Cleveland Clinic: Shame, Shame, Shame

Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 08/15/2009 - 20:47.

This deserves your non-profit status in the community?  You pay no taxes to support our children?  Shame on the CLINIC.  SHAME.

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what was this and why didn't

what was this and why didn't they think of at least clearing out the chairs before the wrecking ball?

Throw away mentality

Because the Cleveland Clinic and the City of Cleveland preach sustainability, while exercising a throw away mentality...destroying our cultural heritage with the demolition of the Art Deco Carnegie Medical Arts Building.   

so who is it

 that does this?

maybe they have some kind of justification for it?

$ justifies Dr. Cosgrove

In the short term (a few years) the dollar absolutely justifies every plan the Clinic has rolled out. 

YOu think Toby (should have) walked through the Carnegie Medical Building before it was demo'd and directed:  Send those cushioned chairs to the Boys and Girls Club on Broadway (Slavic Village)? 


It really is very $imple, so let's move on...

If not Cosgrove, what about Vernon Ayers?

OK let's say that Toby Cosgrove is too busy with his new found role of appearing on TV as a talking head on health care issues - our latest national distraction. Or maybe he has had to visit Abu Dhabi to see about the new Clinic there. But what about the director of the Office for a Healthy Environment at the Cleveland Clinic, Christina Vernon Ayers? From the 2007 link:

Ayers spent the last year and a half in The Clinic’s facilities department where she developed a reputation as a champion of green ideas. This month, she begins focusing full time on the process of measuring and reducing what is undeniably a huge carbon footprint (as one might expect from an organization with 35,000 employees and thousands of customers coming to call). The work began in earnest when Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove arranged for renowned green architect Bill McDonough to visit last May for a public speech followed by a private work session with Clinic top brass. From that meeting, Ayers organized the Clinic’s goals into four areas:

  • Healthy buildings, especially creating a green building policy
  • Healthy operations, such as recycling and reducing energy use
  • Better buying, as in using the Clinic’s power as a major buyer to influence what it purchases; and
  • Finding champions and innovators within the organization

“My belief is the best way to inspire change is to foster ownership and innovation by those who know what they do best,” Ayers says. “I’m not interested in telling any of our hospitals ‘do this or that’, but to help them understand what we do on our campus and leave it up to them to innovate. I don’t have a list of what every hospital has to do or what a green hospital is. We have a lot of innovative people who work here—let’s put all this brain power to work.”

That said, Ayers is launching or strengthening a number of initiatives including:

  • An organic lawn care pilot
  • Comprehensive recycling pilot with the goal of diverting 10% of non-bio waste from the landfill
  • Helping form Green Teams at every hospital and a system-wide green team to organize efforts

In addition, The Clinic recently completed waste and energy audits that will provide a baseline from which goals and guidelines will be set, Ayers says. She would like to start with an educational program that encourages all Clinic employees to reduce their energy demand by powering down computers, turning off lights, printers, etc.

While the demand side is being managed and monitored, Ayers will evaluate renewable energy systems such as solar and geothermal as she and a newly formed executive sustainability team, a joint executive team at The Clinic, develop a comprehensive green building policy.

We’re looking at green building as the right way to do it. We aren’t tracking it as a separate line item. But, we’re also at the point where we haven’t moved into any of our new green buildings. As we move in, we can track more effectively the impact it will have, such as energy use.”

“For energy use we haven’t set a goal yet. We’ll be tracking energy costs, consumption, and legislation and then determine what our goals are. We’ll also track waste disposal and costs to determine a construction demolition plan.”

Where was she with her promises of recycling? Has she moved on already or is she trying for the same game as Joyce Burke-Jones whose first effort as county sustainability officer was to aid the green ruse to tear down the Breuer?

But wait... Vernon Ayers has told on her own organization right here in Business Excellence Online:

Christina Ayers, director of the Office for a Healthy Environment at Cleveland Clinic, one of the top five health care providers in the US, speaks to Ruari McCallion about sustainable improvement in the built and operating environment.

You can tell a lot about the health of an organization by looking at its production of waste.

If everything is going into the same waste stream, regardless of source, quality or content, then expect malfunction inside the walls. If the back area is well organized, with different areas for reusable, recyclable and genuine waste products (a pile that should be very small), then the organization is likely to have a well-managed system and probably has lower costs—and therefore is more profitable.

I suspect we all knew there might be a malfunction inside the Cleveland Clinic - one Obama hasn't seen and one Vernon Ayers apparently hasn't seen either. I suppose maybe it is all just too much to bite off, but did anyone let her know that the greenest building is one that already exists?

Let's read further, shall we?

“I and my office don’t replace the project managers; we supplement their needs,” she says. “Sustainability requires a root-and-branch approach. The Office for a Healthy Environment is not a cover-the-cracks, sticking-plaster solution. We look for opportunities to bring together people who don’t normally interact. We’ve established cross-functional ‘green teams’ in all our facilities that meet monthly, establish best practices and share information.”

