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Press Release

University Hospitals announced as Stay in the Game! Attendance Network's first signature partner

The partnership will bring together healthcare and education initiatives for Northeast Ohio youth

UH:SITG Press Release

BEREA, Ohio – University Hospitals (UH), the Cleveland Browns Official Health Care Partner has teamed up with the Cleveland Browns Foundation's Stay in the Game! (SITG!) Attendance Network as the program's first signature partner. Through this partnership, the Network and UH will work together on programming to increase school attendance for students throughout Northeast Ohio.

"We know that absenteeism is hurting Ohio's youth," said Heidi Gartland, MHA, FACHE, CDM, University Hospitals Chief Government & Community Relations Officer. "According to data from Ohio's Department of Education and Workforce, 26.8% of students were chronically absent for the 2022-23 school year. Students with high absenteeism rates tend to struggle with low achievement, decreased self-esteem and increased mental health issues. University Hospitals and the Cleveland Browns share a commitment to our community, and to keeping our kids in school so they can achieve their fullest potential and dreams."

"University Hospitals has been a valuable partner of the Browns for a decade supporting and caring for our players, staff, community and all of Northeast Ohio," said Dee Haslam Cleveland Browns Managing and Principal Partner. "Becoming the first signature partner of the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network will bolster the work we're doing to ensure children across the Browns network are healthy and set up for success."

As the Official Healthcare partner of the Browns, since 2014 UH has cared for Browns players, staff members and their families while also emphasizing engagement in the Northeast Ohio community. In conjunction with the team focus, UH offers essential support for the Browns commitment to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football as well as other Browns community outreach and initiatives in the region. Joining the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network directly connects UH with students to address attendance barriers and increase attendance within the Browns' Network in Northeast Ohio.

The Cleveland Browns Foundation and the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network currently partner with 57 school districts for the 2023-24 school year, impacting more than 250,000 students in Ohio by providing districts and schools with resources and supports to improve attendance along with the Networks founding partners the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, and Harvard's Proving Ground. Battelle, one of the world's largest, independent research and development organizations, recently joined the Network and will be the new 'Network host,' hosting SITG! operations starting this July.

About the Stay in The Game! Attendance Network:

Launched in 2019 by the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Workforce and Harvard's Proving Ground and hosted and operated by Battelle, the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network works together to campaign, connect, and convene with experts and supporters to increase attendance in Ohio. The Stay in The Game! Attendance Network is expecting to support over 100 districts and over 300,000 students during the 2024-2025 school year through localized, data-informed attendance campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the importance of school attendance as a foundation for student success and identifying barriers to attendance. For more information about the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network please contact us at or visit our website at

About University Hospitals:

Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 21 hospitals (including five joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system's flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the 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. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. 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 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit

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