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UH Receives $10 Million from The Veale Foundation to Address Health Care’s Largest Issues with Technology and Innovation

Emphasis will be on defining, clarifying and prioritizing problems, as well as finding, testing and scaling solutions to benefit patients

Imagine a world where health care’s biggest problems collide with the world’s best technology in a culture of innovation.

A visionary $10 million gift from The Veale Foundation will help University Hospitals do just that. UH will establish the Veale Initiative for Health Care Innovation at University Hospitals.

“With the gift, we will develop a novel approach to define, clarify and prioritize health care’s biggest problems and then find, test, and scale solutions to those problems,” said Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, who will lead the new initiative. He is UH Chief Quality and Clinical Transformation Officer, and Veale Distinguished Chair in Leadership and Clinical Transformation.

Future of Health Care

The Veale Initiative will pilot groundbreaking innovations and technology with the ultimate goal to transform the entire sector.

“We will scale these solutions across UH and other health systems, with the goal of leveraging the power within and between people to radically transform health and health care,” said Dr. Pronovost.

He explained that UH has excelled in improving quality and safety though disciplined problem solving and rapid learning.

“Yet health care’s biggest problems, like reducing hospital costs, addressing health care workforce challenges or keeping people healthy at home rather than healing in hospital, require new approaches.

Patients, payors, and care givers can expect greater ‘value’ in their overall patient experience. We seek to deliver that by reducing costs, enhancing quality, improving usability of products and services, and eliminating waste,” said Dr. Pronovost.

Impacting Patients Nationwide

UH is a longtime leader in developing and advancing standards of care. “There are numerous examples of innovation in action at UH,” said UH Chief Executive Officer Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS, Jane and Henry Meyer Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair, noting one recent project that assessed the emotional experience patients face when waiting for a breast cancer diagnosis. “Dr. Pronovost and his team recognized that waiting is suffering for patients, but the existing guidelines were silent regarding wait times. For example, of the twenty-four key moments of the typical mammography screening experience, at least six—25% of the experience—was mired in waiting as suffering moments. The team drafted new, patient-focused standards that, by next year, will be required for all accredited breast centers. The impact this change will have on patients nationwide cannot be overstated.”

The paradox in U.S. health care is that we have high costs yet, when compared to other developed nations, our outcomes are worse, explained UH Board Chair John Morikis.

“Modern health care as it exists today is far from ideal for patients and is draining the U.S. economy,” said Mr. Morikis, who also is Chairman and CEO at The Sherwin-Williams Co., a Fortune 500 company with more than 64,000 employees. “The Veale Initiative for Health Care Innovation is a truly unique undertaking, with the potential to rebalance the entire equation, ensuring better, more affordable care for patients and improved financial stability for health systems.”

“This initiative – a big idea with potential for incredible impact – is in complete alignment with the vision Tink Veale had for his foundation and Northeast Ohio,” said Daniel P. Harrington, Chairman of The Veale Foundation. “If Tink were alive today, he would have found a kindred spirit in Dr. Pronovost and admired him as a fellow exemplar of the difference transformative leadership can have on our community and world.”