Many green initiatives in organizations across the economy have simply been cost-saving initiatives with a green sticker, but that isn’t the Cleveland Clinic approach. One of its delivered values is the ability to plan and measure the benefits of taking a longer-term view over any short-term cash perspectives.

And it’s toward the design area that Ayers’ office is focused—cutting off problems before they come to pass—and there is plenty of opportunity. Cleveland Clinic is currently undertaking three million square feet of new build, and the guiding principles for their energy and environmental performance are LEED specifications.

So where was Ms. Vernon Ayers while this travesty was being perpetrated on her watch? Did anyone tell her that the greenest building is the one that already exists?

Oh and BTW, what was the rush on tearing down this deco building? They plan surface parking. Let's see, they just paid a boatload to Independence Excavating for a new parking facility at E89th Street. But this must have been part of a bigger parking plan - a green one to be sure that encourages the use of the Healthline and other public transport options for their employees - includes carsharing and promotes transit oriented development for its green campus. Remember that they wanted to close off Euclid Avenue to regular vehicular traffic just a few years back so they would seem more walkable? But never you worry your pretty little head about these big issues, they did a study with a company called Integrity Parking.

OK, ok, but Ms Ayers was awarded the Scheiderman Award by E4S just two years ago, so she must be qualified, smart and on top of her sustainability game, right? Endorsed by the people who know, right? From the nomination for the 2007 award:

"How has the nominee inspired you to implement sustainable business practices?
Christina applies her sincere dedication to sustainable practices to her personal and professional life. From her own home renovations to encouraging responsible practices at work, she has made her life`s work join with her passion for bettering the environment. To her, sustainable practices and just plain practical living are one and the same. She is inspiring because she makes it easy to feel that you can make a difference. She sets an example.

How can someone else translate the success of the nominee? Is the work of the nominee an example or model that others can follow?
As the new Director for the Office for a Healthy Environment for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Christina is paving the way for innovative and practical solutions for health care environments.

How does the nominee actively participate in the sustainability community? How do they collaborate and share their knowledge with others?
Christina Ayers is a LEED accredited architect, member of the AIA, and active researcher into sustainable practices. She is co-founding a national sustainable health care program to assist other organizations in benefiting from the Cleveland Clinic`s knowledge into these new practices."

If this is the example, I wonder what other great ideas she has up her sleeves? Here, she is in a presentation Existing S&T Buildings: Overview (PDF). Looks like she had a lapse this time, but as she writes in her presentation - "Revist constantly, change is more easily un-done than re-done." No kidding Ms. Vernon Ayers. There won't be a "do over" on this one.

Could someone please wake up those folks over there at Cleveland Restoration Society, AIA and the Cleveland Green Building Coalition? Those professional types get paid to do something right?

cleveland clinic

and I know this goes off in another direction but when will the CCF ever be made to either step up to the plate in terms of spending some of it's wealth of subsidized health care for the every growing poor or give up it's tax exempt status? Metro Health can not carry the burden while CCF and UH  cherry pick the insured.


The Clinic is making an effort to make new buildings green. 


Irony lost

  The irony is apparently lost on the Clinic administration. Delos "Toby" Cosgrove...what's the REAL agenda...who is making out here?  What about your colleague Gus Kious??  What's in store for Huron Hospital and East Cleveland after the demolitions there?  How about John Sideras and his cushy landing from Metro to CWRU?? Jim Rokakis and Gus Frangos and the land this a set-up, or what?

Sorry folks, but as Rachel Maddow says...the scooby sensor is going wild here.  Say NO to the BS.  This is where we live--with a seemingly infinite capacity to fool ourselves.  The invisible hand and trickle down theory that ultimately believes that by serving private interest first, everyone benefits.  

what demolitions at Huron Road?

Please elaborate, Laura. I did not know that Huron was expanding or engaging in demolition. If Gus is involved in these demos one would expect Chris Kious to be dragging out anything that is usable, no? Maybe his Dad didn't know that Carnegie Medical Building was coming down... Don't we think Chris (APOC) might have wanted at least some of the old floor joists from that building? I tell you as far as "a piece of Cleveland", some of those architectural interior elements could have been money makers for APOC. I would guess there is just too much of "A Piece of Cleveland" ready for the picking right now. Jenita - irony, yes or is it the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing?

East Cleveland HUD monies

  CWRU was given the green light to study where to target demolitions with HUD monies in East Cleveland.  Let me dig up the citation.

The Clinic, UH and CRWU are completely raping EC

Game over - coal power plant coming, which is the ONLY THING that matters to any of these people - East Cleveland is officially dead.

Let the CWRU students learn taxidermy playing with all the rotting bones and flesh of the displaced people.

