Brian Bolwell, thank you for your exemplary leadership

Portrait of Brian Bolwell

We wish to thank Dr. Brian Bolwell for his leadership and guidance as he transitions to a new role as Chair of Physician Leadership and Development within the Mandel Global Leadership and Learning Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Bolwell has been a central leader to our center for the past 11 years, serving on our Executive Committee first as Associate Director for the Taussig Cancer Institute and then Deputy Director for Cleveland Clinic. He has been an advocate for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cleveland’s cancer research community. Under his leadership, the Taussig Cancer Institute and its staff have thrived, and its relationship with the university and our center has benefited immensely.

As Deputy Director, Dr. Bolwell worked closely with Case CCC Director Dr. Stan Gerson on the development and implementation of our strategic plan, bringing cross-institutional investments toward the strategic goals of the center. Through partnership with the Associate Directors, he aligned and interdigitated the many Cleveland Clinic basic and clinical research activities, recruitments and community outreach efforts with the Case CCC’s scientific programs, clinical research coordination and community outreach and engagement programs. In a matrix cancer center like ours, a cohesive, collaborative environment is required. Cleveland Clinic’s strong commitment to our center – charioted by Dr. Bolwell – set the stage for the Exceptional rating from the National Cancer Institute in our last renewal cycle. 

Cleveland Clinic is a powerhouse with international reach. But, some of Dr. Bolwell’s hallmark achievements made the most impact here in Cleveland. He has recruited dozens of cancer scientists, supported under-funded clinical trials, fought for protected-time for clinical investigators and highlighted the need for junior investigator pilot funding. To improve dissemination of cancer research to the catchment area, he standardized Cleveland Clinic care treatment pathways across the Cleveland Clinic network. He also worked closely with center investigators and outreach staff on activities to support underserved populations, including a mobile mammography unit at a Cleveland care center, supports patient navigation in underserved communities and conducted research to investigate somatic genomic abnormalities in African Americans with prostate cancer.

Understanding Cleveland’s need to develop a diversified revenue stream to support cancer research, in 2014 Dr. Bolwell launched “VeloSano Bike to Cure.” To date, this powerful and unifying event has raised over $24M for cancer research in Cleveland. This money has benefited many at the Case CCC and Cleveland Clinic, providing dollars to promising research projects and pushing our members to “pedal” toward the next discovery.

In 2017, with a goal of centralizing the patient and easing the burden of care, Dr. Bolwell championed the opening of the new Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center outpatient facility. This spectacular 377,000 ft2 building houses all outpatient cancer treatment services in one location with the center’s team of medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, nurses, genetic counselors, social workers and others all working together in one shared space to improve patient outcomes. Just walking into the building is uplifting.

Dr. Bolwell’s calm and understated leadership has benefited all at our center. Please join us in thanking him and wishing him best of luck in his new position.

Read accompanying Message from the Director:  First Impressions Matter