- Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove is stepping down later this year after a 13-year tenure that oversaw massive expansion locally, nationally and internationally, the nonprofit teaching hospital said Monday.
- Cosgrove, who helped to grow Cleveland Clinic’s revenues from $3.7 billion in 2004 to $8.5 billion in 2016, will continue in an advisory role.
- Meanwhile, Vivian Lee, senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah and CEO of University of Utah Health Care, announced her resignation in a Friday memo to faculty and staff. She had come under fire for axing the cancer center’s director by email and accepting a questionable $12 million donation from NantHealth CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong, according to KSL.com.
Under Cosgrove’s leadership, Cleveland Clinic’s main campus added new treatment centers for heart and vascular diseases, urology and kidney disorders and cancer, as well as a center for pathology and laboratory medicine. A health education campus is currently being built in conjunction with Case Western Reserve University.
The number of physician scientists also grew, from 1,800 to 3,400, and research funding jumped from $121 million to $260 million. Patient volume increased from 2.8 million to 7.1 million a year. The $8 billion health system is Ohio’s largest employer and has locations in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Canada and Abu Dhabi, with a London campus scheduled to open in 2020.
Cosgrove, a cardiologist, did not indicate what his future plans are beyond strategic advisor to Cleveland Clinic. He also serves on an advisory panel for President Donald Trump, but withdrew his name from consideration for secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in January, citing his commitment to Cleveland Clinic. That was the second time Cosgrove had been offered the top VA post. In 2014, President Obama approached him after then-Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned over a patient wait times scandal at the Phoenix VA Health Care System.
While concerned that efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act would leave millions of Americans without health coverage and increase emergency room visits, Cosgrove has said he believes hospital consolidation could help to ease financial pressures on hospitals as they transition from volume to value. “There probably is not a perfect system out there,” he said during a recent even hosted by media company Axios. “I think we’re probably going to end up with some sort of hybrid” health insurance system.
Cleveland Clinic’s board of directors and board of governors expect to name a successor by the end of the year. Like Cosgrove, his replacement will be a physician.
The brouhaha surrounding the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute led namesake and cancer survivor Jon Huntsman to threaten withholding a $250 million donation to the center. A week ago, the university’s board of trustees voted to reinstate institute CEO Mary Beckerle and changed the line of command so that she reports directly to the university president.
In her message to faculty and staff, Lee avoided commenting directly on the issues that rocked her position, saying only that she hoped the University of Utah community could “collegially embrace one another and all move forward together.” University of Utah President David Pershing is expected to announce an interim replacement soon.