x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Cleveland Clinic chief rules himself out of running for US veterans’ post

Cleveland Clinic chief executive turns down secretary for veterans affairs role.

The Cleveland Clinic hospital – which will house 364 beds with room for expansion to 490 at a later date – is due to open in 2015. Courtesy Cleveland Clinic
The Cleveland Clinic hospital – which will house 364 beds with room for expansion to 490 at a later date – is due to open in 2015. Courtesy Cleveland Clinic

The man who helped to bring the Cleveland Clinic to Abu Dhabi has ruled himself out of the running for the newly vacated position of the US secretary for veterans’ affairs.

It was reported last week that Barack Obama was considering the Cleveland Clinic chief executive Dr Delos “Toby” Cosgrove to fill the position of secretary for veterans’ affairs, in the wake of the resignation of Eric Shinseki last month.

However in a statement Dr Cosgrove, awarded a Bronze Star for his work as a surgeon with the US air force in the Vietnam War, said that he would not take up the position.

“I am humbled and honoured to have been considered for the opportunity to help veterans across the United States. This is an enormous responsibility and one that deserved careful thought and consideration,” said Dr Cosgrove.

“As a physician, veteran and hospital chief executive, I have great respect for the care provided to the veteran community and for those who work to care for them.”

“This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision, but I have decided to withdraw from consideration from this position and remain at the Cleveland Clinic, due to the commitment I have made to the organisation, our patients and the work that still needs to be done here.”

Mr Shinseki resigned on May 31 amid growing anger over delayed health care for US veterans.

Cleveland Clinic is one of the highest-profile medical facilities in the US. The clinic was ranked as country’s fourth best hospital in the US News Best Hospitals 2013-14 report, while its heart programme has been ranked the best in the US for 19 years in a row.

The Ohio-based facility – with Dr Cosgrove at the helm – signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development to design, manage and operate a hospital facility on Maryah Island, its first outside North America.

A Dh4.7 billion contract for the construction of the hospital was awarded to a joint venture consisting of Six Construct and Samsung C&T in 2010, with an original opening slated for the end of 2013.

However, the project has faced delays because of design changes and the logistical challenge of building the facility on Maryah Island, according to reports.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi said yesterday that the hospital – which will house 364 beds with room for expansion to 490 at a later date – is due to open in 2015, declining to give additional details.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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