Cleveland Clinic

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Cleveland Clinic logo.png
Cleveland Clinic Miller Family Pavilion.jpg
Location 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, United States
Care system Private
Hospital type Academic
Affiliated university

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine
Beds 1440
Founded 1921
Lists Hospitals in the United States

The Cleveland Clinic is a multispecialty academic hospital located in Cleveland, Ohio that is owned and operated by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, an Ohio nonprofit corporation established in 1921.[1] In addition to their flagship hospital in Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic also operates affiliated facilities in Florida, Nevada, Canada, and United Arab Emirates.


Early beginnings[edit]

Cleveland Clinic grew out of the surgical practice of Frank J. Weed (died 1891) at 16 Church Street on the near west side of Cleveland.[2][3] The practice was purchased by his two assistants, Frank E. Bunts and George Washington Crile. In 1892 they brought Crile's cousin, William E. Lower into the practice.[4] In 1897 they moved to the Osborn Building on Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland.[2][5] Crile, Lower and Bunts became professors at Cleveland medical schools, and each would be elected president of the Academy of Medicine.[6]

Crile organized the American military hospital in Paris in 1915, and later led the United States Army Base Hospital No. 4, in Rouen, France. It was the first contingent of the United States Army to see active duty in Europe during the First World War.[7][8] Bunts and Lower also served in the Rouen hospital.[9] In his autobiography, Crile reports that, while in France, the three doctors discussed starting a new medical center in Cleveland upon their return.[8][10]

Cleveland Clinic's original building, built in 1921

A four-story outpatient building was constructed and Cleveland Clinic was dedicated at a private ceremony on February 26, 1921.[11] William James Mayo, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, delivered the main address.[10][12] It opened its doors two days later to the public and registered 42 patients.[6] In April 1921, Cleveland Clinic had 60 employees, including 14 physicians, four nurses, a telephone operator, six cleaners, 22 clerical workers, an art department, and an unknown number of laboratory technicians.[13]

In 1922, the founders purchased four private homes nearby for hospitalization, radiation treatment, and administration.[13] A fifth house was acquired as a residence for patients with diabetes receiving insulin treatments.[13][14] To meet rising patient volume, a 184-bed hospital was built in 1924, located at East 90th Street and Carnegie Avenue.[15] A power plant, laundry, and ice plant were also built.[13][16] A research laboratory was constructed in 1928.[13][17]

Cleveland Clinic fire[edit]

Further information: Cleveland Clinic fire of 1929
George Washington Crile, one of the four founders of Cleveland Clinic

On May 15, 1929, nitrocellulose x-ray films stored in the basement of the outpatient building ignited.[18][19][20] An explosion sent a cloud of toxic oxides of nitrogen and carbon though the building. One hundred and twenty-three people lost their lives, including founder Dr. Phillips. A dozen investigating agencies were not able to determine what had caused the fire.[19] Cleveland Clinic's own inquiry narrowed the possible causes down to spontaneous combustion caused by heat; a discarded cigarette or match; or contact with an extension cord light hung over a stack of films.[19]

Philanthropist Samuel Mather formed a committee of 36 community leaders to help Cleveland Clinic reestablish itself in temporary quarters across the street.[19][21][22] Patient care services resumed five days later.[21] The 1921 building was completely renovated, and a new three-story clinic building, with a new main entrance, was added in 1931.[19] All debts were repaid by 1941.[23]

Crile and Lower relinquished their administrative duties in 1941.[16] In 1942, Cleveland Clinic’s Naval Reserve Unit, which included George Crile, Jr., a physician and son of George Washington Crile, established a mobile hospital in New Zealand to treat the wounded from the Guadalcanal Campaign.[24]

Growth of specialization[edit]

Patient drop-off area, Miller Family Pavilion, 2015

In 1954, Cleveland Clinic formally adopted governance by a Board of Governors consisting of nine physicians elected by the physician staff. They work with the CEO and lay administrators to formulate and carry out policy, overseen by a board of directors and board of trustees.[23][25][n 1]

