VIDEO: FTMC, The Bellevue Hospital combine forces with Cleveland Clinic

Announcement made Tuesday morning.
Joe Centers
Jun 18, 2013


Fisher-Titus Medical Center and The Bellevue Hospital today announced an affiliation with Cleveland Clinic's Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. The affiliation will bring world-class heart care to area residents and provide greater access to Cleveland Clinic’s academic, clinical and research best practices in cardiovascular and thoracic care.

“While each organization remains independent, the affiliation with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute strengthens all elements of heart and vascular medicine and thoracic surgery to provide the highest level of cardiovascular and thoracic care to the six-county region served by Fisher-Titus and The Bellevue Hospital,” said Patrick J. Martin, president and CEO of Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

The affiliation is the result of a comprehensive study and assessment of the current level of cardiovascular and thoracic services available to residents in the two hospitals’ service areas, according to both Martin and Michael K. Winthrop, president and CEO of The Bellevue Hospital.    The study, which began over one year ago, revealed a need for expanding these services to provide a higher level of care for area residents in their own communities.  Since then, leadership teams from both hospitals have been working with Cleveland Clinic officials to develop a program to meet those needs.

“This is another great example of the long-standing relationship between our two independent community hospitals working together on initiatives to benefit our patients and communities,” said Winthrop.  “In the past, Fisher-Titus and The Bellevue Hospital have worked together to recruit specialty physicians in pediatrics, urology, neurology, and plastic surgery who serve patients in both our service areas and at both our hospitals. This new affiliation provides us the opportunity to bring word-class heart and vascular care and a comprehensive thoracic surgical program to our patients.”

The two hospitals serve a combined six-county region which includes Erie, Huron, Lorain, Richland, Sandusky and Seneca counties.  This affiliation brings these communities four new physicians and Cleveland Clinic’s best practices and reputation in heart and vascular care.

See full story in Wednesday's Norwalk Reflector.



Still would NOT take a my dog to FTMC.

It's a Jeep thing

Nothing wrong with ftmc


Why won't FTMC go up in there Trauma Code? Why don't they shoot(no pun intended) to be able to fix things instead of just band-aid it? Be nice to know a hospital around here could handle a gunshot wound or bad knife wound instead of just package & fly. Just a matter of time before this town starts shooting people over drugs. I don't care if the drug addict dies from a gunshot but what about the innocent child caught in the cross-fire? Are they not able to go up to a Trauma One or is it money or no docs or just not enough "business"? Such as bad accidents or things. Just curious.


Apparently you have no idea how much money and resources are required to operate a Level 1 or 2 trauma center. For one, you must have the required number of specialties and subspecialities available 24/7, plus the added cost of doing research and having an academic affiliation.


Oops, sorry, I see erdoc already answered your question in more detail.


Obviously I didn't know, that was why I asked. Thanks.


KD is right WASP.....many think that a hospital can just wave a wand and change their trauma level but its not even remotely that simply. The costs associated with it offset the potential profit for that area. Its simple business.


WASP, there are a lot of requirements that go into increasing a hospital's trauma center designation. Specifically to be a level 1 trauma center, a hospital has to have a minimum number of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and emergency physicians in-house at all times, must have neurosurgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, and facial surgery in-house or quickly available, as well as an ICU capable of handling trauma patients, and must see a minimum number of trauma patients in a year.

It would probably cost tens of millions of dollars to bring FTMC up to Level 1 designation, and would then cost millions a year to maintain it. And they still probably wouldn't see enough trauma patients to get the designation. Add to that the fact that trauma is not profitable (the kinds of people that are likely to get shot/stabbed are unlikely to have insurance or the means to pay medical bills) and there really is no reason for FTMC to pursue it.

So is it money, no docs, or not enough business? Yes, yes, and yes.


Thank you. I sort of thought it was along those lines but wasn't sure. Now I know! FTMC has come a long way since I was a kid here. I hope they continue getting better. I'm not afraid to go there anymore like I was years ago. I believe FTMC is doing all it can do to become a top hospital in this region. Just wasn't sure about the ER situation.

Howard Roark

An interesting study recently found that outcomes were significantly better in level 1trauma centers than in level 2 centers although the basic requirements for both are about the same. The main difference is that level 1 status requires at least 1200 cases a year. You can invest in staff and equipment but if you don't see enough patients to maintain proficiency, the patient is better off being stabilized and sent to a center that sees serious trauma cases on a daily basis.


Does this mean that they are going to send patients to Cleveland? I have concerns with that.


FTMC has always sent patients to Cleveland Hospitals. However, the Cleveland Clinic itself is NOT a trauma center. It is part of a trauma system along with Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center though. There is a way to stop a loved one from being transferred to a particular hospital. All you have to do is tell the ED physician treating you or your loved one that you have another preference (say...Toledo or Akron?) FTMC sends trauma patients there too! The only issues I could see with making a request is that if life flight is needed and not flying in a particular direction due to weather or say your loved one needs a specialty service not available (hand surgeons are sometimes difficult to come by). Either way, you could request to be transferred to places in Columbus too. Fisher-Titus is a relatively new trauma center (as the life a trauma center goes). They are still working on which patients it is safe to keep and manage at home vs. sending a patient away. Trauma centers do recognize that there are risks when making a patient transfer, but the goal (per American College of Surgeon requirements for trauma centers) is to get the patient to the care that they need as soon as possible. It isn't about keeping more and more patients and trying to make money. It is about getting the patient the care and monitoring capabilities (in an advanced ICU) that they need to have the best outcome possible. :)


Your heart works full time..Don't you want a full time heart doctor? Do your research find out if the cardiologist are there full time or on certain days..I don't know about you but if I am having a cardiac crisis I will go to a hospital with a full time staff. Firelands Regional Medical Center has cardiac experts full time...just like the beating of your heart..and close to home....


