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Cleveland MetroHealth hires crisis communications firm to improve image

The Plain Dealer, June 24, 2011
The county-owned MetroHealth System, facing scrutiny from Cuyahoga County leaders, is using a crisis communications firm to help manage the hospital's image and respond to questioning. That has prompted some county leaders to ask why such a move is necessary and whether it's a wise use of money. Hennes Paynter Communications, which the health system has hired on an as-needed basis since 2008 when two of its employees were implicated in the countywide corruption investigation, has been asked to "work on messaging," according to invoices The Plain Dealer obtained through a public-records request. The firm, at the cost of $300 an hour, sat with MetroHealth's leaders as they practiced and prepared for last month's public meeting with Cuyahoga County's new health and human services committee, according to Hennes Paynter partner and co-owner Barbara Paynter and MetroHealth Board Chairman Ron Fountain.

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