September 5, 2017

Cleveland Clinic appoints new CEO

Daily Briefing

Cleveland Clinic last week announced Tomislav Mihaljevic, the CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, will succeed Toby Cosgrove as president and CEO of the health system.

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Cosgrove announced his intention to step down in May. Mihaljevic, who is a cardiothoracic surgeon, will take over the role on January 1, 2018. Prior to taking the helm of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in 2015, Mihaljevic served as chief of staff and chair of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi's Heart & Vascular Institute.

Cleveland Clinic in its announcement said the nomination committee unanimously recommended Mihaljevic to succeed Cosgrove, and that the Clinic's board of governors and board of directors had unanimously picked him.

Background

According to MedCity News, Mihaljevic immigrated to the United States from Croatia, where he earned his medical degree from the University of Zagreb. Arriving in the United States in 1995, he worked at Brigham and Women's Hospital before joining the Cleveland Clinic in 2004, where he has focused on minimally invasive and robotically assisted cardiac surgeries.

Over the course of his career, Mihaljevic earned a patent for a cardioscopy system for minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and received the Cleveland Clinic Innovation Award in 2006 and 2007.

Transition to new role

According to MedCity News, Cosgrove will collaborate with Mihaljevic on the transition process until Jan. 1, when Cosgrove said he will step down and take on an advisory position at the health system. The scope of that new role, Cosgrove said, would be defined by the board of directors and Mihaljevic. "While I may be stepping aside as president and CEO, I will not be leaving Cleveland Clinic behind," Cosgrove said.

Reaction

Robert E. Rich Jr., chair of Cleveland Clinic's Board of Directors, said, "Mihaljevic brings a depth of experience, first as an innovative, world-class surgeon and more recently as a hospital executive focused on health care quality and safety, patient experience and business strategy."

He added, "By nearly every measure—quality, accessibility, finances, innovation, reputation—Cleveland Clinic has made unprecedented strides since Dr. Cosgrove became CEO and president in 2004. Following in his footsteps would be challenging for anybody, but Dr. Mihaljevic has the background, skills and vision to move Cleveland Clinic forward to even greater heights."

Mihaljevic did not directly address his new role in the announcement. However, he said the organization "is very well positioned for the future," adding, "Our ongoing success will hinge on our ability to maintain high-quality outcomes, while reducing healthcare costs, encouraging innovation and improving access and affordability for patients" (Dietsche, MedCity News, 9/1; Akron Beacon Journal, 9/1).

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