May 28, 2015

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Medina General joins Clinic

Allison Wood | The Gazette

MEDINA —Cleveland Clinic Health Systems plans to invest more than $40 million in Medina General Hospital as part of an affiliation agreement signed Thursday.

The money will be invested in capital ventures at Medina General, but the exact projects have not yet been determined, said Fred DeGrandis, president and chief executive officer of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals.

The affiliation, to be completed later this year, will make it easier for patients at Medina General to access doctors and specialists at the Clinic’s main campus in Cleveland and at other regional hospitals, he said.

In the next six months, DeGrandis said Clinic officials, doctors and members of the MGH Board will work on an assessment of services to determine how to link them regionally with other hospitals in the Clinic’s network.

“Cleveland Clinic hospitals are known for centers of excellence,” he said. “Right now, it’s too preliminary to determine what’s right for the community.”

For example, Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland is known for orthopedic care, while Fairview Hospital in Cleveland is known for cardiac and oncology services, he said.

Regionally, the Clinic has medical offices and a surgery center in Strongsville, along with medical offices in Brunswick and Wooster. DeGrandis said there are no current plans to expand those centers at this time.

A hospital president from the Clinic will replace current MGH President Gary Hallman, who is retiring. Hallman said his last day is yet to be determined.

Hallman said he is happy the negotiations between the hospital and the Clinic were successful, and patients will see many benefits.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Clinic,” he said. “To be part of the Clinic system is a tremendous advantage for health care in Medina.”

He said the proposed expansion of Medina General’s emergency room is considered a priority and will be discussed during the assessment.

MGH employees officially will become Cleveland Clinic Health System employees when the affiliation is completed, DeGrandis said.

The MGH Board still will play a large role in the operation of the hospital, he said, which will include Clinic representatives.

“Local governance is going to continue,” DeGrandis said. “They (board members) are our eyes and ears to determine the needs of the community.”

The Clinic and Medina General started affiliation negotiations in July after discussions with University Hospitals Health System failed.

Hallman said 60 percent of the hospital’s board will be members of the Medina community.

MGH Board President Tad Coleman said it took endless hours of meetings for an agreement to be reached and he is planning to help with the transition.

“This is just the beginning,” he said. “This is going to be a home run for the citizens of the area. This is a win-win for us. The Clinic will be able to provide more services than we ever could.”

The affiliation will make MHG the ninth regional hospital in the Cleveland Clinic Health System. It will be the first Clinic-affiliated hospital outside of Cuyahoga County.

Contact Allison Wood at (330) 721-4050 or