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Lee Health Announces Alliance with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute

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(Fort Myers, Fla. – March 14, 2022) --- Lee Health has entered an affiliation agreement with Cleveland Clinic and is now an alliance member of Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, uniting Southwest Florida’s leading health care provider with the top-ranked cardiac program in the U.S. to elevate patient care in Southwest Florida.

This latest announcement follows the previously established strategic alliance between Cleveland Clinic and Lee Health in November 2020 to enhance and improve care in Southwest Florida by exploring opportunities for service line affiliations and strategic initiatives to improve quality and efficiency of care through clinical and operational enhancements.

The strategic alliance agreement established a framework for how the two health systems work together to assess opportunities to share best practices and enhance existing clinical or operational projects or establish new ones.

Lee Health has a long history of excellence in cardiac care, with HealthPark Medical Center having been recognized multiple times as one of the Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals in the country by IBM Watson. HealthPark Medical Center is the only hospital in Florida to receive this recognition for four consecutive years.

The Ohio-based Cleveland Clinic Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute is one of the world’s largest, most experienced cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery programs. Cleveland Clinic has been ranked the No. 1 hospital in the country for cardiology and cardiac surgery for 27 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

The alliance with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute will allow Lee Health to continue to advance excellence in care for heart patients in the region.

“Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute share a commitment to excellence in patient experience, care and quality outcomes,” said Dr. Larry Antonucci, president & chief executive officer of Lee Health. “This alliance allows us to put that mutual commitment into practice by collaborating on innovations in these areas, as well as treatments and processes. It also supports our vision to be a national leader for the advancement of health and healing.”

This alliance through a new affiliation agreement with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute makes Lee Health the exclusive Cleveland Clinic heart alliance member in Southwest Florida. It allows for the sharing of best practices, enhancing opportunities to provide new treatments and therapies to patients, as well as exploring cutting-edge technologies and techniques in cardiovascular care that will accelerate advances in treatments.

“Management of heart disease is complex, and working together on programs likes this helps to advance the treatment of cardiovascular disease to benefit our communities,” said Lars Svensson, MD, Ph.D., chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. “Our alliance with Lee Health will allow for sharing of best practices, while working together to ensure the highest quality care to Lee Health’s patients.”

“Cleveland Clinic is excited to take this next step under the strategic alliance with Lee Health, which has a reputation for high-quality care,” said Conor Delaney, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic Florida. “We look forward to the continued collaboration between teams and to continue the excellent outcomes for the patients of Lee Health.”

Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Alliance Network was launched in 2003. For almost two decades, the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute has formed alliances with cardiothoracic surgery and cardiovascular medicine programs in Ohio and across the country, providing access to world-class care and the unparalleled expertise of Cleveland Clinic’s heart program. The Alliance Network includes 13 hospitals across the country, with the addition of Lee Health. As an alliance member, both Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic remain independent, with no changes in control of physicians or staff.

For more information about Lee Health, visit www.LeeHealth.org. For more information on Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, visit www.ClevelandClinic.org/heart.

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