National Experts To Speak At Cleveland Clinic's Second Annual Patient Experience Summit

Clinicians, Healthcare Executives and Provider Institutions  Explore Solutions to Key Patient Experience Issues

April 1, 2011

Cleveland Clinic’s second annual Patient Experience Summit: Transforming Healthcare through Empathy and Innovation, May 22-24, 2011, will bring together leaders from healthcare, academia and business to address the importance of delivering exceptional clinical outcomes and compassionate, patient-centered care in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Enhancing the patient experience has been a long-term vision of Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove, MD. Cleveland Clinic was one of the first major academic medical centers in the country to establish an Office of Patient Experience and appoint a Chief Experience Officer.

“Delivering high quality healthcare requires not only skilled medical expertise, but an environment that promotes healing,” Dr. Cosgrove said. “We strongly believe every dimension of patient care should be measured in order to have the greatest impact. Offering compassion, showing empathy and providing patients with the responsiveness they deserve can improve outcomes and speed recovery.”

The Patient Experience Summit: Transforming Healthcare through Empathy and Innovation will gather global thought leaders from various disciplines in healthcare, academia and business to solve shared challenges and inspire innovative solutions that will transform the patient experience and elevate customer service as a competitive differentiator. More than 600 people attended Cleveland Clinic’s inaugural Patient Experience Summit in 2010.

The 2011 Patient Experience Summit, presented in partnership with General Electric Co., will take place at the InterContinental Hotel & Bank of America Conference Center in Cleveland. The goal of the summit is to engage in a global discussion of patient experience, what it means to the future of healthcare, and how to ensure that patients and families receive the best clinical, emotional and physical experience possible.

New to this year’s Patient Experience Summit are optional, specialty tracks on nursing and social media. Occurring simultaneously on Sunday, May 22, the summit will offer specialized content on the importance of social media and its changing landscape, as well as sessions on the unique and complex relationship of caregivers and patients.

“We’re excited to offer the specialty tracks for social media professionals and nurses,” said James Merlino, MD, Chief Experience Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “These sessions will offer in-depth discussion around the roles of social media and nursing in improving the patient experience.”

Two Cleveland Clinic patients will play important roles at the summit. Actor Robby Benson – who underwent a heart valve surgery known as a reverse Ross procedure in May, 2010 – will provide a keynote presentation. Thomas Tallman, DO, Chairman, Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, will speak on his experiences after suffering an unexpected trauma in March 2010.

Charity Tillman-Dick, the 27-year-old opera singer and double lung transplant recipient who performed for the first time post-transplant at the 2010 Patient Experience Summit, will also participate as a panelist for the session, “The Impact of Arts and Environment on Healing.”

Featured presenters and topics to be covered include:

  • Pauline W. Chen, MD, author of Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality, will lead a discussion on how to teach empathy and which medical education programs can help improve patient-centered care.
  • W. Richard Cowling, RN, PhD, Professor and Director, PhD Program in Nursing at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and Editor of the Journal of Holistic Nursing, will give a keynote address on “Illuminating Heart: The Alchemy of Appreciative Healing.”
  • Jordin Dolan, Founder, Emmi Solutions, will lead a panel discussion of industry leaders on technology’s impact on patient experience.
  • Diedre Mylod, PhD and Rick Siegrist, Press Ganey, will participate in discussions about best practices for “Real Life HCAHPS Improvement.”
  • Ananth Raman, PhD, Professor of Business Logistics, Harvard Business School will lead a panel discussion on “Improving the Experience by Managing Patient Expectations.”
  • Robert Schwartz, General Manager, Global Design, GE Healthcare will lead a panel discussion with other industry leaders on “Tools You Can Use Tomorrow for Patient Centered Care.”

Participants will have an opportunity to attend a roundtable breakfast on Tuesday, May 24, sponsored by the Association for Patient Experience, a new multi-disciplinary think-tank of healthcare representatives who are passionate about and committed to advancing the patient experience within their organizations and positively impacting the global delivery of patient-centered healthcare.

Registration fee for the full conference is $550. The daily fee, which includes the May 22 specialty tracks for healthcare social media experts and the special agenda for nurses, is $250. To register – or for more information – please visit

About Cleveland Clinic

Celebrating its 90th anniversary, Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. 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. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, nine community hospitals and 15 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 155,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide video interviews and B-roll.

Media Contact

Stephanie A. Jansky, 216.636.5869,