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Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi CEO Tomislav Mihaljevic to replace Toby Cosgrove as system leader

Tom Mihaljevic will take the helm as of January 2018 as Toby Cosgrove moves to a yet-to-be-determined advisory role within system.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Credit: Cleveland ClinicCredit: Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic has named the now-CEO of their Abu Dhabi facility as the person who will succeed Toby Cosgrove as the next system CEO. Tomislav "Tom" Mihaljevic will step in as the new leader effective January 1, 2018, the system said.

The system's Board of Governors and Board of Directors unanimously chose Mihaljevic based on the unanimous recommendation of a nomination committee after "an extensive review of potential successors." Cosgrove and Mihaljevic will work on a transition process together and come January, Mihaljevic will assume his full role as president and CEO.

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Toby Cosgrove will move to an advisory role that will be shaped by the Board of Directors and Dr. Mihaljevic.

During Cosgrove's 13-year tenure, Cleveland Clinic saw its revenues rise from $3.7 billion in 2004 to $8.5 billion in 2016, adding locations in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Canada, Abu Dhabi, and, opening in 2020, London. Cleveland Clinic is now Ohio's largest employer with over 50,000 caregivers and has garnered a reputation for world-renowned quality of care and innovation. "While I may be stepping aside as president and CEO, I will not be leaving Cleveland Clinic behind," Dr. Cosgrove said. "No place else functions quite like Cleveland Clinic, with its physician-driven, patient-centered ethos that encourages clinical excellence, medical education, research and innovation. I look forward to working with Dr. Mihaljevic in any way that I can to further the Cleveland Clinic mission."

53 year-old Mihaljevic, a Croatian native and naturalized American citizen, joined the Cleveland Clinic system in 2004 as a cardiothoracic surgeon after working in Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. His specialty was minimally invasive and robotically-assisted surgeries. He helped Cleveland Clinic to become the world's largest robotic practice, the system said in a statement.

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In September 2015, he stepped into his role as CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where he led the 5,000-caregiver organization, "providing alternatives to traveling abroad for complex and critical care requirements and developing the next generation of Emirati leaders." The 364-bed hospital has five clinical floors, three diagnostic and treatment levels, and 13 floors of critical and acute inpatient units.

He oversaw the hospital's strategy and operations as the first US multispecialty hospital to be replicated outside of North America, and managed the hospital's Patient Experience and Strategy & Business Development programs.

"Though healthcare is in the midst of a major transformation, Cleveland Clinic is very well positioned for the future," Dr. Mihaljevic said. "Our ongoing success will hinge on our ability to maintain high-quality outcomes, while reducing healthcare costs, encouraging innovation, and improving access and affordability for patients."

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
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