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11 Browns visit University Hospital's St. John's Medical Center


WESTLAKE —** This wasn't the first hospital visit for Terrelle Pryor, but something was different this time as the Browns gathered last Tuesday at University Hospitals' St. John Medical Center.

After all, there were 11 members of Cleveland's roster — including Pryor, left tackle Joe Thomas, quarterback Robert Griffin III, wide receiver Brian Hartline, tight end EJ Bibbs, safety Ibraheim Campbell, defensive lineman John Hughes, offensive lineman Cameron Erving, linebacker Nate Orchard, defensive back Tim Scott and offensive lineman Kaleb Johnson — who trekked there from Berea following workouts on a windy and cold day.

"I think any time you have a group of men who want to inspire the community, it's uplifting to the team," said Pryor, who enters his second season with the Browns. "I think it builds a bond because if it's important to (11) guys out here today, maybe we can get 30 guys next time. So you know never know how that works, I just think it's a great start."

Indeed, as the Browns continue to take form under first-year coach Hue Jackson, they made it a priority to walk these halls, passing out hugs, handshakes and gifts to patients and the staff at UH St. John, a 204-bed medical facility with 1,300 employees, 300 volunteers, and a medical staff of nearly 600.

"It's probably one of the tougher things to do," Hartline said, "but the look you can bring on their faces and to their families — even the parents — is priceless."

Owned and operated by University Hospitals, UH SJMC is a nationally recognized Catholic healthcare provider as well as a teaching hospital affiliated with the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"The hospital visit is always one of my favorite community service activities because it's an opportunity to brighten people's day," Thomas said. "And just seems like the Browns have a big impact in the community when they're in the hospitals making people in difficult situations feel really good."

From visiting older patients to newborn infants and their families, the Browns did their best to make the most of their hour at UH St. John. 

"Really it was my first opportunity to get out in the community here in Cleveland," said Griffin, who said he caught a ride with Thomas from the team's facility. "It was good to give them a chance to have something to smile about today."

Griffin — who was something of a fan favorite with patients, posing for pictures and selfies inside the hospital and outside following the event — said this particular service event might be a reflection of the team's chemistry and commitment to the Cleveland community.

Like Pryor, he too was impressed by the number of Browns who volunteered to come to the hospital Tuesday.

"The guys are trying to make sure we bring a guy along with us. It's not just about one guy doing a community event of one guy doing extra work after practice, it's about all of us doing extra work after practice. And I think you'll see that," he said.

"This wasn't planned today by us to say we're going to have a bunch of guys come to the hospital. It was just one guy led to another guy, 'Hey are you going? Are you going?' And I think that speaks to the camaraderie on the team."

The Browns are dedicated to #give10 through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.

University Hospitals, the second largest private employer in Northeast Ohio with 26,000 employees, serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 16 hospitals, more than 35 outpatient health centers and primary care physician offices in 15 counties. At the core of the $3.5 billion health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center, ranked among America's best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, UH Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopaedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and genetics. Its main campus includes UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University. For more information, visit

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