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Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic: What a New Alliance Means for Patient Care

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Author name: Lee Health

Lee Health’s commitment to providing exceptional patient-centered care hasn’t changed since 1916, when Lee County Hospital first opened its doors to serve the healthcare needs of 3,300 community residents.

Now, more than a century later, Lee Health has expanded to operate four acute care and two specialty hospitals – including Golisano Children’s Hospital – which regularly place in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the United States.

In November, Lee Health strengthened its commitment to enhance and improve patient care in Southwest Florida by establishing an alliance with Cleveland Clinic, recently named the No. 2 hospital in the nation and the No. 1 hospital for heart care in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings.

The two organizations will explore opportunities initiatives that can improve quality and efficiency of care through clinical and operational enhancements.

Lee Health is recognized nationally and in Florida for its high-quality care. In April 2020, all four of its adult acute care hospitals earned A grades from Leapfrog, which publishes safety grades for hospitals across the country.

Leapfrog also recognized Gulf Coast Medical Center as a Top Hospital in 2020 and Golisano Children’s Hospital as a Top Children’s Hospital three years in a row. Cape Coral Hospital is a Sterling Council Award recipient, the highest quality award in Florida.

U.S. News & World Report named Cleveland Clinic the No. 2 hospital in the nation and the No. 1 hospital for heart care in its 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings. This marks the 26th consecutive year that Cleveland Clinic has earned the No. 1 ranking in cardiology and heart surgery, and the 22nd year in a row it has earned a top five overall ranking.

“The alliance with Cleveland Clinic opens up many possibilities for future collaboration, programs and activities that will enhance the excellent care we are already providing to our patients,” said Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA, President and CEO of Lee Health. “Together with the physician community we will establish new ways to elevate the medical care available throughout Southwest Florida.”

 “Patients will benefit from the opportunities that will be provided through new treatments and therapies and accelerated access to the resources of Cleveland Clinic’s expertise,” said Dr. Scott Nygaard, Lee Health Chief Operating Officer. “The goal of this strategic alliance is to strengthen the already strong clinical care at Lee Health and enable collaboration on treatment processes and protocols,” he said.

“Cleveland Clinic is excited to enter into this 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, in a statement. “We look forward to the collaboration between teams and to continue the excellent outcomes for the patients of Lee Health.”

“It is exciting to have these two high-quality organizations team up in this innovative alliance to advance health care in this region in a way that neither party can achieve on its own,” said David Collins, chairman of the Lee Health Board of Directors. “The Board of Directors is eager to see what emerges as Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic begin to collaborate and is looking forward to providing strategic oversight to the projects that will be brought forward.”