Message from the Director: First Impressions Matter

Stan Gerson and Brian Bolwell at VeloSano

When Brian presented his vision for the Taussig Cancer Institute to the chair search committee, I was glad I had not applied for the job. It was superlative. He talked about the culture of Cleveland Clinic, how to be a servant leader, how to listen and to do well by motivating toward a better healthcare system, and the need to improve cancer care and its reliance on great research.

Brian has led well. He has allowed me to participate in the Taussig executive committee meetings, where he does little of the talking and most of the congratulating. And yes, he has calmly tried to get me to learn these tactics with only modest success. Assigned speakers know their expectations, their teams provide crisp updates – operations, new services, solving problems by examples of successes. His time-to-treat effort resulted in improvements across the board in all service lines, bettering patient care. His efforts to streamline clinical trial operations have been a remarkable success.

His repeated messaging about the importance of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center for the Cleveland Clinic, and the Clinic’s link to Case Western Reserve University have been a beacon of light for both organizations. It is not easy to be a consortium member, especially when the organization dwarfs the academic institution.

Brian has helped me navigate, proffered advice to former President Barbara Snyder and reassured our Executive Advisory Committee – and our external reviewers – that the connectivity works. That delicate balance of being just ahead of your institution as a leader works when you listen and understand the pulse, and Brian has mastered that art form in all endeavors.

Brian’s new role is a step up into the world of the sages as Chair of Physician Leadership and Development within the Mandel Global Leadership and Learning Institute, where all of Cleveland Clinic will benefit from his perspective and advice.

Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Read accompanying message: Brian Bolwell: Thank you for your exemplary leadership