CEO Update | Collecting your input for change

CEO Update | Collecting your input for change

Fellow Caregivers,

We have long held that diversity is our strength at Cleveland Clinic. This is more than a rallying cry — it is a clear and simple truth. Diverse perspectives are what challenge us to grow as caregivers.

Listen to others with empathy and inclusion. The result is always better care for those whom we serve.

To address racism as a public health crisis, we need to harness the collective wisdom of our caregivers, patients and communities. We are taking action and introducing a series of caregiver forums titled, “Lift Every Voice.”

The forums are a safe environment for you to express what you are thinking and feeling on the topics of racism and bias. This is part of the healing process. It is also a way to seek your input on organizational decisions. I encourage you to register for a session.

We also listen to improve the caregiver experience. Our pulse survey opened today and asks about your well-being. It has questions on leadership, safety, teamwork and communication.  Please participate by June 23. Thank you for trusting us with your feedback.

Patients and families want to be heard. Our COVID-19 visitor policy is a frequent topic of discussion. We are updating the policy in phases.

  • Starting today, patients who are COVID-19 negative may now bring one designated visitor when being seen in our Emergency Departments.
  • Pediatrics patients who are COVID-19 negative may now have two parents/guardians visit daily.

We maintain compassionate exceptions to this policy. Visitors will also be required to wear a mask. We are confident that our environment of care remains safe and continue to monitor it closely.

Authentic leadership is what creates a safe place for discussion. Dr. Margret McKenzie leads by example as our President of South Pointe Hospital. Below is an excerpt from a recent message Dr. McKenzie sent to her team:

“In my country of origin, ‘Ubuntu’ means, I see you! I see your courage, your patience, your advocacy, your tenacious care of our patients and our community … My daily prayer is to see the good in everyone. I feel incredible gratitude that we all show-up in this space, at this hospital, to see the good in all patients, fellow caregivers, this great community, and to provide healthcare to all, equally.”

I am proud of Dr. McKenzie for sharing her experience and inspiring us.

Thank you to all caregivers for creating a safe workplace where all voices can be heard.

Dr. Mijahlevic |  Cleveland Clinic

Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President

Dr. McKenzie says, ‘Ubuntu! (I see you!)’

Dr. McKenzie says, ‘Ubuntu! (I see you!)’

Our value of Inclusion guides to learn from each other with respect and empathy.

Margaret McKenzie, MD, MS, President of South Pointe Hospital, sent the following message to her teams last week. We wanted to share it with all caregivers.

Ubuntu! (Translation: I see you!)

In my country of origin, “Ubuntu” means, I see you! I see your courage, your patience, your advocacy, your tenacious care of our patients and our community. I see all that you have consistently given of yourselves to this great hospital and community. South Pointe Caregivers, I see you, and there is no other place and nothing else I would rather be doing, in this moment than leading this amazing team.

The silence has been deafening in the face of COVID-19 strategy and with the anticipation of the destructive surge from the illness that the virus causes. Uncomfortable topics like ‘racism and disparity’ have now come to the surface again. With this, the discomfort and social distancing of battling COVID-19, took its toll on this beautiful nation. The impact of a simple technology like the smart phone brought many hidden and ignored challenges we face in this country to light. Just in a passerby’s videotaping of the actual handling of a citizen and his subsequent death publicly. I see you Mr. George Floyd. I call your name and may you rest in peace. Ubuntu.

The protests and riots are truly disturbing. However, they have called US ALL to action. The action of unpacking discrepancies in our country. These conversations have great potential to remove stigmas, help us see our neighbors, celebrate their uniqueness, and move us forward as a united country.

Last fall, our South Pointe Leadership Council planned a cultural potluck, instead of our regularly scheduled meeting. Each of us were asked to bring a dish that is unique to our culture, accompanied with a family story that inspired the creation of the dish that was shared. It was the most culturally eye-opening experience that I have had here. As each one shared their story, all quickly realized that there is so much in common together. “WE ARE ONE!” There were tears, hugs, joy and a great deal of bonding that day and it remains today, a day I will never forget.

Our work here at South Pointe Hospital, reminds us of the disparities within our communities, and in healthcare, it shapes the way we work, advocate for our peers, our patients, and our community. I have received an outpouring of emails, and calls, from many of my friends just to say, “Margaret, Ubuntu. I see you and stand with you, and all people-of-color, who are, or have been, victims of inequalities in our country.”

My daily prayer is to see the good in everyone. I feel incredible gratitude that we all show-up in this space, at this hospital, to see the good in all patients, fellow caregivers, this great community, and to provide healthcare to all, equally. I want to thank you all for the incredible care you provide daily. You continue to humble me.

