CEO Update | Welcoming Home Our Caregivers

CEO Update | Welcoming Home Our Caregivers

Fellow Caregivers,

States around the nation release new steps every week toward a gradual recovery. Cleveland Clinic supports a safe and thoughtful return. Testing is a key part of COVID-19 recovery strategies and we continue to ramp up our capacity.

Cleveland Clinic was one of the first health systems to offer testing in March. This past Sunday, we reached an impressive milestone: 50,000 total tests have been resulted at our locations in Ohio and Florida.

We will continue to test patients before surgeries and when they seek emergency care. Our testing sites remain open for those with a doctor’s order.

People are very curious about testing and treatment for COVID-19. I recently spoke with Dr. Brian Rubin, chair of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute, and Dr. Steve Gordon, chair of our Infectious Disease Department. We covered the latest trends and answered many questions that are commonly asked by the public and our caregivers. I look forward to sharing this conversation with you tomorrow.

On Friday, we welcomed home some of our caregivers who traveled to New York in April. See photos of their return. More caregivers who went to Michigan will return this week. We expect all to come home by the end of May.

We continue to phase in services as we care for our communities. Our reactivation efforts are based on patient and caregiver safety. On Saturday, we resumed pediatric inpatient care at Hillcrest Hospital. We will share when pediatric inpatient care resumes at Fairview Hospital.

Full pediatric care continues at Cleveland Clinic Children’s and Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation.

As we all learn to live with COVID-19, we are finding creative ways to celebrate life’s most special moments.

Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist Dr. Shruti Gadre canceled her wedding plans in Boston because of the pandemic. Instead, she married her fiancé this weekend on our main campus rooftop. Their love story began years ago during residency at Cleveland Clinic. Watch a video of the happy couple.

We are proud of everyone who makes occasions like this possible. You are helping our patients and fellow caregivers create memories that will last their entire lives.

Thank you for your dedication,

Dr. Mijahlevic |  Cleveland Clinic

Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President

Welcome Home to Caregivers Who Assisted at New York Hospitals

Welcome Home to Caregivers Who Assisted at New York Hospitals

Our skilled, courageous nurses and physicians walked into the face of the unknown at other hospitals to help patents and their families who needed their care.

We welcome these caregivers back from their work at New York hospitals, where caregivers were experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients.

Most of our nurses assisting at Henry Ford health system in Michigan will return May 20, with a few caregivers staying in New York and Michigan to continue lending a hand.

Amy Mahnke, RN, has been taking care of patients with COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at NewYork Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center for the past month.

“I have seen many patients take their last breath without their loved ones at their bedside on this trip,” says Mahnke.

“Being a Cleveland Clinic nurse has helped me prepare for all of the obstacles I’ve encountered. I’m grateful we were able to be there for patients who needed our care. I’m forever proud to be a nurse.”

With the healthcare community working together, we can best fight the pandemic.



Valerie Lopez, MD, who served as an Emergency Physician in the Emergency Department of NewYork Presbytarian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, values this experience for what healthcare professionals were able to learn from one another.

“We learned so much for all those who have suffered the first wave of this pandemic and will be able to bring many lessons back to help our patients at Cleveland Clinic,” says Dr. Lopez.

I was inspired to see the strength of the doctors who are surviving the most catastrophic event in healthcare in our lifetimes,” she adds.

Our Office of Caregiver Experience, Human Resources, Employee Assistance Program and others teams offered encouragement and support to these caregivers.

“One thing that has really stood out to me is the heartfelt efforts of the caregivers in the Office of Caregiver Experience,” says Mahnke. “While I was away, they arranged a shipment of groceries to my grandparents, who I take care of. My grandmother called me in tears because she was so thankful. My heart is so full.

“Everyone’s efforts at home have made it possible for us to support NewYork Presbytarian and truly show them the Cleveland Clinic way.”

Want to hear stories from their experience? Watch this video of our CEO and President Dr. Mihaljevic and Kelly Hancock, Executive Chief Nursing Officer, chat with caregivers assisting at New York and Michigan hospitals.

Couple Who Met at Cleveland Clinic Gets Married on Rooftop

Couple Who Met at Cleveland Clinic Gets Married on Rooftop

Love has no bounds. When COVID-19 pandemic has been causing events and gatherings to be postponed and canceled, Cleveland Clinic physician Shruti Gadre, MD, and her fiancé, Pulkit Chaudhury, MD, knew this wouldn’t stop them from marrying.

They were planning a destination wedding with 100 relatives and friends in Boston on May 16. When that wouldn’t happen due to COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gadre thought of Cleveland Clinic.

“Cleveland Clinic has a special place in our story. It’s where we met and it is our second home.” says Dr. Gadre.

On May 16, Dr. Gadre and Dr. Chaudhury got married on the Cleveland Clinic rooftop overlooking downtown Cleveland. Cleveland Clinic Rev. Brent Raitz officiated the wedding, with a family and friends attending virtually.

