It began in the midst of World War I. Working together at Base Hospital No. 4 in Rouen, France, Cleveland Clinic founders Frank Bunts, MD, George Crile, MD, and William (Ed) Lower, MD, formulated the idea of returning to Cleveland after the war and setting up a group practice. They envisioned replicating the seamless collaboration among specialists that they experienced at the military hospital as they saw firsthand its significant advantage for patients.
At the opening celebration of their brainchild in 1921, Dr. Crile remarked, “If the founders may look into the future and see an institution carrying out these designs ... their ambition will have been fulfilled.”
Nearly a century later, Cleveland Clinic’s multi-specialty organization and Patients First culture continue to embody the founders’ early plans and dreams.