The Room Where It Happens

Photo: Stephen Travarca

At the height of the pandemic, the Cleveland Clinic executive team met twice a day.

Some members were socially distanced around the table in a conference room on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. Others joined via video, including the leaders of locations in Florida, London and Abu Dhabi.

As they prepared for and responded to the ever-changing situation, their North Star was protecting patients and caregivers while fulfilling Cleveland Clinic’s mission. A typical session would open with a rundown of the latest COVID-19 statistics and trends, followed by updates on clinical operations, caregiver well-being and communications.

Often the last to weigh in on any given agenda item was CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, MD, who championed inclusive decision-making by listening to others give their input before he shared his own. Constructive opinions were always welcome. So were differing points of view, provided they came with alternative recommendations. And healthy debate was encouraged, with the understanding that the team would walk out aligned.

The world at large — from local, state and federal government officials to business leaders across various industry sectors to the general public — also looked to Cleveland Clinic for guidance throughout the crisis.

The Big Picture

We asked Cleveland Clinic leaders: What has the pandemic brought into focus for you?

“Every life is precious, and we’re dedicated to making the lives we care for healthy. We celebrate the fundamental similarities among us.”

— Joseph Iannotti, MD, PhD, Interim CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic Florida

“This crisis has taught us the power of taking care of each other. It’s an important message to remember: Go easy on each other. Remember, we’re all human beings.”

Rakesh Suri, MD, DPhil, CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

“We see it around the world now: The core of healthcare is the expression of empathy from one person to another person in need, in our shared humanity that we all must value equally.”

— Brian Donley, MD, CEO of Cleveland Clinic London