Seven years ago, the two met at Cleveland Clinic during residency. They were both internal medicine residents. Dr. Chaudhury completed a Vascular Medicine Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic and moved to Iowa City for his Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Iowa, where he has been for the past three years. He is joining our staff as a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic in July.

After Dr. Gadre’s internal medicine training, she completed her pulmonary/critical care fellowship at Cleveland Clinic before starting as a Cleveland Clinic staff physician in Pulmonary Medicine in 2018.

Since April, she has been on medical intensive care unit service for two weeks and the Advanced Lung Disease Unit for two weeks. Some of her patients have had COVID-19. 

"As weeks have gone by, we have learned a lot about the disease, developing protocols and best practices," says Dr. Gadre. "Our patient outcomes have been quite remarkable, as I have been able to see many patients recover.”

Dr. Gadre says she feels supported to have a partner who is also in the healthcare community.

“We are fortunate to have our partners in the same profession," she says. “We understand each others’ concerns, hours, affinity for our patients’ well-being and dedication to our profession. The pandemic only underscored this importance.

In this time of crisis, my fiancé and I have been inspired by how we see the best of people and the collective community. Thank you to everyone who made our rooftop Cleveland Clinic wedding possible!”

We've Hit a Milestone: 50,000 COVID-19 Tests Completed

We've Hit a Milestone: 50,000 COVID-19 Tests Completed

Cleveland Clinic hit a milestone on May 17 with 50,000 COVID-19 tests completed by our Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute (PLMI) caregivers in Ohio and Florida since the pandemic began. Our testing capabilities continue to ramp up to support the reopening of hospital services by testing all patients prior to surgeries in our operating rooms and ambulatory surgery centers. The quantity and quality of our testing is a testament to how this team, under the direction of PLMI Chair Brian Rubin, MD, PhD, has come together to support our community.

The Team Behind Our Transition to Increased Remote Work

The Team Behind Our Transition to Increased Remote Work

In March, when thousands of caregivers began adjusting their routines to work remotely — either for part or full time — our Information Technology Division (ITD) team members acted quickly to ensure minimal workflow disruptions.

Keith Duemling, Director of Cybersecurity, responded with urgency and foresight. He convened a team to build the necessary network capacity early on, when it appeared the COVID-19 pandemic may cause an unsustainable surge on our work from home program.

Duemling and his team worked many nights and weekends to make this possible. They ultimately increased capacity for remote access by five-fold — from up to 5,000 to up to 25,000 caregivers at one time — in a matter of a few days. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the peak number of caregivers using remote access at one time was 1,500. That peak has recently increased to 12,750 caregivers.

In total, Duemling’s team managed approximately 5,000 new remote access requests in under two weeks and enabled more than 3,000 caregivers across the enterprise to work remotely within four weeks. The surge in remote access requests came from caregivers of various roles, from those who typically work at the bedside and have never worked remotely before, to those who work in administrative or non-clinical roles.

“The entire ITD takes tremendous pride in the work we do and part we play in supporting caregivers of all roles,” Duemling says. “This situation was truly unique because beyond supporting additional efforts to increase patient care, we were also able to care for our fellow caregivers directly in these unprecedented times. We are all in this together as one Cleveland Clinic.”

David Schuetz, from Scott Faini’s Unified Communications – Telecommunications team, led a group of caregivers who certified, packaged and developed user guides for five new soft phones (i.e. software that allows users to make telephone calls over the internet via the computer or smartphone). They also programmed and activated 1,201 soft phones and distributed more than 850 headsets.

“I am honored to lead a team of engineers, analysts and technicians who worked tirelessly to ensure caregivers received what they needed to communicate from home,” Schuetz says. “This is a team to be proud of.”

In addition, David Kaiser, from Leslie Chom’s Patient and Caregiver Computing team, led efforts to configure and distribute approximately 3,500 laptops in Northeast Ohio.

The focus, dedication and hard work of the 30 caregivers on the teams mentioned above ensured caregivers were able to continue their work to support our organization without missing a beat.

Chom, Duemling, Faini, Kaiser, Schuetz and their teams were recognized in a Hero Huddle during our tiered daily huddles — one way we recognize and support caregivers and patients. In the comments below, tell us about an inspiring colleague or team.

Virtual Cereal Drive Helps Feed Children in Our Communities

Virtual Cereal Drive Helps Feed Children in Our Communities

Many children in the communities we serve can no longer count on breakfast through their school meal programs.

You can help fight hunger by donating to the virtual Cereal Drive coordinated by our Nursing Institute. Donate virtually May 18 - June 5.

In response to recent activities around COVID-19, this year the drive will only be online.

To make an online donation, please go to clevelandclinic.org/cerealdrive. To share with your team, print this flier. We appreciate your support.

Questions? Contact Maya Shamailov at SHAMAIM@ccf.org or Nancy Kaser at KASERN@ccf.org.