After decorated service as a U.S. Air Force surgeon in Da Nang, you joined the Cleveland Clinic, where your more than twenty-two thousand heart operations and thirty patents filed for medical and clinical inventions earned you a worldwide reputation. If we believed in the rankings of U.S. News & World Report, we would point out that you were the nation’s number one heart surgeon ten years in a row. But of course we don’t. Your being appointed then as the Clinic’s CEO may have seemed on the surface as logical as, say, asking Picasso to run the Museum of Modern Art. But there was genius in it, and in a second career as astounding as the first, you have grown the Clinic into a six-billion-dollar system that, in addition to being the largest employer in the State of Ohio, maintains operations in Florida, Nevada, Canada, and Abu Dhabi. The Clinic is not just large but innovative, pioneering the use of performance data to improve for patients both outcomes and experience, and to find ways of delivering those most efficiently. Perhaps most important, you are leading the charge, by word and example, to turn our country’s system from one that is really disease care to one of true healthcare. As a result, perhaps no one is having a more profound effect on our nation’s health.
I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Science, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 3, 2012