Cleveland Clinic expanded its footprint beyond Ohio and opened Cleveland Clinic Florida in 1988. The first locations were in Cypress Creek, near Fort Lauderdale Florida and North Beach Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. The venture into this new market provided an opportunity to bring the Clinic’s not-for profit, group practice model of world-class care to South Florida.
During the early years, the Florida operation survived intense opposition from competitors and physicians were denied privileges at local hospitals. However, the Clinic’s leadership persevered, bolstered by their strong commitment to providing patients in South Florida with high-quality care.
Join us for historical highlights as we look back at 25 years of medical excellence.
The highlights of Cleveland Clinic Florida history as they happened.
Cleveland Clinic Florida Today and Tomorrow
Today, Cleveland Clinic Florida has grown to become a fully integrated academic medical center with locations in Weston and West Palm Beach, 225 physicians and 2,100 employees. Patients from all over the country, Latin American and the Caribbean seek medical care for complex medical conditions.
1987-1995: A Bold New Model of Medicine for Florida
Cleveland Clinic Florida opens at Cypress Creek and North Beach Hospital. The distinct Cleveland Clinic model of medicine creates controversy in the South Florida healthcare industry. Clinic leaders and physicians persist and establish a strong presence for the Clinic.
- Cleveland Clinic purchases 320 acres land in a prime location in Weston at the intersection of a major North-South highway and East-West highway - within a 2 hour drive to more than 6 million people.
- William A. Hawk, MD is appointed CEO during the construction period.
- Carl C. Gill, MD is appointed as medical director and would succeed Hawk as CEO upon Hawk’s retirement.
- James Cuthbertson is appointed chief operating officer.
- February 29: Cleveland Clinic Florida opens its first outpatient facility in Fort Lauderdale with a staff of 28 physicians.
- April 8: Carl C. Gill becomes CEO.
- IRB commences protocol review.
- The Institutional Review Board is established with James K. Montie as its first chair.
- Medical Staff Education Committee is established with Virgilio Salanga, MD as its first chairman.
- May 15: Gill performs Cleveland Clinic Florida’s first open heart operation at Broward General.
- Howard Bush, MD performs Cleveland Clinic Florida’s first cardiac catheterization at North Beach Hospital.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Colorectal Surgery Residency Program becomes the first ACGME-accredited residency program in any specialty in Broward or Palm Beach County.
- First Research Fellowship established in Colorectal Surgery.
- Cleveland Clinic purchases North Beach Hospital.
- The International Colorectal Disease Symposium Begins and attracts registrants from around the world.
- First program accreditation begins with colorectal surgery.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida doubles in size and expands North Beach Hospital.
- Medical Staff of 63 physicians exceeds the original Cypress Creek location designed to accommodate 40. Adjacent buildings are leased to accommodate the medical staff.
1996-2001: Academic Milestones
New resident programs and AMCGE – accredited programs are established.
- The addition of a medical library begins at North Beach Hospital then later to be included in the Weston Campus.
- Division of Research and Education and the Graduate Medical Education Committee is established.
- Internal Medicine Residency Program is accredited.
- The Agency for Healthcare Administration approves Cleveland Clinic Florida 1995 application and grants a CON (certificate of need) to re-build a replacement hospital on June 6, 1997.
- Summer Student Research Internship (SSRI) program created.
- Harry K. Moon, MD is appointed CEO.
- Cleveland Clinic breaks ground on the 43 acre site in Weston, owned by Tenet.
- Maritime Medicine Program is established.
- Neurology Residency Program is accredited.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida becomes sponsoring institution for all accredited programs.
- DIO – Designated Institutional Official by the ACGME is created.
2001-2005: Integrated Campus in Florida
Cleveland Clinic opens a fully integrated, academic medical campus in Weston, Florida in partner ship with Tenet Health. The campus includes diagnostic centers, outpatient surgery and a 24-hour emergency department located in the state-of-the-art, 153 bed hospital.
- In July, Cleveland Clinic Florida opens in Weston with a professional staff of 81 physicians and 153 bed hospital. The hospital is co-owned with Tenet Hospital Group and medical group practice managed by Cleveland Clinic.
