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Cleveland Clinic Names New CEO

News  |  By Philip Betbeze  
   September 01, 2017

Tomislav "Tom" Mihaljevic, MD, will take over as CEO in January. Toby Cosgrove, MD, will stay on in an advisory role.

Four months after Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, MD, announced his decision to retire, the board of the Cleveland Clinic has named his successor.

Tomislav "Tom" Mihaljevic, MD, will take over as president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2018.  The 53-year old cardiothoracic surgeon has been CEO of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi since 2015.  

Robert E. Rich, chair of the Clinic's board of directors, said the board unanimously chose Mihaljevic based on his experience as an "innovative, world-class surgeon," but also because of his recent experience as a hospital executive with a track record of achievement in healthcare quality and safety, patient experience and business strategy.

Mihaljevic directly managed the Abu Dhabi unit's Patient Experience and Strategy & Business Development programs.

"Cleveland Clinic is very well positioned for the future," Mihaljevic said in a news release. "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."

"By nearly every measure – quality, accessibility, finances, innovation, reputation – Cleveland Clinic has made unprecedented strides since Dr. Cosgrove became CEO and president in 2004," said Rich.

Cosgrove Shepherded Growth
Cosgrove, who has led the organization since 2004, and who will continue on in an advisory role, has overseen strong growth during his tenure.

Revenues grew from $3.7 billion in 2004 to $8.5 billion in 2016 and he began an expansion beyond the clinic's Cleveland headquarters. Locations were added in Florida, Nevada, Abu Dhabi, and Canada. in addition to the international locations.

While operating income dipped in 2016, the hospital routinely scores high in rankings of clinical outcomes, patient experience, innovation and wellness. It earned a No. 2 spot from U.S. News & World Report this year and was ranked No. 1 in cardiology and heart surgery for 23 consecutive years.

Cosgrove was the only health system representative named to President Donald Trump's strategic and policy forum before it disbanded abruptly following Trump's controversial response to the violent protests in Charlottesville.

Related: Cleveland Clinic Drops Mar-a-Lago Fundraiser

Mihaljevic earned his medical degree from the University of Zagreb (Croatia)  before moving to the United States in 1995 to join Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

He moved to Cleveland Clinic in 2004 as a cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive and robotically assisted cardiac surgeries, particularly robotic mitral valve repair, complex valve operations, heart failure surgery, and heart transplantation.

In 2005, he received a patent for a novel cardioscopy system for minimally invasive cardiac surgery. He earned the Cleveland Clinic Innovation Award in both 2006 and 2007.

He is a naturalized American citizen.


Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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