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Case Western Reserve&Cleveland Clinic Partner on New Medical Education Building

Project brings two renowned academic tracks together in one space to capitalize on synergies and advance state-of-the-art teaching and learning

June 2, 2013

Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic have agreed to collaborate on construction of a new, state-of-the-art medical education building for the two academic tracks of the university’s School of Medicine.

The partnership provides unified space for programs now housed apart – the original medical education offering on the Case Western Reserve campus, and the 11-year-old Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. The new building will be located within an 11-acre parcel bordered by Euclid and Chester Avenues and 93rd and 100th Streets.

The roughly 165,000-square-foot building will cost about $80 million. Cleveland Clinic is providing the land for the structure and also covering all site preparation expenses. Cleveland Clinic also has agreed to match the dollars Case Western Reserve has raised for the project to date, up to $25 million. Finally, the institutions will fundraise jointly for the project, and share costs for its construction and operation. All told, the organizations have secured commitments for the majority of the dollars required, and have made shared outreach to other potential supporters a priority in the months to come.

The architectural firm Foster + Partners of London has been engaged to design the new medical education building. Planning will begin immediately - with site preparation commencing within a few months – all while joint fundraising for the project continues.

Overall, the medical school overall ranks 25th in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Each of the two academic tracks is renowned for innovation and excellence. By bringing them together in an impressive structure, the institutions not only dramatically strengthen both offerings, but also send a powerful visual signal regarding the value of 21st –century medical education in Northeast Ohio.

“Both of these tracks of our medical school have drawn national acclaim for their cutting-edge academic approaches,” Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder said. “This project gives talented faculty and students an opportunity to share space, ideas and insights – and we cannot wait to see the innovations that emerge.”

Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby M. Cosgrove, MD, said the new building would offer future physicians the ideal setting to prepare for a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

“Modern medicine is a technology-dependent science. In order to treat patients effectively, doctors-in-training need to have access to the latest technological advances,” Cosgrove said. “From electronic medical records to robotic surgery, from telemedicine to advanced imaging, medical students need to be prepared to practice medicine of the future.”

The two leaders explained that advancing the medical school – and, in turn, raising its stature - ultimately benefits all of their respective affiliated hospitals, the region’s biomedical industry and, finally, the community at large. The two cited the enormous synergies they have seen realized through current collaborations within the academic health care community. One example is the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center - which includes the university, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals – which is one of just 41 centers nationwide to receive the National Cancer Institute’s highest distinction. Meanwhile, the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative, which includes these three institutions as well as MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center – has won more than $128 million in federal grant support over the past six years.

Cosgrove and Snyder added that the building project complements both organizations’ other partnerships. Cleveland Clinic’s 2012 plan to open a branch of Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at its South Pointe Hospital, for example, continues on schedule with students set to enroll in 2015. Case Western Reserve’s primary affiliation with University Hospital Case Medical Center also remains in place, as do its cooperative arrangements with Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Health System, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center.

While the shared educational space will increase opportunities for students and faculty to interact and learn about each other’s programs, each track will continue to have its own individual identity and offerings. Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine enrolls 32 students annually for a five-year program designed to graduate physician-scientists. One year of the program is devoted to research. The university’s original program enrolls about 165 students each July in a four-year sequence that also includes a major research project.

To date the students from the two groups have interacted for events like Commencement, as well as their third- and fourth-year clinical rotations at area hospitals and healthcare facilities. The proposed building would provide students a single location for the classroom and laboratory learning that takes place primarily during the first two years of medical school. The clinical rotations – where students spend several weeks at a time learning about different specialties - would continue as they have previously.

Pamela B. Davis, Dean of the School of Medicine and the university’s Vice President for Medical Affairs, said the project also gave both organizations an opportunity to build on shared strengths in multiple areas. The university’s global health programs are known throughout the world, in particular initiatives on infectious diseases in Africa and community health in China. Cleveland Clinic, meanwhile, engages with patients around the globe and is opening a five-story, 360-bed hospital in Abu Dhabi later this year.

“We all recognize how much we have to learn from international colleagues, and they from us,” Davis said. “By pooling our respective expertise and relationships, we can accelerate the significant progress we each have achieved on our own.”

Jim Young, the Executive Dean of Cleveland Clinic's Lerner College of Medicine, also cited the significant possibilities inherent in shared space, from enhancing existing programs in art and medicine to improving coordination for core programs that each track provides. Another curricular option may involve building offerings in health policy and finance, subjects that will become ever more important to physicians as the nation increasingly embraces value-based medicine.

“Pam and I have deep respect for one another and a shared passion for excellence in medical education,” Young said. “I am confident that our existing leading-edge programs will become even more innovative as students and faculty work even more closely together.”

Cosgrove and Snyder also see the project as an opportunity to bolster economic development in the Upper Chester neighborhood and to continue to advance greater Cleveland’s biomedical strengths. The classroom and laboratory space vacated after the new building opens ultimately will be repurposed for research.

With the closing of Cleveland Clinic’s GuestHouse, currently located on the future construction site, plans are under consideration to build a similar hotel near Cleveland Clinic’s campus for patients and their families. Those details and timing are yet to be finalized.

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school. Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 M.D. and MD/Ph D students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report's "Guide to Graduate Education." The School of Medicine's primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, currently under construction, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at Follow us at


Media Contact

Eileen Sheil, 216.312.0338,
Angie Kiska, 216.312.9170,
Case Western Reserve, Chris Sheridan, 216.338.6469,