Part of our employer value proposition is to foster a culture where caregivers are treated like family. We provide our caregivers with access to resources so they can actively take steps to thrive. The well-being dimensions we focus on include Physical, Emotional, Social, Financial and Intellectual. Our commitment to caregiver well-being was exceptionally important in 2020. We created and adapted several programs to support our caregivers throughout the year in response to the evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employee Health Plan and Healthy Choice Program

Employee Health Plan and Healthy Choice Program

The Cleveland Clinic Employee Health Plan (EHP) offers employees a comprehensive benefits program that includes access to the entire Cleveland Clinic Quality Alliance network of providers. We provide healthcare coverage to over 105,000 individuals through our EHP. In 2020, EHP ensured that members had appropriate access to medical and pharmaceutical care during the pandemic, and was proud to care for our caregivers during this time. In 2020, EHP expanded coverage to include all respiratory, influenza and COVID-19 related diagnoses and procedures at 100% coverage. We removed prior authorizations on COVID-19 treatments and expanded virtual visit and telehealth coverage. EHP also removed any early refill edits on prescriptions so members could refill their medications early if needed. 

Our Healthy Choice program enables Health Plan members to take charge of their well-being, and 53% of EHP members participated in 2020. Caregivers and their spouses who participate can improve their health and earn up to 30% off their premiums by meeting personalized annual medical, nutrition or fitness goals. In 2020, over 52,000 eligible members participated in Healthy Choice programs and worked toward better health outcomes and premium discounts. To support caregivers and their spouses during the unprecedented events of 2020, EHP offered members the option of carrying over their 2020 premium discount levels through the 2021 benefit year. Participants who met their 2020 health goals could increase their discount, but no participants experienced a reduction in their discount.

Feet fall trail

Individuals progress toward their goals by tracking steps or activity minutes, or by participating in one of the available chronic disease management programs. All Healthy Choice Program participants have access to a personal wellness portal where they can view their health goals, track progress from their step-counting devices and receive important program communications. To date, Cleveland Clinic has recorded more than 40,000 portal users. We also launched a Healthy Choice mobile app as an added convenience for EHP members in 2020.

The Healthy Choice program encourages EHP members to improve their health and wellbeing, and has resulted in lower annual increases in healthcare premiums compared to national averages since 2009. Cleveland Clinic Employee Health Plan’s premium increase for 2021 was well below the national average increase experienced by large employers in 2021. This is a health plan goal and we have achieved it for 6 consecutive years.  Additionally, the Healthy Choice Program has contributed to the avoidance of over $900 million in healthcare costs since its inception. Members benefit from our health and wellness programs by receiving support to proactively manage chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, leading to decreased inpatient and emergency department utilization.

Healthy Living

Healthy Living

Physically Fit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cleveland Clinic had to close our 14 on-site fitness centers for the majority of the year. To continue supporting the fitness goals of our caregivers, we added a number of virtual offerings through our Employee Wellness Facebook page. The membership of the page grew by 400% to include over 3,100 members. Each day our Fitness Center staff would do live classes including strength training, stretching and low impact options. In addition, the staff built an online library of all the classes that employees can access at any time. 

Healthy Eating

Green Smoothie

Good nutrition is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, people with healthy eating habits live longer, have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases and can prevent complications from existing chronic health conditions.1 To support the wellbeing of our patients, visitors and caregivers, Cleveland Clinic offers healthy food and beverage options at our locations. We also provide nutrition information to help individuals make informed and healthy choices. 

In addition, this year we added more virtual content on the Employee Wellness Facebook page with a weekly “In the Kitchen…” video where Michael Roizen, MD and the Wellness Institute’s Executive Chef, Jim Perko, host cooking classes that highlight healthy recipes and ingredients.

Educational Programs


Some of the ongoing education opportunities we provide include our Wellness Insider (a bi-monthly, one-hour presentation given by an expert in the field of wellness) and Wellness Connections (a monthly half hour presentation by a wellness professional). These talks continued throughout the pandemic – but they were virtual. Caregivers who miss these presentations can visit the Employee Wellness website and view past presentations in our Wellness Connection Video Library.

We also continued to offer wellness toolkits, seminars and the following free online courses for caregivers:

  • Go! to Sleep: A six week web-based program that employs "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia," a therapeutic strategy that helps patients to identify and then re-frame specific thoughts and behaviors that are interfering with their ability to sleep deeply.
  • Stress Free Now: A six week program with relaxation tools, educational resources and daily strategies to decrease stress, build resilience and increase energy.

In addition, we used the Employee Wellness Facebook page to push out healthy living tips, articles and videos on a daily basis in 2020. Furthermore, Employee Wellness partnered with the Cleveland Clinic Art Program to highlight many of the amazing pieces of artwork curated by Cleveland Clinic. Since April 2020, members of the Art Program have shared a Daily Art Break to close out the day. The emails and posts in the Employee Wellness Facebook group include a curated artwork from the collection with a caption calibrated to the season, weather, a holiday or the mood of the day. Intended to offer a transition from workday pressures, the Art Breaks offer moments of beauty, levity, unity or simply an opportunity to pause while raising awareness of the breadth of the art collection.

Cleveland Clinic caregivers can join the e-list by emailing ccartprogram@ccf.org.