Cleveland Clinic built new operating rooms in the early 1970s to accommodate the growth of cardiac surgery.[16] The Martha Holding Jennings Education Building opened in 1964, with an auditorium named for Dr. Bunts. A new hospital building (currently home to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital) was opened in 1966, and a new research building went up in 1974 (demolished in 2007).[16] A pathology and laboratory medicine building was constructed on Carnegie Avenue in 1980.[27]

Willian S. Kiser, chairman of the board 1973–1989, led the development of a strategic plan to accommodate growing patient volumes in the late 1970s. This resulted in a group of buildings known as the Century Project. Completed in 1985, the Century Project including a 14-story outpatient building (now known as the Crile Building), designed by architect Cesar Pelli.[28] Until 2007 Cleveland Clinic's largest organizational unit was the division, with the hierarchy division > department > section.[n 2] In 2007 it reorganized patient-care services around disease and organ-system-based institutes.[27][29][30]


The Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute had an annual research expenditure of approximately $250 million in 2008. The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University opened in 2004. Cleveland Clinic’s graduate medical education program is one of the largest in the country.[31]


It is nationally recognized as one of the top medical centers in the US and the world, particularly in technological and management systems[32] and in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.[31][33][34] For high acuity conditions requiring special expertise or the latest technology, it is ranked as the #2 hospital by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR), with individual rankings in 14 of the 16 specialties as follows:[35][n 3]

Specialty National ranking
Cancer 8
Cardiology and heart surgery 1
Diabetes and endocrinology 3
Ear, nose and throat 12
Gastroenterology and GI surgery 2
Geriatrics 8
Gynecology 3
Nephrology 2
Neurology and neurosurgery 8
Ophthalmology 8
Orthopedics 3
Pulmonology 3
Rheumatology 3
Urology 2

The USNWR ratings stand in contrast to rankings in models which feature a safety emphasis. In a Kaiser Family Foundation review of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data for hospital acquired conditions in 2014, the Cleveland Clinic received a 8.7 score (1–10 possible, with 10 being the worst), in the bottom 7% of hospitals.[39] In 2012 Consumer Reports rated the Cleveland Clinic 98th among 105 rated hospitals in the State of Ohio for overall safety.[40] In 2015 the rating was 60th among 161 hospitals, with a score of 49 out of 100 possible points; nationwide, the top rated hospital this survey received a scores of 79, and the bottom rated hospital received a score of 21.[41] Leapfrog Group ranked Cleveland Clinic in 2012 as one of 121 hospitals (of a total of 2618) with a "barely passing" D rating for safety (25 hospitals had F scores), which Leapfrog sees as among the "most hazardous environments for patients in need of care."[42] The different emphasis and specific methodology for the USNWR and for the other ranking systems explains why teaching hospitals collectively score prominently on one system but rarely feature highly on others.[36]

Between 2010 and 2013, the CMS undertook an extensive series of ongoing separate investigations of CCF[clarification needed] with at least a dozen inspections and follow-up visits triggered by patient complaints.[43][44] An analysis of Medicare inspection data between 2011 and 2014 found that CCF was one of at least 230 instances where validated serious incidents—dubbed “immediate jeopardy” complaints— led CMS to threaten loss of ability to serve Medicare patients unless the problems were fixed immediately.[43] Due to numerous serious ongoing safety violations, CCF was on payment termination track for a period of 19 months, placing at stake $1B in annual Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement.[43] The citations were reported and analyzed in detail by Modern Healthcare, which posted some of the safety documents.[43][44]


Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute

Cleveland Clinic's main campus consists of 41 buildings on 160 acres (65 ha) near University Circle, in Fairfax, Cleveland.[45] Cleveland Clinic operates 18[46][47] family health and ambulatory surgery centers in surrounding communities, a multispecialty hospital and family health center in Weston, Florida, an outpatient clinic in Toronto, Ontario.[48]

