From the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
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The CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION (incorporated February 5, 1921) is an independent, not-for-profit academic medical center engaged in patient care, research, and education. In 2005, it was the second-largest private medical group practice in America, including 1,400 physicians in 120 medical specialties and sub-specialties, serving more than a million patient visits a year. Founders GEORGE W. CRILE†, FRANK E. BUNTS†, WILLIAM E. LOWER†, and JOHN PHILLIPS†, served in the LAKESIDE UNIT, WORLD WAR I in World War I, and fashioned the Cleveland Clinic on the military model of cooperative medical specialties. Returning from the war, they recruited JOHN PHILLIPS as a fourth founder, and built and dedicated (1921) the first Cleveland Clinic building on EUCLID AVE. at 93rd Street. To provide “better care of the sick, investigation of their problems, and more education of those who serve,” they set aside a portion of the institution’s revenues for research, and other non-income producing activities. The Cleveland Clinic added a 184-bed hospital to its outpatient facilities in 1924. On May 15, 1929, nitrate-based x-ray films ignited in the original building, releasing poisonous fumes; 123 people died, including Dr. Phillips (see CLEVELAND CLINIC DISASTER). Despite losses from the disaster and the stock market crash, the institution stayed afloat on the good will of prominent Clevelanders, and the large surgical practice of Dr. Crile. It expanded greatly after World War II, focusing on specialized medicine. The Cleveland Clinic Research Division investigated kidney disease, blood circulation, and artificial organs, including the artificial kidney. Researcher IRVINE HEINLY PAGE† made key discoveries in hypertension. Cleveland Clinic physicians, researchers and nurses pioneered enterostomal therapy, dialysis, and kidney transplant, and were first to identify carpal tunnel syndrome and isolate serotonin, all before 1960.
The Cleveland Clinic gained a national reputation in cardiac care beginning with the discovery of cinecoronary angiography by F. MASON SONES† in 1958. Over the following thirty-five years, the Clinic built one of the largest and busiest heart practices in the world, with 300 hospital beds, and – per 2005 statistics – more than 200,000 patient visits a year. Heart surgeries totaled 8,121 in 2003, including a national record for a single hospital of 120 heart transplants in 1998. (A national lung transplant record of seventy in a single year was set by the Cleveland Clinic in 2004, with survival rates well above the national average.) As of 2005, the Cleveland Clinic performed more valve surgeries (2,254 in 2003) than any center in the world. In cardiac research, Eric Topol, M.D., and Qing Wang, Ph.D., made the world’s first discovery of a gene mutation associated with heart attacks and familial heart disease. Historic surgeries at the Cleveland Clinic include pioneering coronary artery bypass grafting by Rene Favaloro, M.D. in 1967, and the first successful larynx transplant by Marshall Strome, M.D. in 1998.
The Cleveland Clinic operates one of the nation’s largest post-graduate medical education programs and was an early advocate of continuing medical education for practicing physicians. In 2004, it opened the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, with a curriculum devised by Cleveland Clinic staff to train physician investigators.
In the mid-1970s, the Cleveland Clinic made long-range plans and began acquiring land for future use. By 1986, it owned nearly all the land (about 140 acres) within the boundaries of East 88th and East 105th Streets and Chester and Cedar Avenues. In 1985, a $185 million dollar expansion added a signature outpatient building (the Crile Building, designed by Cesar Pelli) and a new hospital building. In 1988, the Cleveland Clinic became the first academic medical center to establish full-service hospital and clinic facilities beyond the borders of its home state, founding Cleveland Clinic Florida, in Weston and Naples, Florida.
Floyd D. Loop, M.D., chairman and CEO from 1989 to 2004, nearly doubled the Cleveland Clinic’s physical plant and number of patient visits. A successful capital campaign in the late 1990s financed the construction of the Lerner Research Institute (1998), Cole Eye Institute (1999), and Taussig Cancer Center (2000). The Surgery Center was built on Carnegie Avenue, and a seventeen-bed level III neonatal intensive care unit opened in 2001. The construction of two new on-campus hotels, in addition to an existing facility, brought the Cleveland Clinic’s lodging facilities for patients and visitors up to three.
Foreign heads of state, government officials, sports figures and celebrities have been cared for at the Cleveland Clinic. Interdepartmental collaborations include the Digestive Disease Center, Brain Tumor Institute, and Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosciences. The Cleveland Clinic Glickman Urological Institute is the largest and most specialized urology practice in America; the Children’s Hospital at the Cleveland Clinic provides care for all pediatric disorders; the Mellen Center at the Cleveland Clinic is the largest center exclusively for multiple sclerosis treatment and research in the country; Cleveland Clinic Sports Medicine provides team physicians for the CLEVELAND BROWNS, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, and CLEVELAND INDIANS. The Cleveland Clinic assists in-house invention and entrepeneurs through CCF Innovations, its technology transfer arm.
The Cleveland Clinic began providing services to the SUBURBS through twelve family health and ambulatory surgery centers, beginning in INDEPENDENCE (1993), and adding Willoughby Hills, WESTLAKE, SOLON, Strongsville, Lorain, Wickliffe, Brunswick, Wooster, Lakewood, Beachwood, and Chagrin Falls through the 1990s. The Cleveland Clinic Health System consists of eight community hospitals (Euclid Hospital, Fairview Hospital, Hillcrest Hospital, Huron Hospital, Lakewood Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, Marymount Hospital, South Pointe Hospital), along with two affiliates (Ashtabula County Medical Center and Grace Hospital). Formalized in 1997, the system is Cleveland’s largest employer and the third-largest employer in Ohio, with 33,000 employees.
Delos M. Cosgrove, M.D., was appointed chief executive officer and president of the Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Health System in 2004. In 2005, the Center for Genomics Research was dedicated.