So in this hopeful spirit, we must go forward with as we continue to advocate for those who may look different, speak different and act different than our individual clan. May we continually be guided as advocates for each other so that what happened to Mr. Floyd does not repeat itself in Warrensville Heights, Cleveland or any other city in the United States or the world!

Thank you, South Pointe Caregivers, for your selfless, caring advocacy for all patients and all our colleagues both in our workspace, home space and in our social spaces at large. I am proud to be part of such a great team. So let us use our voices of advocacy responsibly and to level the playing field for all, remembering simply that WE ARE ONE.


Dr. Margaret McKenzie | President of South Pointe Hospital

Margaret L. McKenzie, MD, MS
President, South Pointe Hospital

‘Lift Every Voice:’ Caregiver forums to address impact of racism and bias

‘Lift Every Voice:’ Caregiver forums to address impact of racism and bias

We are One Cleveland Clinic family. And what do families do? They care for each other.

Right now, caregivers are distraught and they are in pain. Racism and bias are everyday experiences for our Black and African American caregivers, our patients and our communities.

The senseless deaths of Black and African Americans, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and the violence that has followed, continues to spark a range of emotions. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted ongoing disparities in healthcare access and outcomes within communities of color.

We are hurting with you. We are also listening.

Cleveland Clinic does not tolerate racism or discrimination toward any people. We are taking action and want your voice to be heard.

Today, we announce a new series of caregiver forums to hear what is on your mind, and to inform change. The forums are called, “Lift Every Voice.”

What are the forums?

Our forums are a safe environment for caregivers. Our goal is to guide dialogue around what you are experiencing. What you are feeling. And to do so in an empathetic and inclusive manner, where we learn from each other, and broaden perspectives.

We want to make this clear: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. Your voice has value, and every perspective can share a lesson. The forums are safe.

Our initial forums will be virtual with limited capacity. We are working hard and fast to create a long-term series. These series will offer many options to participate, for different shifts and locations.

Register for initial forums

  • Dates: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; from June 11–July 31
  • Timeslots: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., 10–11 a.m., 4–5 p.m.
  • How:Virtual meeting
  • Register: Click here to register for a session in MyLearning (Click "Employee Login," and then "View All Events")
  • Each forum is limited to a few dozen participants to allow for discussion. We expect these to fill up quickly and will be communicating additional forums in the days, weeks and months ahead. We are committed to creating opportunities for everyone to participate.

Together, we will learn from each other. We will care for each other. And we will shape our organization’s response to ending racism and bias in all its forms.

Before sharing on social media, review Conduct and Social Media policies

Before sharing on social media, review Conduct and Social Media policies

Our emotions are high. In these challenging times, caregivers may be feeling a lot of pain, vulnerability and anxiety. National and international massive gatherings calling for racial justice have compelled many to speak out. We also continue to live with COVID-19 and the uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic. This mix of emotions can sometimes get the better of us.

When caregivers choose to voice their thoughts and feelings on social media, and that social media is tied to Cleveland Clinic (for example, if your social media profile reflects that you are a Cleveland Clinic caregiver), you are held accountable for following the same communications and behavior standards that apply in the workplace. Be sure to follow Cleveland Clinic’s Code of Conduct when posting or reposting on social media.

Please remember that as you join in conversations on social media, it is important to present views as your own rather than those of Cleveland Clinic. Standards and guidelines for social media use can be found in our Social Media Use Policy. The policy is in place to protect the well-being of all caregivers and patients.

Thank you for your professionalism and living our Cleveland Clinic Values.

We are reactivating visitation, in phases, at Ohio locations starting June 8

We are reactivating visitation, in phases, at Ohio locations starting June 8

The population we serve warrants a unique and cautious approach to reopening our facilities. We are beginning to reactivate visitation at our Ohio locations in phases to ensure the safety of our patients and caregivers.

As part of this, all visitors are now required to wear a mask while inside our facilities, unless they have a health or behavioral condition which prevents them from wearing one. Masks from home may be worn, or masks will be provided at entrances.

The first phase of these changes begin Monday, June 8. Our visitation guidelines at Ohio locations now reflect the following:

  • Emergency Department visitation: 1 designated visitor permitted (for COVID-19 negative patients being cared for in the Emergency Department)
    • Note: This designated visitor will be unable to accompany the patient if they are admitted as inpatient from the Emergency Department, unless a compassionate exception exists.
  • Pediatric Department visitation: 2 parents/guardians permitted daily (for COVID-19 negative patients)
  • Upon entering our facilities, visitors will continue to:
    • Be thermal scanned
    • Be asked screening questions upon entry into Ohio locations
    • Be asked to maintain social distancing and practice hand hygiene inside our facilities
  • Visitors to inpatient settings will not be permitted to enter our facilities between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. unless a compassionate exception applies.