- First Cardiac Surgery is performed at new Weston campus.
- Melinda L. Estes, MD is appointed CEO.
- Howard B. Graman, MD is appointed Executive Director.
- Robert Kay, MD is appointed CEO.
- Four residency programs are accredited - Cardiology, Nephrology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics and one Plastic Surgery Fellowship.
2006-2007: Acquisition, Transition & Unification - “One Team – Patients First”
Cleveland Clinic Florida acquires Tenet and the campus unites as one team under the leadership of Bernardo Fernandez, Jr., MD.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida becomes fully owned by purchasing the Tenet owned portion of the hospital.
- Bernardo Fernandez, Jr. MD is appointed CEO. Cleveland Clinic Florida is now one, united team under the leadership of Dr. Fernandez.
2008-2013: Regional Expansion
Cleveland Clinic Florida medical staff grows to over 215. Krupa Center is established to accommodate the expansion in Weston and new facilities are leased in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Parkland to offer services to growing demand for Cleveland Clinic Florida services regionally.
West Palm Beach Health and Wellness Center opens, offering 11 medical specialties and innovative specialty care.
- To accommodate the expansion of the practice, Cleveland Clinic Florida leases space in the office park across the street and opens the Krupa Center.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida opens the expanded West Palm Beach facility on the 14th floor City Place Tower. Service provided include: 35 patient exam rooms, infusion suite, full pulmonary testing, cardiac testing and procedure room, and a 1,200-square-foot imaging center offering general x-ray, ultrasound, bone density, MRI & CT Scan. Physicians with expertise in over 20 specialties.
- Pharmacy Residency Program is accredited.
- Pulmonary Medicine Fellowship Program is accredited.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida grants CON by the AHCA to open Transplant Program (Heart, Liver and Kidneys).
- General Surgery Residency program is accredited.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida reaches to over 215 staff physicians with expertise in 40 specialties.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida launches transplant program (Heart, Liver and Kidneys).
- Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Palm Beach Gardens office opens offering primary care and neurological services.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida plans to open Parkland office offering primary and specialty care services.
Cleveland Clinic had nearly 75 years of history behind it, when it took a leap of faith and brought its model of medicine to Florida in 1988. Renowned as a home of medical innovation and best practices, Cleveland Clinic saw the opportunity to extend its mission by thinking beyond geographic boundaries. Now, 25 years later, Cleveland Clinic Florida is a proud extension of that legacy.
Facilities in Broward and Palm Beach
What began as a group specialty practice in Ft. Lauderdale with nine physicians is today a world-renowned academic medical center with a staff of 215 salaried physicians and more than 2,000 dedicated professionals working throughout our facilities in Weston and West Palm Beach.
Dedicated to Medical Excellence
While our address has changed over the years and our staff has grown, what has remained constant is Cleveland Clinic’s unique model of medicine, lauded for integrating clinical and hospital care with research and education. It is at the heart of Cleveland Clinic Florida’s success, making our “patient first” philosophy a reality.
Treating Patients with Complex Medical Conditions
Today our physicians, representing 40 medical specialties and subspecialties, are organized to combine medical and surgical services to address specific organ systems and diseases. As a result, we are able to improve patient care and experience while addressing more complex medical cases.
Educating the Next Generation of Physicians
Cleveland Clinic Florida’s history is punctuated with medical breakthroughs and innovations, stemming from the physician-researchers who continuously strive to advance medical knowledge and research. As one of South Florida’s largest providers of graduate medical education, Cleveland Clinic Florida also shoulders an enormous responsibility to educate the next generation of physician leaders.
Poised for Future Growth
Looking back, we are proud of Cleveland Clinic Florida’s legacy and by what colleagues past and present, have accomplished. There’s no better measure than to consider the countless lives saved and restored to health. And, we are equally excited about what the future holds and the work still to be done.
The need for high quality healthcare will continue. We are poised for future growth as we prepare for our Weston campus expansion and the addition of new practices in Parkland and Palm Beach Gardens. We look forward to continuing to serve our patients with the best we have to offer.