Cleveland Clinic’s president and CEO Toby Cosgrove, M.D., will step down after nearly 13 years in the top spot.
Cosgrove announced at a staff meeting on May 1 that he has made the decision to begin a succession process to step down later this year. The Cleveland Clinic’s Governance Committee wants to keep Cosgrove on in an advisory role.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of an extraordinary and forward-thinking organization that puts patients at the center of everything we do,” said Cosgrove in a press release. “Cleveland Clinic’s world-class reputation of clinical excellence, innovation, medical education and research was created and will be maintained by the truly dedicated caregivers who work tirelessly to provide the best care to our patients.”
During Cosgrove’s 13 years as president and CEO, the Cleveland Clinic has expanded locally, nationally and internationally and increased its revenues from $3.7B in 2004 to $8.5B in 2016. The Cleveland Clinic has become one of Ohio’s largest employers and was ranked as the number 2 hospital in the nation in 2016 by U.S. News and World Report.
“The goal of any leader is to leave an institution better than you found it. Without a doubt, Toby has done that,” said Bob Rich, Cleveland Clinic Board of Directors chairman. “Our world-class reputation has only grown over the past 13 years, as he has led Cleveland Clinic through a period of dramatic growth and worldwide expansion.”
The Cleveland Clinic has doubled its physician-scientists under Cosgrove’s leadership between 2004 and 2016 from 1,800 to 3,400. The total number of visits to the clinic has also increased from 2.8 million to 7.1 million in the last 13 years. Research funding has grown from $121M to $260M and several new buildings have opened on the main Cleveland campus. The Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute, the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center and the Tomsich Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute have all opened up under Cosgrove’s leadership.
The Cleveland Clinic currently has a 165-acre main campus in Cleveland and has international branches in Abu Dhabi, Toronto and London. It also has full-service health and wellness centers in Weston, Fla. and Las Vegas. The Cleveland Clinic has more than 150 outpatient locations in northern Ohio and 10 regional hospitals.
Cosgrove uses patient care and patient experience as the guiding principle for caregivers in his leadership at the Cleveland Clinic and even came up with the phrase “Patients First.”
He also helped launch wellness initiatives for patients, employees and communities at the Cleveland Clinic. Notably, he banned smoking on all Cleveland Clinic campuses, made it a policy to not hire smokers, offers employees free memberships to gyms and Weight Watchers, got rid of fried cafeteria foods, opened weekly farmer’s markets in the summer and fall and created an employee health insurance program that offers discounts on physical activity or enrollment in a disease management program.
The Board of Directors and Board of Governors will select his successor sometime this year. The new president and CEO will be a practicing physician as well.
Cosgrove has been with the Cleveland Clinic since 1975. He was named the chairman of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular surgery in 1989. As chairman, the heart program was ranked number 1 in the U.S. for 10 years in a row by U.S. News and World Report.
Prior to his arrival at the Cleveland Clinic, Cosgrove was a cardiac surgeon for nearly 30 years and had performed 22,000 operations. He is considered an expert in valve repair internationally.
He went to the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville where he received his medical degree. He completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and Brook General Hospital in London. Cosgrove was also a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force.
Cosgrove has been named a Fortune Businessperson of the Year in 2016 and has had a ranking on Inside Business’s “Power 100” list for Northeast Ohio. He has also been named on of Modern Healthcare’s “100 most power people in healthcare” and “most powerful physician executives” and has been inducted into the Cleveland Medical Hall of Fame. Presidential administrations have consulted him as well.
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