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Posted 1.31.07

If you follow the local health care industry, you are likely aware of the many dramatic changes occurring over the past few years at both University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. Among the changes is the ever-widening implementation of business savvy practices into these medical institutions.

On the afternoon of January 25, the Weatherhead School was lucky to have with us for several hours one of the architects of this transformation at the Cleveland Clinic -- Bob Llamas, the chief administrative officer. A look at Llamas' resume gives you a hint of the direction the Cleveland Clinic is headed. Llamas worked at TRW for 17 years and became the number two H.R. executive for the company's 23,000 employee Space and Defense Sector. He was then the head of H.R. for three of GE’s biggest businesses and also was an officer of the corporation. Subsequently Llamas shifted into the financial services industry, becoming the head of H.R. for Lehman Brothers.

During this informal discussion, Llamas touched on many areas of the Cleveland Clinic’s business and ways in which lessons learned from a for-profit business could be translated into the not-for-profit mission driven world of health care. Some of the initiatives he discussed were the need to focus on developing a talented cadre of business-oriented administrators by evaluating and comparing administrators across divisions and identifying early rising stars to support their development through rotational management assignments. Much of the discussion also centered on the Cleveland Clinic’s recent forays into markets outside of northeast Ohio and North America. Some of the interesting business ventures are the management contract with the UAE Ministry of Health to operate a hospital under construction in Abu-Dhabi, and exploration of markets in China.

The Health System Management and Bioscience Club looks forward to attracting equally distinguished and interesting guests in the future.

Matt Stanton, M.B.A. candidate 2008

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