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EXCLUSIVE I The good and the bad: Cleveland’s hospital CEOs reveal how healthcare has changed permanently after the pandemic

“Our ability to find cures for new disease has sped up immensely.”

CLEVELAND — The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed pitfalls in healthcare and it has changed how medicine is delivered permanently. 

In a 3News exclusive, Senior Health Correspondent Monica Robins hosted an exclusive dialogue with CEO’s from Cleveland’s hospital systems. They covered a wide range of topics, including job creation and their thoughts on the possibility of another pandemic. 

Here’s who we featured in the conversation: 

  • Dr. Tom Mijalevic, Cleveland Clinic President and CEO
  • Dr. Akram Boutros, MetroHealth President and CEO
  • Dr. Cliff Megerian, University Hospitals President and CEO

During the virtual discussion, Robins asked the CEOs to share from their perspective, the lasting changes in healthcare, both good and bad along with what we all have learned. The CEOs of Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth and University Hospitals have a history of competition, but the pandemic not only changed mindsets, but also the future of healthcare.  

Dr. Mijalevic: “Probably the most profound change in healthcare is very many healthcare organizations, just like ours here in Cleveland are working much closer together. Much closer together to the benefit of the communities and the patients.   Another big, positive change in healthcare is the acceleration of new knowledge and our ability to find cures for new disease has sped up immensely. The bad experiences during the COVID pandemic? I think it’s just the humbling understanding and realization that the new onset of infectious disease can paralyze the life in an entire globe. That is really what is very, very sobering. Uh, it's underscores the importance of our joint effort to combat the new pandemics for the benefit of the humanity.”

Dr. Megerian: “I think the first thing is a spirit of collaboration that has emerged.  Probably more in Cleveland, any other city that I'm aware of with regards to major healthcare organizations working together. And that's amongst the three of us today and even more of our colleagues, everything related to testing vaccination and  restarting the healthcare economy. I think the other thing is that we as a healthcare organization, all of us need to rethink our supply chains to make sure that we're not beholden to supplies that originate from areas that we can't predict the delivery.”

Dr. Boutros: "It helped us really accelerate some of our programs, our Institute of Hope program, which is focused on social determinants of health. It made us understand it is now pivotal for people who are in different situations, either socioeconomic environmental or other situations that they need more support than other folks. And we were able to deliver that personal support each one of them to make sure that they, they received the best care possible. One of the things that I think we need it laid bare is the digital divide, that we have in the city. So now we all know its consequences and we all have to address it."

You can watch the entire 52-minute conversation with Cleveland's hospital CEOs below:

More from Monica Robins with Cleveland's hospital CEOs: