January 29, 2015

Medina
Flurries
33°F
 

Medina Hospital celebrates its 70th anniversary

Medina Hospital employees and local leaders gather Thursday afternoon to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Medina Hospital and the fifth anniversary of Cleveland Clinic’s ownership of the facility. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Medina Hospital employees and local leaders gather Thursday afternoon to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Medina Hospital and the fifth anniversary of Cleveland Clinic’s ownership of the facility. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Staff and officials came together on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Medina Hospital. For hospital President Dr. Thomas Tulisiak, managing the growth of the hospital is important to him personally: His four children were born at Medina Hospital.

Tulisiak joined the staff of the hospital in 1983, and took over as president three years ago. He said he’s seen the hospital transition in many positive ways.

“When I first interviewed at Medina Hospital, it was in the original building that was once the Weidner family home,” he said. “Over the past 70 years, that strong community commitment to this hospital has helped us grow into the premier provider of medical care in Medina County.”

The anniversary celebration also commemorated five years of operation as part of the Cleveland Clinic. In the five years since the hospital joined forces with the Cleveland Clinic, more than $65 million has been invested to upgrade facilities in Medina and build a new emergency center at its Brunswick site. The clinic is the third-largest employer in Medina County.

The hospital has upgraded birthing facilities that include private birthing suites, access to high-risk pregnancy care and neonatal experts available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The hospital has improved its surgical care and revamped their emergency room to reduce wait times by 30 percent over the last three years.

“We want to be the place Medina County residents come to for their surgeries, so you don’t have to go anywhere else,” Tulisiak said.

Medina Hospital has been designated as a primary stroke center and like many Cleveland Clinic facilities is known for its cardiac care. In October, the hospital will open a wound care center and plans to open a diabetes center are on the horizon for next year.

Tulisiak said the growth of offerings and quality of care would not be possible without support from the community, local leaders and the partnership with the Cleveland Clinic.

“We’ve been able to do so much more through this affiliation,” he said.

Hospital Board of Trustees President Pamela Miller said she’s pleased the board selected the Cleveland Clinic as its partner five years ago. Miller, who has served on the board since 1988, said the board examined a number of partnerships before deciding to work with the Clinic.

“We saw shared values,” she said. “We wanted to bring world-class care to Medina.”

She said the hospital has seen many changes since it opened in 1944 in the former four-bedroom home of the Theodore Weidner family. The hospital had eight physicians, 30 employees and 35 beds.

“The hospital now has over 500 physicians on medical staff,” she said.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell also spoke Thursday about his first experience with Medina Hospital when he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes as a child. He spent weeks at the old facility, built as an extension of the former Weidner home.

Five years ago, when the Cleveland Clinic partnered with the hospital, Hanwell, who was serving as Medina’s police chief at the time, admitted he initially worried about the quality of care.

“I was a little nervous, as chief of police, having a large conglomerate take over the community hospital,” he said.

But, looking back on the five years, Hanwell said he can only see positives, especially from the $65 million that has been invested in Clinic facilities in the county.

“There’s no way locally we could have accomplished that,” he said. “We’re blessed to have this hospital here.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.