CLEVELAND — “Our blueprint is simple: Provide the best care possible invented through research and innovation – and share it with the world.”
Those are the words from Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Dr. Tom Mihaljevic during his annual State of the Clinic Address, which was posted Wednesday morning.
From ongoing COVID concerns to what's next for the Clinic's operations in 2022 -- including the opening of Cleveland Clinic London -- Dr. Mihaljevic discussed multiple topics throughout the 30-minute address, which we have outlined throughout the story below.
You can watch the full State of the Clinic address in the player below:
- Opening of Cleveland Clinic London hospital
- Construction of the first integrated neurological hospital on main campus
- Opening of Mentor Hospital
- Expansion of Cole Eye Institute
- Renovation of Fairview Hospital
- Expansion of Cleveland Clinic Weston’s bed tower
- Opening of a new oncology center in Abu Dhabi
“As the centennial of Cleveland Clinic draws to a close, we continue to face the greatest healthcare crisis in generations,” he said. “Present conditions are pushing hospitals to the breaking point. We have never cared for so many critically ill patients with COVID-19. Most of them are not vaccinated. Their suffering could have been prevented, and that knowledge is hard on our teams, who are short-staffed and weary. … I admire our caregivers and respect your sacrifices.”
Despite the pandemic, Dr. Mihaljevic says 2021 yielded Cleveland Clinic’s strongest financial performance and the highest clinical activity ever recorded in its history. Total operating revenue reached $12.4 billion, with an operating income of $746 million. The health system performed 10.4 million outpatient visits – a 17% increase from 2020 – and more than 22,800 COVID-19 admissions.
CARING FOR PATIENTS
“What does the undisputed best place for care look like? To me, it delivers the safest healthcare of the highest quality as a lifelong partner to patients,” he said. “The primary objective of the best care possible is to prevent harm. Mistakes that harm patients are called serious safety events. We are absolutely committed to eliminating them. This is not a lofty goal. It can be measured with unfiltered transparency.”
CARING FOR CAREGIVERS
Dr. Mihaljevic said the Cleveland Clinic’s goal is to become the best place to work in healthcare.
“In 2021, Cleveland Clinic invested in caregivers by raising pay to be fair, equitable and competitive, and offering the leading benefits package in healthcare,” Clinic officials noted in a press release.
Gifts of gratitude were also offered to caregivers as a new way to celebrate their extraordinary service and dedication during the pandemic.
“We are used to emergencies in this profession,” he said. “But we have never been asked to handle a crisis for two years – at work, and at home.”
Officials say violence toward caregivers has also been a hurdle during the pandemic.
“Caregivers spoke up, allowing for an increased police presence, improved weapon screening and a program for safe escort,” the Clinic’s press release said.
CARING FOR THE ORGANIZATION
“The most common question I am asked is, ‘Where will Cleveland Clinic go next?’ To me, it is not about where, but how we will grow,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “We build, partner and innovate with technology. This year, we are funding $1.3 billion in projects. Nearly half of that will be used to renew our current facilities.”
CARING FOR THE COMMUNITY
“Cleveland Clinic heals, hires and invests locally,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “Our goal is to create the healthiest communities for everyone.”
As part of a commitment to improve the communities it calls home, Cleveland Clinic said it contributed $1.3 billion in community benefit — the most in its history.
“The prevention of childhood lead poisoning is Cleveland Clinic’s top community initiative in 2022, pledging $52.5 million to identify and remove harmful sources of lead exposure from Cleveland homes,” according to a press release.
Additional community efforts are focusing on:
- Infant mortality: Black babies in America are four times more likely to die before their first birthday, while their mothers do not get the support they need and suffer more complications. Cleveland Clinic is addressing this disparity by expanding its centering pregnancy program to bring new mothers together for prenatal care and by using obstetric navigators to connect parents to basic needs, such as food and transportation.
- Jobs: The strongest determinant of health is a family-sustaining job. Cleveland Clinic remains the largest employer in the State of Ohio. The health system is becoming more diverse, equitable and inclusive, hiring training and promoting 600 Black Ohioans.
- Food insecurity: Cleveland Clinic is working with the City of Cleveland and other local partners to bring a Meijer grocery market with apartments to the Fairfax neighborhood to address food insecurity and revitalize the neighborhood.
“Over the past year, we celebrated a century of excellence with pride. Together, we declared: Cleveland Clinic is the future of healthcare since 1921,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “Cleveland Clinic shines brightest when we are most needed, and so do our people. By every measure, we have come through the past two years stronger. Demand for our services has never been greater, which is the highest recognition of all. Our patients remind us that there can be no limitations in what we set out to achieve.”