Cleveland Clinic Appoints Chief Design Officer

New position aligns architectural design with patient experience

Cleveland Clinic has appointed Christopher Connell – a partner at the London architectural firm Foster + Partners – as its Chief Design Officer, beginning June 12.

Christopher Connell, Cleveland Clinic Chief Design Officer

In this newly created role, Connell will be responsible for the creation, strategic alignment and execution of architecture and other design initiatives to create serene, restorative environments consistent with Cleveland Clinic.

“Architecture and design can truly help comfort patients and their families during a difficult time at the hospital. Natural light, noise-dampening features, green spaces, accommodations and other environmental features go a long way toward enhancing the patient experience,” said Toby Cosgrove, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. “Chris brings a wealth of experience and insight to this new role that will leave a lasting impression on all who come to Cleveland Clinic.”

As a partner at Foster + Partners, Connell was involved in the creation of the Cleveland Clinic Master Plan, which was designed to provide a welcoming campus-like environment for patients and serve as a road map for future campus development. Connell has also been involved in the design of Cleveland Clinic’s Health Education Campus, which will include a 27,000-square-foot atrium and four stories of state-of-the-art learning spaces that encourage interaction among the medical, dental, nursing and allied health students enrolled there.

Prior to beginning his career at Fosters + Partners in 1988, Connell graduated from Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow in Scotland, United Kingdom. In his time at Foster + Partners, Connell has worked on more than 100 projects around the world, with his completed buildings receiving more than 40 awards. His involvement has ranged from architecture, industrial and interior design to infrastructure and master-planning.

“Cleveland Clinic’s consideration of every aspect of wellbeing makes it a very special environment, and its thoughtful integration of architecture and design is a key aspect of that,” said Connell. “I look forward to supporting the organization in evolving its culture, to utilize design thinking as a means to develop solutions that create unique patient experiences that reflect the needs of patients and the future of healthcare.”

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 51,000 employees are more than 3,500 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 10 regional hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2016, there were 7.1 million outpatient visits, 161,674 hospital admissions and 207,610 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at


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