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Mayor laments departure of Medina Hospital president

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Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said Friday that Dr. Thomas Tulisiak's commitment to the community came to mind when he learned of Tulisiak's resignation.

"We hate to lose Dr. Tulisiak as president (of Medina Hospital)," Hanwell said. "The level of services and patient care has increased significantly under Cleveland Clinic's acquisition (in 2009) and Dr. Tulisiak's leadership."

Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital announced late Thursday that Tulisiak would leave his position May 1 to return to clinical practice.

Hanwell said the city has seen an improvement in the overall health of city employees since the start of a community program called Healthy Medina, which is co-sponsored by the hospital, in 2012

"Each time we do health-risk screenings, cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass levels come down, and exercise and clean eating (fruits and vegetables) come up," Hanwell said of the community program's results.

Hanwell noted the city saw a zero percent increase in insurance premiums from 2016-17, which is "pretty unusual."

On behalf of the community, Hanwell said, "We are very thankful" that Tulisiak is returning to medical practice full time.

New grandparent

The March announcement of the July 1 closure of the hospital's birthing unit has brought a backlash from the community and medical professionals. But Tulisiak had been considering his departure long before then, according to a hospital spokesman.

"Dr. Tulisiak and his wife have been contemplating this for at least a year," Joe Milicia said by email. "With the birth of their granddaughter two months ago, that solidified and accelerated the decision."

Milicia declined to say whether the birthing center closure was a factor in Tulisiak's resignation and said that Tulisiak, 61, was not available for further comment.

"After recently becoming a new grandparent, I have decided to spend more time with my family," Tulisiak said Thursday in a prepared statement.

Tulisiak, who has been the top executive at the hospital for six years and part of the medical staff since 1983, is returning to practice in the Cleveland Clinic Medicine Institute. He will see patients at the Medina Hospital Medical Office Building at 1000 E. Washington St.

" ... I will continue to serve the Medina community and return to clinical practice," Tulisiak's statement said. "I am confident of Cleveland Clinic's commitment to Medina Hospital, the Medina community and region, and that Medina Hospital remains a vital strategic asset of our organization."

Performance measures

Since Cleveland Clinic acquired Medina Hospital in 2009, more than $80 million has been invested in the hospital, including new operating rooms, a wound center clinic and other outpatient services.

Milicia said before 2009, the hospital "consistently was less than 50 percent full" and now its occupancy is "consistently" 80 percent to 85 percent.

Medina Hospital is undergoing a $5.8 million upgrade to its emergency department and a $1.4 million upgrade to its intensive care unit. The hospital is one of Medina County's largest employers with about 1,000 full- and part-time workers and more than 400 physicians on its medical staff.

Tulisiak's tenure as president has included:

  • the addition of subspecialty services, including a primary stroke center and the introduction of a wound center
  • construction of new operating rooms and renovation of the south medical office building that contains new specialty and subspecialty services
  • a ninth-place ranking nationwide for community hospitals affiliated with academic medical centers
  • a grade of "A" in a program called Leapfrog Hospital Safety that uses statistical comparisons for performance.

Vicky Snyder, who has been chief operating officer for eight years, will serve as interim president while a replacement search is conducted.

"We will take our time to identify the right physician president to lead Medina Hospital forward as a key part of our organization," Milicia said.

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or hheironimus@medina-gazette.com.

 



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