The Cleveland Clinic operates eleven northeast Ohio hospitals and has affiliates in Florida, Nevada, Canada and Abu Dhabi:

In August, 2015, the Akron General Health System in Akron, Ohio joined the Cleveland Clinic system. Akron General includes Akron General Hospital, Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates, Hospice of VNS, Lodi Community Hospital, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, and three health and wellness centers.[50]


According to data analyzed by American Hospital Directory, annual gross total patient revenues of $9.14 billion were the second largest in the US in 2011.[51]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This is a list of the chairmen of the Board of Governors, and their terms of office:
    • Fay Lefevre, MD, 1954–1968
    • Carle E. Wasmuth, MD, 1968–1973
    • William S. Kiser, MD, 1973–1989
    • Floyd D. Loop, MD, 1989–2004
    • Delos M. Cosgrove, MD, 2004–present.[16][26]
  2. ^ There was a Division of Medicine, Division of Surgery, Division of Anesthesiology, etc.[27] Within each division were departments (Department of Infectious Disease, Department of Cell Biology, etc.).[27] Within each department were sections (Section of Headache and Facial Pain, Section of Metastatic Disease, etc.). Divisions and departments were led by chairs, and section were led by heads.[27]
  3. ^ This is based on a statistical model that utilizes factors such as admission numbers and visit volumes, reputational perception by peers, the availability of special equipment,[36][37] and the campus availability of numerous high acuity specialties.[38]


