After record year, Cleveland Clinic has big plans for 2022

The system is spending more than $1 billion in projects over the next year, including a new hospital in London.

The Cleveland Clinic treated more patients than ever before in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the system recorded its strongest financial performance.

Even with the pandemic, the system’s total operating revenue reached $12.4 billion in 2021, with an operating income of $746 million, said Tom Mihaljevic, president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. The system also performed 10.4 million outpatient visits, a 17% increase.

In its centennial year, the Cleveland Clinic concluded a years-long fundraising campaign that pulled in $2.6 billion, well above the target of $2 billion.

In his annual “State of the Clinic” address last week, Mihaljevic outlined ambitious plans for 2022. And some of those plans span the globe.

“Touching more lives is our responsibility, and it supports our future,” Mihaljevic said. “When we perform well, it gives us the resources to reinvest – into our mission, our caregivers and our care.”

The system plans to invest $1.3 billion in projects over the next year. About half the money is earmarked to improve existing facilities.

But there are also some big new projects. The Cleveland Clinic will be opening up a new hospital in London, England. The 184-bed hospital is slated to open early this year. It’ll employ 1,250 caregivers.

The Cleveland Clinic is also opening a new oncology center in Abu Dhabi. The system opened a full-service hospital in Abu Dhabi in 2015.

Closer to home, the system is building a new neurological hospital on its main campus. And the system is opening a new hospital in Mentor, Ohio.

The system is also expanding the Cole Eye Institute and renovating Fairview Hospital.

Beyond brick-and-mortar projects, the clinic is working on reducing infant mortality, with a particular focus on improving the health of Black babies, who are four times more likely to die before their first birthday.

While touting the system’s financial strength, Mihaljevic lauded the work of the Cleveland Clinic’s 70,000 employees during the pandemic.

“As the centennial of Cleveland Clinic draws to a close, we continue to face the greatest healthcare crisis in generations,” he said. “For two years, our caregivers have felt the exhausting staring of the COVID-19 pandemic, professionally and at home. Yet they never stopped leading.”

While touting the system’s strength, Mihaljevic conceded the wave of COVID-19 patients brought more tragedy to the staff.

“Present conditions are pushing hospitals to the breaking point,” he said. “We have never cared for so many critically ill patients with COVID-19. Most of them are not vaccinated. Their suffering could have been prevented. And that knowledge is hard on our teams, who are short-staffed and weary.”

“Too often, we’re the last to hold a patient’s hand,” he said later. “Caregivers shoulder a burden no one else is prepared to do.”

The Cleveland Clinic also has taken steps to deal with increasing attacks on healthcare workers, securing a greater police presence and improving the weapons screening program.

The Cleveland Clinic manages 19 hospitals and more than 200 outpatient facilities in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Toronto, London and Abu Dhabi.