the entire medical system in Cleveland.

  • "We need to attack the problem both ways: We need more resources, and we need to reduce our call volume."

How it works: EMS identifies frequent callers through historic data and directs them to MetroHealth, where they can connect with primary care physicians or community health workers to manage non-emergency needs.

The bottom line: "We want to make it absolutely clear that we're not turning people away," Sommerfelt said. "If somebody needs an ambulance, they should call us. This is about reaching out on the back end to prevent future 911 calls."

2. The MetroHealth MVP program

MetroHealth's new Glick Center in Clark-Fulton. Photo: Courtesy of MetroHealth

MetroHealth's MVP program, which was created three years ago at the behest of the Ohio Department of Medicaid, was designed, in part, to reduce emergency department visits.

  • Cleveland EMS leadership met with Metro last month to brainstorm collaborations, but its new "pilot" is not a formal partnership with the hospital system.

How it works: A MetroHealth staff of five, including a full-time registered nurse and full-time community health worker, locate frequent users and attempt to create replicable "care plans" that limit the need for emergency services.

  • Example: Metro's MVP team interviewed a number of patients with sickle cell anemia and worked with Metro's Sickle Cell clinic to find pain points and adjust treatments.

By the numbers: Nicholas Dreher, medical director of population health at Metro, said the program has touched hundreds, but there are generally about two dozen patients active at any point.

The bottom line: "There are 100,000 Medicaid patients who use Metro in a given year," Dreher says. "The people we touch clearly have lower ED use in the 6-12 months after they've been engaged than in the 6-12 months prior, but this program alone isn't enough."

3. The Terminal: Strategically planned news

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

πŸ‘” Cleveland City Council groused about the city's growing number of consultants but ultimately approved a $1 million contract with Ernst & Young yesterday to create a 10-year strategic plan that Mayor Bibb desired. (Signal Cleveland)

πŸš— Northeast Ohio businessman and former luxury auto dealer Bernie Moreno formally launched his campaign for U.S. Senate yesterday. (Cleveland.com)

🎸 Michigan rock band Greta Van Fleet will stop in Cleveland on its 2023 world tour, performing at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sept. 23. (Cleveland Scene)

πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš–οΈ Lawyer lore: For more than 100 years, Cleveland's top attorneys have gathered to perform a vaudeville-style invitation-only theatrical production. (Cleveland Magazine)

  • Of note: This year's "judge of the troupe" was Rick Manoloff, a partner at Squire Patton Boggs, whom county executive Chris Ronayne nominated yesterday to serve as Cuyahoga County's next law director.

4. πŸ₯¦ Cleveland's produce pop-ups benefiting hundreds

Zone Rec, on Cleveland's west side, hosted a monthly produce pop-up on Monday. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

At Michael Zone Recreation Center on Cleveland's West Side on Monday, Mayor Bibb passed out boxes of produce to a line of vehicles snaking through the parking lot and onto West 65th Street.

  • Bibb was on hand for a "produce pop-up," one of three monthly food distribution events to assist Cleveland families affected by the recent reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Why it matters: One in three Cleveland families receives SNAP benefits and are now missing out on an extra $95 per month, at minimum.

  • The reduction hit just as inflation was driving up food costs.

Details: Cleveland teamed up with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority to coordinate the pop-ups at the following times and locations.

  • 3-6pm on the first Wednesday of each month: Collinwood Recreation Center (16300 Lakeshore Blvd.)
  • 3-6pm on the third Monday of each month: Michael Zone Recreation Center (6301 Lorain Ave.)
  • 2-4pm on the second Friday of each month: East 59th Street and Haltnorth Avenue (in the parking lot across from the Boys & Girls Club)

By the numbers: A city spokesperson told Axios that 561 households received free produce at the first two pop-up events.

On the job hunt?

πŸ’Ό Check out the fresh open positions in the city.

  1. Director, Psychological Services at Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
  2. Associate Director, Retail Media / Paid Search at VMLY & R Commerce.
  3. Program Director, Nursing at Cuyahoga Community College.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a Job.

5. πŸ› Where are Cleveland's best playgrounds?

Lindsey Family Play Space at Edgewater Park. Photo: Courtesy of Cleveland Metroparks

πŸ‘‹ Sam here. When the Lindsey Family Play Space opened on the upper level of Edgewater Park in 2021, it instantly became one of the region's destination playgrounds.

Details: The $500,000 project is the largest of its kind in the parks district.

  • It includes unique features: a boulder wall, sandy areas, rope elements and an open design that allows children of all abilities (and their parents) to play alongside one another.

My take: I'd been a Lakewood Park playground partisan as a youngster, but Lindsey won me over in very short order when my wife and I took out-of-town guests with young kids there for a morning picnic.

πŸ“¨ We want to hear from you: Where are the best playgrounds in the region, and why do the children in your life love them?

  • Hit reply. We'll include some of your responses in a story next week.

Thanks to our editor Lindsey Erdody and copy editors Rob Reinalda and Yasmeen Altaji.

Our picks:

πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Sam learned today that the 25 provinces of Sweden, (not to be confused with the 21 counties), have no administrative function and are mostly just relics for sports and folklore and such.

πŸ—“οΈ Troy is out.