Why We Give

Larry Pollock, right, and Stewart Kohl in 2019 | Photo: Stephen Travarca

Why do you give? We’re continually amazed, inspired and moved by the heartfelt motivations that we hear from those of you whose generosity sustains Cleveland Clinic. Now, with the Power of Every One Centennial Campaign in the home stretch, we thought we would take this opportunity to share our personal “Why I Give” stories with you. As always, for all that you do … thank you.

Through my friendship with Dr. Toby Cosgrove — and, later, with Dr. Tom Mihaljevic — I’ve come to appreciate Cleveland Clinic’s emphasis on putting patients first in everything that we do.

At other healthcare organizations, the organizational structure is a pyramid with a leader at the top who decides what should be done. At the bottom are patients, and in between are employees who follow directions from the leader.

At Cleveland Clinic, we flip that model upside-down. The people at the top of our pyramid are our patients. Below them are our caregivers. They’re driven by what the patient needs. As a very grateful patient myself, I’ve seen this firsthand over the years.

The focus is on “superserving” patients. By that, I mean treating them the way you would want to be treated and going the extra mile to meet their needs. It’s a team effort, and there’s no ego involved.

This has been central to the culture at Cleveland Clinic for the past 100 years, and it will continue to be. Doing everything through the eyes of the patient isn’t just about clinical care, either. It’s also about research and education, both of which will have an impact on patients around the globe well into the future.

I truly believe that everyone deserves world-class healthcare — and that Cleveland Clinic is the best vehicle to deliver it. For those of us who are fortunate to be able to give back, the Power of Every One Centennial Campaign ensures that Cleveland Clinic will continue to keep patients first with forward-thinking healthcare. If you can join us or even increase your participation, the return on that investment is tremendous.

— LARRY POLLOCK | Centennial Campaign Co-Chair

If you ask why someone supports Cleveland Clinic, many people will tell you “They saved my life” or something along those lines.

It’s a great reason to give — and all of us have our own reasons. But Cleveland Clinic also pulls in a lot of support beyond the so-called “grateful patients” who have benefited from being treated here. It comes from an appreciation for the significance of the work that we do.

Why do I give? For me, it comes down to the quality of the organization, its impact and its tripartite mission of patient care, research and education.

VeloSano is a passion of mine. We’ve taken something as healthy as a bicycle and turned it into a weapon to fight cancer. Along the way, my fervor for this effort has only increased as we’ve lost more loved ones to cancer, including my brother, who died last year of glioblastoma. Every dollar that we raise is invested immediately in cancer research at Cleveland Clinic, seeding innovative ideas that can lead to even greater sources of additional funding. I believe we’re making real progress. [For more on VeloSano, see "Jump-Starting Cancer Research."]

As we celebrate Cleveland Clinic’s centennial, it’s an incredible reminder that what we do in the present will make a difference in the future. We’re all indebted to the founders who returned from World War I to establish Cleveland Clinic, and to all the caregivers who followed and made Cleveland Clinic what it is today. With the Power of Every One Centennial Campaign, all of us have an opportunity to do something that will make a huge difference 100 years from now. It’s extremely rewarding.

— STEWART KOHL | Centennial Campaign Co-Chair