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Dr. Airica Steed, our President & CEO, shares a bit about why MetroHealth and the Vernon Family Foundation are hosting the inaugural Multicultural Women’s Health Fair & Empowerment Expo.

If you are a woman, one thing is for certain: You are busy.

We women fill every minute of our days. We work, run errands, do chores and care for the most important people in our lives – kids, grandkids, spouses, parents, grandparents and others. Our needs – and our health – usually end up somewhere near the bottom of our lists.

It is a recipe for trouble.

Self-help experts tell us that we should listen to the flight attendant and “put on our oxygen masks first before helping others.” It is important advice, but none of us should wait until our cabins have lost pressure to put on our masks. The time for self-care is before we are plummeting.

The time for prioritizing our health and well-being is now.

That is why I am so thrilled to extend a warm invitation to you and every amazing woman in our community to join me on Saturday, September 30, as The MetroHealth System and the Vernon Family Foundation present the inaugural Multicultural Women’s Health Fair & Empowerment Expo.

This FREE event will take place from 12 pm – 4:30 pm, and free health screenings will begin at 11 am.
Register Online or Call 216-957-3862
The event will offer:
  • Health screenings that are particularly vital for women, including diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, complete blood count (CBC), Hepatitis B & C, body mass index, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Sickle Cell and more.
  • Opportunities to learn to navigate the health care process to access the care you need and deserve.
  • The chance to connect with women’s health experts and community resources through booths and breakout sessions on topics like pregnancy, aging through menopause, breast health, managing anxiety and depression and weight management and nutrition.
  • Empowerment sessions to elevate women like you, not just to be advocates for your own health but to boost personal development, communication, career development, entrepreneurship, financial management and much more.
  • A joyful opportunity for us to gather, to come together, and to focus on ourselves, our health and our wellness.

A focus on the health of women, especially minority women, is long overdue. Cleveland was recently named the least livable city in the nation for Black women. Cuyahoga County has one of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the country for Black women and their babies. Black women are at higher risk than other women for many serious health issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And minority women seeking health care often feel unheard or ignored, facing barriers that prevent them from accessing care and screenings, appropriate diagnoses and timely treatment.

I, like many of you, have lived this reality. I lost both my grandmothers, my mother and my baby sister to cancer. In every case, these extraordinary women were either not given the level of care they deserved, were misdiagnosed or were denied access to early screenings that may have saved their lives. During two of my own pregnancies, I suffered preeclampsia and was near death.

My passion for women’s health comes from my pain.
I know we can change the narrative. We can come together, raise our voices, and demand the care we deserve. Together we can create a healthier community for every woman.

Please mark your calendars for the inaugural Multicultural Women’s Health Fair & Empowerment Expo on Saturday, September 30, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.

I can’t wait to see you there.

Warm regards,

Airica Steed, Ed.D, RN, MBA, FACHE
President & CEO
The MetroHealth System

For more information:
visit and register