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To Act as a Unit - The Story of Cleveland Clinic

To Act as a Unit - The Story of Cleveland Clinic

To Act as a Unit is the official history of Cleveland Clinic, recounting its origins and growth from a small hospital to a world-renowned healthcare provider. It has been updated in recognition of Cleveland Clinic's Centennial in 2021, with accounts of the hospital system's recent history and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode 1: 1880-1890 2021/09/15, 18:08
Episode 1: 1880-1890

Cleveland Clinic is a rare institution. It’s not so much a place as an idea. The idea of teamwork ... the idea of collaboration for patient care … teamwork that extends to research and education … salaried physicians and group practice.<br>This is a model of medicine that the world has looked to for inspiration in recent years. It’s a model that has stood the test of time — and been tried by fire.<br>This idea was the product of Drs. George Crile, Frank Bunts and William Lower — three remarkable physicians. The story of Cleveland Clinic begins in the aftermath of the American Civil War, when Cleveland Clinic’s founders were born.

Episode 2: 1890-1910 2021/09/15, 17:53
Episode 2: 1890-1910

Cleveland was a tough town in the 1890s. The young surgeons Crile and Bunts were so busy they needed to add another partner to the office. In 1892, they were joined by Dr. William Lower, Crile’s cousin, who shared the partners’ raging work ethic.<br>As their reputations grew and patient volumes increased, Crile, Bunts and Lower moved to successively more spacious and better-equipped facilities. The “Office” years were a kind of golden age for the partners. “Through it all,” Crile later wrote, “we managed to think and act as a unit.”

Episode 3: 1910-1920 2021/09/15, 17:36
Episode 3: 1910-1920

When America joined World War I in 1917, the three partners joined the Army and rounded up colleagues and nurses to form what was called the Lakeside Unit, after Cleveland’s Lakeside Hospital. The partners introduced new ways of organizing Army hospitals and were impressed by military medicine. They recognized the benefits that could be obtained from a cooperating group of specialists. Before their return to the United States they began to formulate plans for the future.

Episode 4: 1920-1930 2021/09/14, 23:58
Episode 4: 1920-1930

Before World War I, many people referred to The Office as the “Crile Clinic.” But when Crile, Bunts and Lower — joined by a fourth partner, internal medicine specialist Dr. John Phillips — formed their new group practice and clinic, they named it the Cleveland Clinic Foundation for the city they loved. Among the unique propositions of this new foundation was that 25 percent or more of the net income would go to an endowment to support patient care, research, education and indigent care. On Saturday, February 26, 1921, Cleveland Clinic was dedicated and opened its doors at E.93rd and Euclid Avenue. But less than a decade later, a disaster almost wiped out the fledgling enterprise.

Episode 5: 1930-1940 2021/09/14, 23:05
Episode 5: 1930-1940

Cleveland Clinic was coping with the fallout from a tragic fire and explosion that killed 123 patients, visitors and employees on May 15, 1929. The organization’s unique model of medicine showed its value, as the Clinic not only survived the disaster and the Great Depression, but emerged with a greater reputation. The medical campus continued to grow in size and the focus on treatment, education and research moved forward.

Episode 6: 1940-1950 2021/09/14, 22:32
Episode 6: 1940-1950

With the outbreak of World War II, doctors and nurses patriotically volunteered to serve. The Clinic’s Naval Reserve Unit was called to active duty. It included some of the Clinic’s most prominent physicians, including Dr. Crile’s son, George Crile Jr. A year after the war’s end, the Clinic’s six original departments had increased to 19 clinical departments. Work began on the vertical expansion of what is now the S building and two new hospital wings. With the arrival of Dr. Irvine Page as Head of Research, Cleveland Clinic was catapulted to the forefront of hypertension research.

Episode 7: 1950-1960 2021/09/14, 19:36
Episode 7: 1950-1960

The 1950s were busy years for innovation and research. The first Board of Governors was appointed, which provided physician leadership and a stable foundation for administration that continues to this day. A small but remarkable group of surgeons and cardiologists began to gather at Cleveland Clinic and address the diseases of the heart. One of the most dramatic breakthroughs in the history of heart care occurred at Cleveland Clinic in 1958 — the discovery of modern coronary angiography, still the gold standard for diagnosing coronary artery disease.

Episode 8: 1960-1970 2021/09/14, 18:15
Episode 8: 1960-1970

Cleveland Clinic played a leading role in the development and growth of cardiac surgery, one of the most dramatic stories in the annals of medicine. In 1962, heart surgeon Dr. René Favaloro arrived at the Clinic. Working with cardiologist Dr. F. Mason Sones, he planned and executed a new type of surgery to treat blockages of the coronary artery by using a relocated blood vessel to bypass the obstruction. When riots and disturbances broke out in <br>Cleveland in 1966, many businesses and residents fled the Clinic’s neighborhood. But instead of moving, Cleveland Clinic proceeded to build a new hospital wing and make plans for further growth.

Episode 9: 1970-1980 2021/09/14, 17:22
Episode 9: 1970-1980

The neighborhoods around Cleveland Clinic changed drastically in the 1970s, and as many acres of land became available, the Clinic purchased the properties and banked them for future expansion. Cleveland Clinic was a unique entity among local hospitals. In 1978, it was seeing 2,500 patients a day and had one of the busiest surgical practices in the United States, yet only a small percentage of these patients were local. At the same time, the Clinic provided a substantial economic benefit to the region. There were 6,000 people working directly for Cleveland Clinic in 1978, making it the sixth largest employer in the city.

Episode 10: 1980-1990 2021/09/14, 17:07
Episode 10: 1980-1990

Cleveland Clinic was vibrant and growing in the 1980s, launching an ambitious building program called the Century Project that produced iconic structures such as the Crile Building and the Skyway. The Clinic led major clinical advancements as well as pioneering the use of healthcare marketing. As patient volumes continued to grow, Cleveland Clinic looked beyond its traditional Northeast Ohio marketplace for new opportunities, opening facilities in South Florida.