Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. As one of the world’s top hospital systems – according to Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals 2022 list – Cleveland Clinic provides patients access to a global network of physicians and specialists to provide the highest quality care, as well as world-class patient experience.
The Cleveland Clinic health system, which employs more than 72,000 caregivers worldwide, has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery, as well as the first face transplant and the first uterus transplant in the United States.
As part of its continued efforts to ensure greater access to quality care for patients around the world, Cleveland Clinic is broadening its network of in-country representatives to five locations, including Colombia.
Cleveland Clinic’s local representatives throughout the world have in-depth knowledge of the latest treatments available and draw on their shared language and cultural understanding to facilitate a smooth journey for patients. With 24/7 access to global patient services, the in-country representatives can connect patients to Cleveland Clinic care available at locations across the United States, and in Toronto, Canada; London, U.K.; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. They can arrange online educational consultations, second opinions where available, and follow-up appointments, as well as in-person treatment at the most convenient Cleveland Clinic hospital, complete with travel arrangements for patients and their families. Cleveland Clinic has been awarded “Accreditation with Excellence” for its medical travel services by Global Healthcare Accreditation.
To expand access to Cleveland Clinic care for patients in Colombia, Cleveland Clinic has engaged Alexandra Gómez Ayala as its independent in-country representative for Colombia.
Ayala speaks Spanish, English, Portuguese, French and Italian, and was formerly the international manager for a local hospital. “I enjoy using my experience and training to help patients find the best doctor for their health needs, and to ensure the arrangements are the most convenient possible in terms of patients’ schedules and individual circumstances,” Ayala said. “Many patients, particularly those with international travel insurance or those seeking treatments not available locally, are keen to travel to Cleveland Clinic but are concerned about practical issues, language or cultural barriers. I am in the fortunate position that I can help these patients to access Cleveland Clinic care and ensure the entire process runs as smoothly as possible. I understand the patients’ needs and can advocate for them and make sure that the patient feels fully informed about their treatments and options.”
According to Curtis Rimmerman M.D., M.B.A., chairman of Cleveland Clinic International Operations, “We have seen strong growth in demand for our services worldwide, and we believe every individual can benefit from the quality of care we provide. By expanding our network of in-country representatives, we are able to increase access to care by breaking down language and cultural barriers that may have prevented patients from seeking treatments that might not have been available to them previously.”
Dr. Rimmerman said that the representatives have been selected for their local knowledge including a deep understanding of the healthcare landscape. “They are trained and kept up to date with the range of expertise and newest treatments available in Cleveland Clinic’s global network, so we can ensure they connect our patients with the correct team of experts for their needs. The aim is to provide a seamless patient journey from the initial consultation to post-treatment follow-ups by leveraging the interconnectedness of our global health system.”
The in-country representatives’ roles also include connecting local medical professionals with training and continuing medical education offered by Cleveland Clinic. In addition, they connect with philanthropists who wish to donate to the non-profit hospital system’s global efforts to elevate delivery of medical training, care and research.
Cleveland Clinic’s health system currently has 22 hospitals and more than 220 outpatient facilities globally. Patients came for treatment from 185 countries. Access for international patients is enhanced by a seamless, global interface with 24/7 access portals as well as digital medicine capabilities. In addition to Colombia, Cleveland Clinic now has in-country representatives covering the following countries: Bahamas, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.