Compassionate exceptions continue to apply for pediatric patients who are COVID-19 positive and for Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19, and only when necessary for adult and pediatric patients who are COVID-19 negative.

We will continue to restrict all visitors in other areas at this time. Check the intranet homepage for updates as our visitation guidelines will continue to change as they are phased back into our operations.

Visitation exceptions may apply for compassionate reasons, and decisions to offer exceptions should be part of a collaborative, team-based approach. If you or your teams encounter concerns, contact the Ombudsman Office for scripting and training, or refer to these communications resources.

If visitation exceptions are limited by spacing and social distancing at your location, please work with all teams to offer fair, consistent decisions to the families you serve.

Find our updated visitation guidelines and the list of inpatient visitation exceptions under the “Additional Resources” tab of the COVID-19 toolkit on the intranet and at View our updated COVID-19 FAQs.

We will continue to monitor the impact of our visitation guidelines on the rate of COVID-19 infections among our caregivers, patients and their families. Contact your manager if you have questions.

Need help with messaging?
The Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication lists visitation policy messaging and other scripting resources (e.g. masking) on their COVID-19 Resources page on Connect Today. Find the link, titled “Caregiver Communication Resources,” under the “Caregiver Resources” tab in the COVID-19 toolkit.

Hero of the Week Sometimes you just need someone to sit beside you

Hero of the Week Sometimes you just need someone to sit beside you

Quiana Tucker, Health Unit Coordinator (HUC) at main campus, understands compassionate care extends beyond work hours and your typical work responsibilities.

Tucker was walking out of the hospital after a 12-hour shift when she heard a patient say, “I need this appointment. If I don’t get this taken care of, I could die.”

Moments later, Tucker saw the patient crying as she was leaving the building with her 12-year-old son and infant daughter. Tucker introduced herself to the patient and her children. She learned the mother wasn’t aware that her children would be unable to join her at the appointment because of the visitor restrictions in place to protect patients and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tucker offered to sit with the children while the mother attended her appointment.

For three hours, Tucker sat with the children, chatting about the boy’s hobbies and how he misses going to school, until their mother’s appointment ended. Tucker kept them company, sharing that she treated them the same she would care for her own family.

“We have to learn and practice that being there for others is just as much a blessing to them as it is to yourself,” Tucker says. “You never know the impact of what you are doing, even if it just seems like a small favor for someone in need.”

“We are beyond lucky to have her on our unit as a HUC,” says Coriandra Sammon, Nurse Manager. “This does not surprise me a bit, as Quiana is constantly going out of her way to help others. Lisbeth Busta, Patient Guest Services Associate, who witnessed the time Quiana spent with the family, submitted a Caregiver Celebration, and we are happy to recognize Quiana.”

Thank you to Quiana Tucker, our Hero of the Week!

Hero of the Week

Hero of the Week is a recognition program that showcases and celebrates the incredible care and work of our caregivers who give their all each and every day. Caregivers are first recognized in Hero Huddles as part of our tiered daily huddles. The Office of Patient Experience then selects one of the featured caregivers to be Hero of the Week.

For your colleague to be considered, share why your colleague should be celebrated in Hero Huddles during the daily tiered huddle. If your team does not directly participate, speak to your manager, who can share the recognition with the appropriate leader to share in the huddles.

We’re listening: The Caregiver Pulse Survey opens today

We’re listening: The Caregiver Pulse Survey opens today

The unprecedented management of COVID-19 has required you to be flexible in the face of change.

Thank you for your dedication to our mission.

Through it all, our vision remains the same: We strive to be the best place to receive care anywhere and the best place to work in healthcare.

How do we get there?

We write this story together. But we can’t do it without your honest feedback.

Help us to understand your needs. Take the Caregiver Experience Pulse Survey, open now until midnight, June 23, 2020.

Watch for an email from Press Ganey, which is scheduled to arrive in your inbox today after 2:30 p.m. It will contain instructions to access and submit the Caregiver Experience Pulse Survey.

This confidential survey, which we administer through our partner, Press Ganey, takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

We want to hear from you about your well-being, and about your views on Cleveland Clinic leadership, safety, teamwork and communication.

Your feedback will guide us to make meaningful changes and continue with providing programs and services you find valuable. As a result of past surveys, leaders and teams were able to improve the caregiver experience all across Cleveland Clinic.

We also want to ensure we are checking in with you consistently over time as part of our process to improve our caregiver experience and engagement.

Please note that once you submit a survey, your answers cannot be changed.

Thank you for your participation!

To learn more about our experience initiatives, visit the Office of Caregiver Experience site.