Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center in Cleveland, Ohio, has announced it will strengthen and expand its learning and development program thanks to a $23 million gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. The gift will go toward creating additional space on the clinic’s Health Education Campus specifically dedicated to leadership development. Located across the street from the clinic’s hospital, the Health Education Campus is shared by the Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and the Zielony Nursing Institute.
Cleveland Clinic has renamed its leadership development program the Mandel Global Leadership and Learning Institute in honor of the benefactors’ foundation. Leadership development is one of the five pillars the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation seeks to promote through its financial contributions.
“Healthcare is at a very pivotal point of change,” said Gina Cronin, chief talent development officer for the Mandel Global Leadership and Learning Institute. “There’s enormous transformation happening within healthcare today, and that’s of course from the digital transformation which everyone is facing. In my career, change is at the most rapid pace I’ve ever seen, and it’s incredibly important that we prepare leaders to lead through that change.”
Owned and operated by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland Clinic’s operations are not limited to Ohio. With hospitals in Florida, Nevada, Canada, Abu Dhabi and, in 2021, London, the need for leaders who can navigate new territory is high. Cleveland Clinic currently employs 3,000 leaders around the world, according to Cronin.
“We’re really transforming our entire model of care and how we treat patients,” Cronin said. “How do we start virtual visits? How do we treat populations of patients and not just focus on disease or when they’re sick?”
Where to begin training and making sure it’s effective are two problems healthcare professionals face when attempting to find solutions for their changing industry.
“In healthcare, like other highly regulated industries, there is a significant emphasis on checking boxes rather than creating a significant impact,” said Daniel Gandarilla, vice president and chief learning officer of Texas Health Resources University. “Many times this leads to a culture of ‘get it done’ rather than ‘get it right.’ ”
Cleveland Clinic’s current leadership development program is focused primarily on physicians rather than executives or administrators.
“We’re a physician-led organization and physicians are an incredibly vital component of success in all of our areas,” Cronin said. “[Among] all of those leaders we have a special focus on physician leaders being developed.”
The qualities these leaders possess are as important as the skills they’ll develop at the new learning institute. Cronin said Cleveland Clinic is looking for leaders who not only can coach, but also can inspire those working around them. Understanding the necessity of teamwork is another virtue central to the clinic’s mission of medical innovation and patient care.
“It’s important to have leaders who are agile, who can lead through this enormous change that we’re facing and be ready to connect their teams to this incredible mission,” Cronin said.
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