Wellness Champions

Wellness Champions work in collaboration with the Employee Wellness team to promote a culture of wellness within their teams and at their facilities. These enthusiastic individuals encourage participation in Cleveland Clinic Wellness programs by sharing information about wellness events and programs, leading by example and serving as a point of contact to facilitate events at their locations. Champions meet for a monthly conference call where they receive updates about programs, resources and incentives that are available to caregivers to help them meet their wellness goals. In 2020, we had over 220 Wellness Champions across the enterprise.

1Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “About Nutrition: Why It Matters,” 25 January 2021, accessed 1 September 2021, cdc.gov/nutrition/about-nutrition/why-it-matters.html

Healthy Environments

Healthy Environments

Green Transit


In addition to greenhouse gases, combustion engines also produce other harmful pollutants that can trigger asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other health issues. To support cleaner air and healthier communities, we offer caregivers a 20% parking discount for driving high-efficiency vehicles, as well as rebates on the purchase of a fuel efficient, hybrid or electric vehicle (up to $1,000 on a new vehicle or $500 on a used vehicle). 

Additionally, through a collaboration with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), caregivers can use Gohio Commute to track and reduce their transportation footprint. This online platform helps pair up caregivers for carpooling based on their location and shifts, houses information on local sustainable and alternative transit options and can track the carbon footprint of caregivers’ daily commutes. To promote biking to work, we provide access to shower facilities and bike racks, and have been increasing the number of bike racks available at our facilities, especially in new construction.

Flexible Work Arrangements

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, caregivers whose responsibilities did not require them to be onsite worked from home for most of 2020. During this time, caregivers maintained high productivity and many expressed the desire to continue having remote work as an option. To this end, Cleveland Clinic has been working to integrate remote, hybrid and onsite models for caregiver teams.

Caregivers can also work directly with their supervisors and teams to arrange telecommuting to offsite meetings, working from home, condensing their work weeks and flexing work hours. To promote caregiver health and well-being, our Employee Health Plan enables many caregivers to make appointments at their work locations and at times most convenient for their schedules.

Discount Programs for Employees

Cleveland Clinic has networked with regional and national vendors to provide our caregivers a wide selection of discounts on activities, products and services. The goal of our discount programs is to promote work-life balance by proving affordable opportunities for caregivers to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many events, services and attractions were put on hold or postponed in 2020. We review offerings on an ongoing basis to provide added value for our caregivers and list new discounts on our intranet throughout the year.

Dependent Care Support

Our Wellness team contracted with a partner to offer all caregivers access to high-quality family supports and backup care in 2020, some of which offer caregiver discounts. Caregivers can search a portal and our "Connecting Caregivers" website for childcare, eldercare, pet care and other resources, knowing they can find safe and reliable providers. Cleveland Clinic also expanded its backup dependent care offering to all caregivers in need, including 15 days of partial- to fully-subsidized backup dependent care. This resource provides caregivers with either in-home or center-based care for children and elders.

A Calming Environment

Cleveland Clinic’s Art Program and Arts & Medicine help create serene, restorative environments for our patients, caregivers and visitors. 

Cleveland ClinicArtworks commissioned for Taussig Cancer Center at main campus, left to right: Nancy Lorenz, Sea and Sky, 2016; Germaine Kruip, Counter Movement (Golden Orange), 2015; Carolina Sardi, Aubergine (detail), 2016; Art courtesy of the artists and The approach, London, Morgan Lehman Gallery, Pan American Art Projects; Photo © Robert Benson

Art Program

Cleveland Clinic’s Art Program crafts engaging, meaningful interactions with contemporary art within a healthcare setting. Integral to the healing environment, the fine art collection of more than 7,000 works is shown in public spaces, hallways and patient rooms to activate and anchor spaces throughout Cleveland Clinic Enterprise. The art collection is designed to present a broad range of perspectives, promoting empathy and inclusion by making visible the diversity of patients, visitors and caregivers.

2020 Art Auction

The Art Program launched its first online art sale with over 250 items in May 2020. The art auction brought in more than $22,000 to benefit VeloSano and the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The easily accessible and socially distant format encouraged more than 250 people to sign up to view the assorted offerings, including paintings, drawings and photographs.

Arts & Medicine

Arts and Medicine

Arts & Medicine was created for the purpose of integrating the visual arts, music, performing arts and research to promote healing. The team includes art and music therapists to aid in the well-being of patients during treatment of an illness. In 2020, Arts & Medicine continued to offer these important services virtually for patients. Following COVID-19 safety protocols, the team also scheduled more than 300 onsite visits from performing artists across several Cleveland Clinic locations in 2020, including volunteer performances from the Cleveland Orchestra. Performances such as these provide therapeutic benefits that enhance the lives of our patients, visitors and caregivers.

Arts & Medicine caregivers also provided specific programming to support our caregivers in 2020. The team created and implemented Art as a Unit, a collaborative art piece, engaging a variety of caregivers in making 100+ individual squares to express their feelings about COVID-19 through art. They also provided uplifting video content to thank caregivers for their service during the pandemic and boost morale.

Center for Spiritual Care

During their time at our facilities, caregivers, visitors and patients of all faiths may also request services from our Center for Spiritual Care, which provides holistic and compassionate care through our clinically trained chaplains, holistic nurses and Family Liaisons.