Lee Health Announces Alliance with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute

Media Contact

Hope Buggey 216.213.6192

Fort Myers, Fla. — Lee Health has entered an affiliation agreement with Cleveland Clinic and is now an alliance member of Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, uniting Southwest Florida’s leading health care provider with the top-ranked cardiac program in the U.S. to elevate patient care in Southwest Florida.

This latest announcement follows the previously established strategic alliance between Cleveland Clinic and Lee Health in November 2020 to enhance and improve care in Southwest Florida by exploring opportunities for service line affiliations and strategic initiatives to improve quality and efficiency of care through clinical and operational enhancements.

The strategic alliance agreement established a framework for how the two health systems work together to assess opportunities to share best practices and enhance existing clinical or operational projects or establish new ones.

Lee Health has a long history of excellence in cardiac care, with HealthPark Medical Center having been recognized multiple times as one of the Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals in the country by IBM Watson. HealthPark Medical Center is the only hospital in Florida to receive this recognition for four consecutive years.

Healthpark Medical Center

The Ohio-based Cleveland Clinic Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute is one of the world’s largest, most experienced cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery programs. Cleveland Clinic has been ranked the No. 1 hospital in the country for cardiology and cardiac surgery for 27 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

The alliance with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute will allow Lee Health to continue to advance excellence in care for heart patients in the region.

“Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute share a commitment to excellence in patient experience, care and quality outcomes,” said Dr. Larry Antonucci, president & chief executive officer of Lee Health. “This alliance allows us to put that mutual commitment into practice by collaborating on innovations in these areas, as well as treatments and processes. It also supports our vision to be a national leader for the advancement of health and healing.”

This alliance through a new affiliation agreement with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute makes Lee Health the exclusive Cleveland Clinic heart alliance member in Southwest Florida. It allows for the sharing of best practices, enhancing opportunities to provide new treatments and therapies to patients, as well as exploring cutting-edge technologies and techniques in cardiovascular care that will accelerate advances in treatments.

“Management of heart disease is complex, and working together on programs likes this helps to advance the treatment of cardiovascular disease to benefit our communities,” said Lars Svensson, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. “Our alliance with Lee Health will allow for sharing of best practices, while working together to ensure the highest quality care to Lee Health’s patients.”

“Cleveland Clinic is excited to take this next step under the 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 continued collaboration between teams and to continue the excellent outcomes for the patients of Lee Health.”

Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Alliance Network was launched in 2003. For almost two decades, the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute has formed alliances with cardiothoracic surgery and cardiovascular medicine programs in Ohio and across the country, providing access to world-class care and the unparalleled expertise of Cleveland Clinic’s heart program. The Alliance Network includes 13 hospitals across the country, with the addition of Lee Health. As an alliance member, both Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic remain independent, with no changes in control of physicians or staff.

For more information about Lee Health, visit www.LeeHealth.org. For more information on Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, visit www.ClevelandClinic.org/heart.



Cleveland Clinic:
Hope Buggey, (C) 216-213-6192, buggeyh@ccf.org

Lee Health:

Pat Dolce, Public Affairs Specialist, (O) 239-343-8370, (C) 239-989-2758
Department Mobile/After Hours: 239-789-5786


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 70,800 employees worldwide are more than 4,660 salaried physicians and researchers, and 18,500 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 19 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2020, there were 8.7 million total outpatient visits, 273,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 217,000 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/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

About Lee Health
Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, 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. Additionally, Lee Health operates the oldest, most established cardiovascular program in Southwest Florida. Lee Health offered the first catheterization laboratories (cath labs) in Southwest Florida, and also performed the first open heart surgery, angioplasty and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in the region. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org.