New Cleveland Clinic CEO can count on 51,000 caregivers for smooth transition


Toby Cosgrove, M.D., president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic

By Toby Cosgrove, M.D.
Cleveland Clinic president and CEO

For the past 13 years, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Cleveland Clinic CEO and president.

Over that time, Cleveland Clinic has grown into a regional health system with national and international reach. We improved quality, safety, outcomes and care affordability. We embraced innovation, diversity and personal wellness.

In each case, though, I did not accomplish this; we accomplished this, with 51,000 committed caregivers – doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, therapists, social workers, and myriad non-clinical staff – working together for the betterment of our patients.

In my first address as CEO, we made “Patients First” our mantra. It was these 51,000 caregivers who took those words to heart and put them into action. Their empathy, caring and consideration have made Cleveland Clinic a model of patient experience for the world.

On Jan. 1, Tomislav “Tom” Mihaljevic, M.D., will take over as Cleveland Clinic CEO and president.


Dr. Toby Cosgrove and Dr. Tom Mihaljevic

While Cleveland Clinic is on solid footing, the national healthcare environment is in flux, as state and federal governments continue with efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid. But Dr. Mihaljevic is an outstanding leader who will ably steer Cleveland Clinic through the turbulence. (To read about his thoughts on healthcare and his vision for Cleveland Clinic, please follow Dr. Mihaljevic’s LinkedIn page after Jan. 1.)

As a widely respected cardiothoracic surgeon and out-going CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Mihaljevic brings an impressive range of experience to the job. As a physician, he knows what caregivers need to achieve successful clinical outcomes. And as a hospital executive, he knows what a healthcare system needs to encourage innovation, improve patient experience, reduce healthcare costs, develop business strategies, and improve access and affordability for patients.

Change is happening fast in healthcare, touching all aspects of the industry – how we identify and treat disease, who provides treatment, where we offer healthcare services, how patients interact with their caregivers, and how we are paid.

Like me, though, Dr. Mihaljevic won’t have to face these challenges alone; he’ll have 51,000 caregivers standing beside him. Plus, he has invited me to stay involved with this great organization and I look forward to helping in any way I can.


This article also appeared on LinkedIn.