Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., Delivers State of the Clinic Address

Presentation focused on patients, caregivers, community and the future of healthcare

In his first State of the Clinic address as Cleveland Clinic president and CEO, Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., encouraged the health system’s 57,000 employees worldwide to focus on “how we care for patients, care for each other, care for the organization, and care for our communities,” while continuing to shape the future of healthcare delivery.

Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic CEO and president, delivers the State of the Clinic address Feb. 28, 2018. (Photo: Yu Kwan Lee, Cleveland Clinic Center for Medical Art & Photography)

“We are One Cleveland Clinic across the globe. A powerful team of 57,000 caregivers, ‘leaning in’ to every task,” Dr. Mihaljevic told caregivers Wednesday in the ballroom of the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland. “It’s the aspiration to do better. We are united in our commitment. We are defined by our ability to provide exceptional care in an exceptional way. As an integrated healthcare system, we will deliver uniform and safest care to every patient, every day at every Cleveland Clinic location – regardless of geography.”

The State of the Clinic presentation highlighted the successes of 2017 and revealed new initiatives for 2018, including efforts to improve patient safety and reduce caregiver burnout. Dr. Mihaljevic, who took over the duties of CEO and president on Jan. 1, praised the work of his predecessor, Toby Cosgrove, M.D.


“The achievements of 2017 reflect the legacy of Dr. Toby Cosgrove,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “He served Cleveland Clinic for more than 40 years – as cardiac surgeon, department chair, and CEO and president. He transformed Cleveland Clinic in more ways than we can count. He leaves us well-positioned for future growth.”

Under Dr. Cosgrove’s leadership, Cleveland Clinic saw increases in revenue, patient volume, research funding and community benefit:

  • Operating revenue increased 5 percent in 2017 to $8.4 billion, while net operating income reached $328 million.
  • The number of patient visits rose 7 percent to 7.6 million in 2017, thanks in part to improved access – new urgent and Express Care centers (276,000 patient visits), virtual visits (25,500), shared medical appointments (26,000), and same-day appointments (1.35 million).
  • Research funding rose 4.6 percent to $272 million, including a 5.9 percent increase in NIH funding to $108 million.
  • In 2016, Cleveland Clinic provided $809 million dollars in community benefit – a 17 percent increase over the year before, representing over 10 percent of the health system’s operating expenses.

“Care for patients requires that we care for our communities,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “Our roots in this region go deep. We’ve been on the same corner of Euclid Avenue for almost 100 years. Cleveland is in our name.”

Cleveland Clinic committed almost $400 million of its community benefit to subsidize care for patients in need, while also supporting research and education, community outreach, and neighborhood education programs, such as: the Louis Stokes Scholars program, which will double the number of high school interns next year; the annual Minority Men’s Health Fair; and the educational partnership between the Ohio University Heritage School of Osteopathic Medicine and South Pointe Hospital, which will help alleviate a critical shortage of doctors in underserved areas of Ohio.

For the second year in a row, Cleveland Clinic was ranked the No. 2 hospital in the nation in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report, while also earning the No. 1 ranking in urology and retaining its position as the nation’s No. 1 hospital for cardiology and heart surgery for the 23rd successive year.

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2018, Dr. Mihaljevic announced initiatives to improve patient safety and reduce caregiver burnout:

Patient safety: While Cleveland Clinic reduced readmissions, improved care coordination, and increased hand-washing among caregivers in 2017, “we need to go further,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “We have a right to be proud of our work in patient experience. It is inseparable from quality … But we need to go further.

“We will continue to strengthen our culture of safety and to become an ultra-high reliability organization. We will set bold goals. Hospital-acquired infections and serious safety events should never happen – we will bring those to zero. And we will become the safest place in healthcare, anywhere.”

Office of Caregiver Experience: A recent survey within the Cleveland Clinic health system found that more than 1 in 3 physicians met the criteria for “burnout,” including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment.

“We are here for patients first,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “But we can’t succeed unless we take care of ourselves. As CEO, I see my job as taking care of the people who take care of the patients. … Our caregivers provide outstanding care under demanding conditions. There is a potential for stress and burnout. We can’t let this happen.”

A new Office of Caregiver Experience will reach out to every Cleveland Clinic institute, hospital and location, working with caregivers to identify opportunities for improvement, such as wellness, burnout and career development. It will focus on making Cleveland Clinic the best place to work “for everyone – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, socioeconomic status, or position in the organization.”

Dr. Mihaljevic said the institution’s course is clear: “Cleveland Clinic will be the best place for healthcare delivery in the world, and the best place to work in healthcare. This is what we will do. This is what we will become.”

In 2018 and beyond, Cleveland Clinic will continue to offer its model of medicine to more people in more places.

“It is our ethical obligation to care for as many people as possible, and our duty to grow responsibly,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “The quality of Cleveland Clinic care transcends geographic and cultural boundaries. And we are one of the few organizations capable of transplanting our cultural DNA anywhere on earth.”

In 2021 – Cleveland Clinic’s centennial – a 200-bed hospital will open in London, marking “a remarkable journey: From a four-story outpatient clinic on Euclid Avenue to the backyard of Buckingham Palace.”

Dr. Mihaljevic pointed out that Cleveland Clinic’s international growth helps people around the world and right here in Northeast Ohio.

“Everything we do internationally comes back to Cleveland,” he said. “We have made the name of our city synonymous with advanced healthcare. Our overseas expansion provides resources that come back to our communities and give us access to previous untapped talent in healthcare.”

Recent and future building expansions include:

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 52,000 employees are more than 3,600 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 2017, there were 7.6 million outpatient visits, 229,000 hospital admissions and 207,000 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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