The way I understand it, a member of the cardiovascular physician team will be onsite every day. They will be living in our community too--an added benefit because whomever is on call will be able to respond quickly in an emergency.


Traumamama I think you hit it on the head. Maybe if FT looked for docs in the neighborhood or ones that would be willing to relocate would be a great option for the community and the hospital as a whole. Would bring more options to a small town and would think it would help with the economy- at least a little!


I was also told that these cardiologists will be moving to Norwalk. It will be nice to have these talented doctors so close!


Yes, Firelands does have a higher level of cardiology care, including an interventional cardiologist. However, that physician isn't ALWAYS there and when he's not, those patients end up going elsewhere.

jack langhals

I drove patients to all the hospitals locally,all Clev.Akron,Toledo,Mansfield etc.Patient's had good reports from most.Just don't take me to Mansfield or Toledo MCO.My experiences at FTMC over 40 years has been great !


I guess I don't understand why FTMC or Bellevue would ship a person to Cleveland (or even Toledo) when Firelands has the capabilities and it's much closer. I have to agree with go22gators -- I'd much rather stay local. I have to wonder why FTMC and Bellevue chose to partner with Cleveland Clinic instead of Firelands.


The cardiology group at Firelands is through North Ohio Heart Center... the cardiologists have privileges and see at Fisher-Titus, but they don't do interventional cardiology in Norwalk. Many patients have been transferred from Fisher-Titus and Bellevue to Firelands for cardiology care in the past... From what I've heard, this new agreement will allow the cath labs at Fisher-Titus to be more utilized for both diagnostic and interventional cardiology (including stents, etc) in the future.


I live in the area that would be closer to Bellevue, of the three. They used to use TMC. They suck compared to CC. I've had a few experiences with both. I'd take Cleveland over Toledo any day. Last time is was in Toledo, I caught MRSA in the ICU and my stay was much longer than need be. I have two of my offspring in the medical field that work in Toledo, and they've told me to never go to TMC. They both have had internships all around that city. Thankfully, niether one of them work there. That same place also did not catch that wife's brain shunt was plugged up with both an MRI and CT scan.

I would tell the first responders to let me die before going to TMC.

Kottage Kat

This wonderful news. Having had to be Life Flighted to Firelands for a cardiac crisis. FTMH was wonderful and so glad the Hospitalist was Dr Bresslin he moved fast and I am grateful


Dr Bresslin is a wonderful doctor and great to work with too! Our patients love that he is attentive and answers all their questions! :)) I am glad you are doing well now!


PS.. CC caught the brain shunt being plugged up in my wife, right off (AFTER she fell and put a half baseball size knot on her forehead while trying to walk in the nursing home). AFTER she spent two years in a nursing home because she could not function. Now she holds a job and has a driver's license again.


Well I can say much for the other hospitals , but I would never go back to the cleveland clinic for anything after they almost killed me cause of there lack of intrest in patent care , You all should know that Cleveland Clinic amitted me and I layed in that bed for five days with no care whats so ever , before they did an aorta valve replacement to which I had to have redone but only at the univeristy hospital there in Cleveland and I have mediucal records to prove it


According to US News and Word Report's annual list, the best hospitals for heart and cardio surgery are:

Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland , OH

65.0 100.0 2

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Rochester , MN

48.0 81.0 3

Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
Baltimore , MD

21.8 52.5 4

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Boston , MA

20.8 49.5 5

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
Boston , MA

According to US News and World Report, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio is the number one best hospital for heart care.

---I am sorry for your isolated incident and bad experience at the Cleveland Clinic but I would still choose the Cleveland Clinic over Firelands.


Yea and I think that if I were to ever have to go through this again , it would cleveland U , They think of you as a person unlike Cleveland Clinic .


Kottage Kat, thank you!

Fisher Titus doesn't just send to Cleveland or Toledo. They do fly to firelands for interventional cardiology. From my understanding, the same physicians who do the interventions at firelands were supposed to do them at Fisher Titus, but never followed through.

This is a good thing for the community! Instead of being flown to another hospital to receive a cath, FTMC will be able to cath ya and you can stay with us wonderful nurses! ;)

Kottage Kat

Have been a cardiac since. 9 yes old, and I am glad to see no more trips to Cleveland.
Lives will be saved and people can be grated at " home".
Being away from home when weather is bad and family can't travel is no fun.
Good for many factors.
Thanx to all who made this possible.
A nurse 2


Apparently FTMC knew who to send them too Firelands! I think as family support is a key factor in healing I would want my love ones able to drive less of a distance. To Kottage Kat glad you are here.. apparently the emergent care at Firelands had something to do with that. I think I remember another time Fisher Titus tried to "farm out" their cardiac services with another big hospital and it did not last long. I will wait and see if a doctor will be on site with exception of the visit day. As for the follow thru at FTMC by the Firelands cardiologists could that be the facility (FTMC) unable to handle that level of surgery, Time will tell but for me my heart beats FULL TIME and I want a facility and physicians close by who can handle that FULL TIME. Firelands has and will continue to do so...