Lee Health, Cleveland Clinic announce agreement to enhance healthcare in Southwest Florida

Health systems assessing opportunities for service line affiliations, strategic initiatives

Media Contact

Scott Samples 772.708.3319

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic announced they will enter into an agreement to share best practices that will optimize patient-centered care for residents of Southwest Florida.

Cleveland Clinic and Lee Health have established a strategic alliance to enhance and improve care in Southwest Florida. Collectively, the two organizations will explore opportunities for service line affiliations and strategic initiatives that can improve quality and efficiency of care through clinical and operational enhancements.

This strategic alliance establishes a framework for how the two health systems will work together as they assess opportunities to share best practices and enhance existing clinical or operational projects or establish new ones. As the two organizations move forward, they will lay groundwork for potential further areas of collaboration in the future.

Lee Health

“The alliance with Cleveland Clinic opens up many possibilities for future collaboration, programs and activities that will enhance the excellent care we are already providing to our patients,” said Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA, President and CEO of Lee Health. “Together with the physician community we will establish new ways to elevate the medical care available throughout Southwest Florida.”

Cleveland Clinic Florida

Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized internationally for its quality of care. Recently, U.S. News & World Report named Cleveland Clinic the No. 2 hospital in the nation and the No. 1 hospital for heart care in its 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings. It is the 26th consecutive year that Cleveland Clinic has earned the No. 1 ranking in Cardiology & Heart Surgery, and the 22nd year in a row it has earned a Top 5 overall ranking.

Cleveland Clinic was also ranked in the Top 10 nationally by U.S. News & World Report in 13 specialties. Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Weston Hospital has held the top ranking in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro region for three consecutive years, and was No. 5 overall in the state.

“Cleveland Clinic is excited to enter into this strategic alliance with Lee Health, which has a reputation for high-quality care,” said Conor Delaney, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic Florida. “We look forward to the collaboration between teams and to continue the excellent outcomes for the patients of Lee Health.”

Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida since 1916. Today, it is one of the largest not-for-profit public health systems in the U.S. Lee Health operates four acute care and two specialty hospitals, including the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Lee Health also provides an array of specialized programs and services vital to the community, such as comprehensive primary and specialty care physicians, outpatient services, home health and skilled nursing. The health system provides several services unique to the region, including a trauma center, regional cancer center, regional perinatal intensive care center and neonatal intensive care unit.

Lee Health is recognized nationally and in Florida for its high-quality care. In April 2020, all four of its adult acute care hospitals earned A grades from Leapfrog, which publishes safety grades for hospitals across the country. Leapfrog also recognized Gulf Coast Medical Center as a Top Hospital in 2020 and Golisano Children’s Hospital as a Top Children’s Hospital three years in a row. Cape Coral Hospital is a Sterling Council Award recipient, the highest quality award in Florida.

“It is exciting to have these two high-quality organizations team up in this innovative alliance to advance health care in this region in a way that neither party can achieve on its own,” said David Collins, chairman of the Lee Health Board of Directors. “The Board of Directors is eager to see what emerges as Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic begin to collaborate and is looking forward to providing strategic oversight to the projects that will be brought forward.”

Media Contacts:

Lee Health: Mary Briggs, 239.343.8368, mary.briggs@leehealth.org
Cleveland Clinic: Scott Samples, 772.678.9614, samples@ccf.org

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 67,554 employees worldwide are more than 4,520 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,026-bed health system that includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 18 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2019, there were 9.8 million total outpatient visits, 309,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 255,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CCforMedia and twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

About the Cleveland Clinic Florida region
The Cleveland Clinic Florida region is a nonprofit, multi-specialty healthcare provider that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. The Florida region now includes Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, and Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital, with five hospitals and numerous outpatient centers in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. The Florida region is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic are experts in the treatment of complex conditions that are difficult to diagnose. For more information about Cleveland Clinic Florida, visit www.clevelandclinicflorida.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Lee Health
With over 14,000 employees, Lee Health is the largest health care system in Southwest Florida. Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org.