The Cleveland Clinic is making its first major push into Summit County this month with the opening of its $96.3 million Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center.
The 190,000-square-foot facility off state Route 91 is the Cleveland Clinic’s first outpatient center to include a full-service emergency department staffed around the clock by its emergency medicine physicians.
The ER is to open July 11. The outpatient surgery center with four operating rooms, physician offices and other specialty medical services will start operations July 25.
“We’ve packed a lot into the building,” said Dr. Richard Kratche, medical director for the center. “Our goal was to make everything convenient for the patient .”
The facility will house about 60 physicians who specialize in cardiology, cancer, endocrinology, gastroenterology, general surgery, neurology, infertility, orthopedics, pain management, pediatrics, sports medicine, urology and other fields.
The center will include radiology and diagnostic tests, as well as a chemotherapy suite with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the grounds.
The entire four-story health center features large windows with picturesque views of the surrounding wooded area, including 37 acres being preserved to meet federal requirements for wetlands on the 88-acre property.
“It’s going to be great for patients,” said Dr. Cynthia Deyling, chairwoman of the Cleveland Clinic Regional Operations Institute. “You couldn’t ask for anything more calming.”
Although the Cleveland Clinic draws many patients from Summit County’s northern-most tier, its share of the market south of the Ohio Turnpike (Interstate 80) is about 10 percent, Deyling said.
“We feel very strongly that we want to open our doors to those people south of the Ohio Turnpike,” she said. “We feel there’s a need to bring world-class service to them.”
The Cleveland Clinic staff tested the new 12-bed ER on Thursday during mock operations. Doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other employees practiced caring for volunteers who were acting as patients and were brought into the department by area paramedics.
During the test, the Cleveland Clinic’s medical helicopter swooped onto the helipad to show off the health system’s ability to pick up trauma, stroke, heart attack or other critically ill patients within 10 minutes and take them to the main hospital.
The Cleveland Clinic anticipates eventually treating about 18,000 patients in the ER annually.
“This is really an important expansion of Cleveland Clinic services in a more comprehensive fashion into the region,” said Dr. Donald Moffa, the Cleveland Clinic’s interim department chairman of emergency medicine.
The Twinsburg center falls under the Cleveland Clinic’s nonprofit status, meaning the hospital will not pay property taxes. However, the facility is expected to employ roughly 300 people and generate about $900,000 annually in state and local payroll taxes.
The Cleveland Clinic is the latest hospital system to try to lure patients in Summit County’s affluent northern tier.
Cleveland-based University Hospitals recently opened a 24-hour full-service emergency department in its UH Twinsburg Health Center nearby.
The $2.4 million ER is linked with the new UH Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood.
Twinsburg fire Chief Rick Racine said the two satellite ERs provide good options for area patients and cut travel and run times for the ambulances.
The medical expansion in the community also helps the local economy by offsetting manufacturing losses in recent years, he said.
About 10 miles to the south, Akron General has been operating a 24-hour branch of its emergency department at its Health & Wellness Center-North in Stow since 2007.
Last year, the satellite ER had nearly 20,000 patient visits, an increase from 17,816 the previous year and 15,361 in 2008, its first full year of operation.
“Our Stow ED has shown significant growth over the last three years,” Akron General spokesman Jim Gosky said. “We expect that those volumes will continue to increase despite what’s happening to the north of us. We feel real confident about our place in that market.”
Summa Health System and Akron Children’s Hospital share an outpatient medical center in Hudson. The Children’s part of the facility includes an after-hours branch of its emergency department.
“We’ve had a strong presence in Northern Summit County for many years and are proud to meet the health-care needs of the community through Summa Western Reserve Hospital, Summa Akron City and St. Thomas Hospitals and the Summa Health Center at Hudson,” Summa spokeswoman Julie Uehara Sur said. “Because of this, the new facility will not have an impact on us or change the way we provide high-quality and compassionate care to our patients.”
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.