  1. ^ Mission Vision and Values Cleveland Clinic. [1]. Accessed 05/17/2015.
  2. ^ a b Kazi, R. A. (2003). "The life and times of George Washington Crile". Journal of Postgraduate Medicine. 49 (3): 289–90. PMID 14597804. 
  3. ^ Shock, Physiological Surgery and George Crile, Peter C. English, Greenwood Press, 1980, p. 62
  4. ^ Sajadi, Kamran P.; Goldman, Howard B. (2010). "The History of Urology in Cleveland, Ohio". Urology. 76 (6): 1293–7. doi:10.1016/j.urology.2010.05.039. PMID 20810152. 
  5. ^ Retrieved from, August 25, 2015
  6. ^ a b Creating Cleveland Clinicby Brad Clifton and Jessica Carmosino, retrieved from, on August 29, 2015
  7. ^ The Lakeside Unit: Cleveland Medicine in World War I, retrieved August 29, 2015
  8. ^ a b George Crile, George Crile, An Autobiography, edited by Grace Crile, 2 Vol. (Philadelphia and New York: Lippincott, 1947), 274-80.
  9. ^ Surgery, Subspecialization and Science: A History of Urology at the Cleveland Clinic, 1921-2000, Mark D. Bowles and Virginia P. Dawson, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, History Enterprises, Inc., 2000, p. 19
  10. ^ a b Hospital Built Upon Service, Milwaukee Journal, May 16, 1929, page 2. Retrieved from,1367390&hl=en, on August 26, 2015
  11. ^ Retrieved from, August 26, 2015[full citation needed]
  12. ^ Srivastval, Suresh; Cooperrider, David L. (1986). "The Emergence of the Egalitarian Organization". Human Relations. 39 (8): 683–724. doi:10.1177/001872678603900801. 
  13. ^ a b c d e The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, by Amy Rowland, William Feather, 1938
  14. ^ Ohio Memory, Madeleine Bebout and the Nurses at Oxley Homes Photograph, caption. Retrieved from, on August 26, 2015
  15. ^ Encyclopedia of Cleveland History,, accessed August 25, 2015
  16. ^ a b c d e Pathfinders of the Heart, the History of Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic, William C. Sheldon, Xlibris, 2008, p.60
  17. ^ Cleveland: The Making of a City, William Ganson Rose, 1950, Kent State University Press, p.1011
  18. ^ The Repository (Canton)A Deadly Combo; X-ray films burn noxious fumes at Cleveland Clinic, July 14, 2014
  19. ^ a b c d e They Died Crawling: And other Tales of Cleveland Woe, John Stark Bellamy III, Gray & Company, 1995, pp218-232
  20. ^ Time Magazine, May 27, 1929, pp. 15-16
  21. ^ a b Plain Dealer123 Die in Clinic Disaster; Poison Gas Seeps into System; Explosion Rocks Building, August 23, 1998
  22. ^ Reading Times, May 17, 1929, p2
  23. ^ a b Profiles in Performance: Business Intelligence Journeys and the Roadmap for Change, Howard Dresner, Wiley & Sons, 2010, p. 57
  24. ^ The Way it Was. 1907-1987, Sex, Surgery, Treasure & Travel, George Crile, Jr., Kent State University Press, 1992, p.222
  25. ^ Specialty Care in the Era of Managed Care, John A. Kastor, MD, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, p.2
  26. ^ Med City News, The 50 Best Cleveland Clinic Doctors. Ever., December 24, 2011, retrieved from, on September 11, 2015
  27. ^ a b c d e Harvard Business School, Cleveland Clinic:Growth Strategy 2014, Michael Porter and Elizabeth Teisberg, December 29, 2014, pp.4-5, retrieved from , on August 26, 2015
  28. ^ retrieved from, on August 26, 2015
  29. ^ Crain’s Cleveland Business, In name of streamlined care, Clinic forms 26 institutes, November 05, 2007, retrieved from, August 26, 2015
  30. ^ Newsweek, What Health Reform can Learn from Cleveland Clinic, November 26, 2009, retrieved from, on August 26, 2015
  31. ^ a b "Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION". 
  32. ^ Adler J. The Hospital That Could Cure Health Care. Newsweek. 2009
  33. ^ Cleveland Clinic tops U.S. News list for heart care 20 years running. Cleveland Plain Dealer. July 15, 2014. [2]
  34. ^ "Best Hospitals". US News & World Report. 
  35. ^ "Cleveland Clinic", U.S. News & World Report (rankings).
  36. ^ a b Lowes, Robert (2012-09-20). "Joint Commission's Top-Hospital List Still Missing Big Names". Medscape Medical News. 
  37. ^ Comarow, Avery (2008-07-10). "A Look Inside the Hospital Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 
  38. ^ "Top American Hospitals". U.S. News & World Report. 17 July 2012. 
  39. ^ staff (December 18, 2014). "Penalties For Hospital Acquired Conditions" (PDF). Kaiser Health News. Kaiser Family Foundation. 
  40. ^ staff (August 2012). "How safe is your hospital? Our new ratings find too many pose risks" (PDF). Consumer Reports: 20–28. 
  41. ^ "Cleveland Clinic". Consumer Reports. April 13, 2016. 
  42. ^ Clark, Cheryl (November 28, 2012). "Leapfrog's New Safety Report Card Alarms Hospitals". Health Leaders Media. 
  43. ^ a b c d Carlson J. Cleveland Clinic cases highlight flaws in safety oversight. Modern Healthcare. June 7, 2014. [3]
  44. ^ a b Carlson J. Selected Cleveland Clinic hospital inspection reports. Modern Healthcare. June 7, 2014. [4]
  45. ^ Steven Litt for The Plain Dealer. January 22, 2012 Cleveland Clinic's new master plan envisions bigger, greener campus with ample room to grow for decades
  46. ^ "Dr. Tarek Elsawy named new president of Reliant Medical". 
  47. ^ Kelly Gooch. "Cleveland Clinic to hire 500 RNs at 3 job fairs: 6 things to know". 
  48. ^ "Cleveland Clinic Canada". 
  49. ^ Bell J. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi opens its doors for first patients. The National, UAE. March 17, 2015. [5]
  50. ^ "Cleveland Clinic Exercises Option to take full Ownership of Akron General". Akron Beacon Journal. August 28, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  51. ^ Oh J. (Aug 29, 2011). "100 Top Grossing Hospitals in America". Beckers Hospital Review. 

External links[edit]