The Williams seem to consider the CWRU students the ultimate victims, having to participate in this raping of everyman.

Mayor Brewer is holding everyman down on the pool table for the raping.

Disrupt IT

Trash incinerator

  Oh, Norm--we get the high-powered trash incinerator over here...while all the wizards move to Bay Village...

Cleveland looking for Japanese company to build trash-to-energy plant here, along with U.S. headquarters

Delegation hopes to get trash-fired facility built here too
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
John Funk
Plain Dealer Reporter
Where does the construction debris from the Carnegie Building end up anyway? Rosby Resource Recovery??


Our leaders are selling citizens down the dirty smart grid

As America implements new "smart" electric grid technology (I believe IBM was featured on this at Sustainable Cleveland 2019, although I would not attend), and America seeks to increase energy production (our local GE Executives will always pitch for that), and as wind on the lake is an expensive wet dream, in current economic times, I believe NEO is being positioned as a major new dirty energy production zone, and I expect to see lots of new power generation plants here... especially the greenwashed dirty stuff.

Where once the world needed steel, and trashed our region to produce that, now the world needs electricity, and will trash our region for that.

Send us your dirty coal and garbage and we will send you back electricity, and keep the pollution here.

Time to seriously consider giving up on NEO and moving on, as the future here is far too dirty and hidden by smoke and mirrors, beyond the visibilty and interests of citizens... unless you are planning a career in power plant operations or coal bin scrubbing, and then dying of cancer...

Disrupt IT

We LIVE here

  I am too old to run away...

Here's the council report that basically sells off three census tracts in East Cleveland--,2009.pdf

Conveniently, Circle East is one of them, Woodworth Ward 4 and Mayfair School are included. 

BTW, Susan--How could Gus/Chris Kious...NOT know that the Carnegie Building was coming down? I feel like we are wading in bullshit....

Our leaders do not respect where we live, so how may we

What is clear, at the urban core, is that the interests and rights of citizens are meaningless - if leaders want to build a highway, powerplant, port or gated neighborhood somewhere, and that displaces lots of people, or demolishes entire historic neighborhoods, who cares. Our leadership has so thoroughly corrupted and centralized its power, which so completely controls most branches and offices of state and local government, that THEY ALWAYS GET THEIR WAY.

So, my family has invested heavily in an area our leaders have decided to destroy, without telling us. So I must move, before our leaders make my neighborhood unlivable. They have cost my family $100,000s in real money, and we aren;t out of this mess yet.

That the same may happen to you must make you wonder if this is the right place for anyone to attempt to set down roots of any sort. It leaves me with no doubt about the answer - not on my life!

Disrupt IT

Kious is on EC NSP Key Stakeholder Group splitting up the spoils

I went to the last "Key Stakeholder" meeting for the NSP program in EC - a private planning group now working on NSP Phase 2 proposals - like $66 million more - to be used, it seems, largely to tear down buildings on Euclid and build CMHA subsidized senior housing, downwind from the new coal plant.

Aren't they planning a lovely future for my community!?!?

Kious is core to this group and was the center of praise and attention from the Mayor and others, at the meeting.

It appears Mayor Brewer has plans to extend Huron Hospital to Euclid Avenue, and there is work being done in that area. I have not seen plans, and don't consider planning in EC at all open to the public. The Mayor and the city record you linked above indicate the Foundations are largely in charge of our planning... see page 7.

Interesting, citizens were never considered Key Stakeholders.

It appears the city uses the monopoly cable franchise to communicate with citizens - I do not subscribe.

Laura, I'm interested in any public record or mention ever of a powerplant or steam generation plant being built at Lakeview and Euclid - any record in EC or Cleveland city public meetings, official city or institutional plans - anywhere I may have missed, explaining why we citizens are the last to know about a $1/2 billion development on the edge of University Circle, that will apparently be a coal power and steam generation plant.

The Mayor informed Lemaud and Barbara Williams and me about the plant last week, in a way showing little support for our planning. I have since learned he has not been supportive of our plans at all, perhaps ever. He is a great disappointment.

The Mayor discussed his plans for this plant at his NSP Key Stakeholder meeting, this week, and clearly everyone there was already informed in some way about this, and there was no show of disapproval - done deal, signed sealed and delivered with the blessings of all key stakeholders.

At this point, the most important question of the day is who knew what about this, when, and why weren't all citizens informed as well? What has been done to misinform and deceive citizens?

The most important question of the day for tomorrow is what exactly is being built, and what is the environmental impact?

Disrupt IT

Demolition of Cleveland Schools--SHAME

Just a visual reminder of the crimes we live with here in NEO.  Your tax dollar squandered by folks who don't even live here.


my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer, my spouse, my cat, my neighbors, my extended family or anyone I happen to acknowledge on the street, bus, etc.