Communication Home



Sabrina Powers,, 216.312.1116
Jim Phillips,, 740.593.2202 (office) or 740.517.1022 (mobile)

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service has posted video from today’s first day of classes with interviews of students. Click HERE to directly download b-roll and sound bites ( You can also access footage at (User Name: CCNSSpecial; Password: CCNSSpecial128)


Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Cleveland: The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has opened a new campus in affiliation with Cleveland Clinic on the campus of its South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights, to address the pressing need for more primary care physicians in northeast Ohio and the rest of the country.

The first class of 51 medical students arrived for classes today at the Heritage College, Cleveland. Many of these students have been recruited from northeast Ohio, with the knowledge that if they train and complete their residencies in the area, they will be more likely to remain here to practice after they graduate. The college is working closely with Cleveland Clinic and other area healthcare providers to ensure that clinical training slots are available for these students.

Within the next decade, experts predict a national shortage of more than 45,000 primary care physicians. The 20 percent of Americans living in rural or inner-city primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) will be hit the hardest, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges Center for Workforce Studies. Northeastern Ohio, which includes Cuyahoga, Lorain, Geauga, Summit, Medina, Portage, and Lake counties, has the largest number of HPSAs in Ohio.

The campus will showcase a model of medical education that emphasizes physician teamwork and will be linked to the Heritage College’s other two campuses through state-of-the-art telecommunications technology. Specially designed group work stations, or “learning pods,” do away with old auditorium-style lecture halls and allow students and instructors at all three Heritage College campuses – each with its own full contingent of students, faculty and staff – to interact in real time via teleconferenced learning activities and instantaneous sharing of PowerPoints, video or other electronic materials.

Cleveland campus Dean Isaac J. Kirstein, D.O., said the partnership allows Cleveland Clinic to take advantage of the Heritage College’s proven ability to turn out the best in primary care physicians who stay in Ohio to practice.

“I think the biggest opportunity to align with Cleveland Clinic is in value-based care,” Kirstein said. “We have to provide high-quality healthcare at a lower cost. And anyone who’s tried to crack this nut realizes the answer is really good community-based primary care.”

Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O., said the college’s new campuses represent an innovative approach to training doctors, that aims to meet the nation’s most pressing healthcare needs.

“The focus as we’ve expanded has been to re-dedicate ourselves to primary care,” Johnson said. “And this new campus is intended to be a model for medical education that addresses the shortage of primary care physicians.”

Cleveland Clinic and the Heritage College signed an affiliation agreement in June 2012 to develop a campus at the Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital site. This agreement built on a longstanding relationship between the college and Cleveland Clinic, having served as an undergraduate and graduate medical education site for the college for well over three decades.

“We are changing the way healthcare is going to be taught and the way it’s going to be delivered,” said J. Stephen Jones, MD, president of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals and Family Health Centers. “This partnership fits together perfectly with the Heritage College’s leadership in primary care education and Cleveland Clinic’s reputation in specialty care.”

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, Ph.D., said, “This expansion of our long-standing partnership with the Cleveland Clinic is good for Ohio University and Cleveland Clinic, good for the medical students in our Heritage College, and ultimately, good for the citizens of Ohio who will benefit from the compassionate, high-quality healthcare our graduates have been providing for over three decades. This collaboration will help increase access to care, stimulate medical innovation and improve the economic health of communities in northeast Ohio, as well as across Ohio and the nation.”

Robert Juhasz, D.O., president of Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital and of the American Osteopathic Association, called the new campus a welcome addition to the local healthcare landscape.

“The energy that’s coming from the development and opening of the medical campus has really combined with the mission here at South Pointe Hospital to improve care for the community that we serve. We look forward to working together to produce physicians needed for the future.”

The Heritage College has a track record of graduating physicians who go into primary care. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio. The Cleveland campus opening comes a year after the Heritage College launched the college’s second campus in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, Ohio, with OhioHealth as its preeminent educational partner.

The agreement also represents a significant joint investment of more than $50 million in northeastern Ohio, with Ohio University having committed $36 million toward renovating a South Pointe building, plus expenses relating to faculty, staff and operations; and Cleveland Clinic contributing $13.4 million toward capital improvements and renovations, staff and operational support, and medical education. Another $5 million came from a grant from the Brentwood Foundation to support the new campus.

Kirstein was chosen in October 2013 to serve as dean of the Cleveland campus. An internal medicine physician, he had been serving as vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at Franciscan St. James Health in Chicago Heights, Ill. Kirstein was also a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission for the Advancement of Osteopathic Medical Education, created to develop an innovative model for educating physicians that would help address the nation’s shortage of primary care doctors.

About Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio. CARE LEADS HERE. Visit us at

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey.

More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, scheduled to begin seeing patients in 2015, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at Follow us at


  Office of Communication
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
210 Irvine Hall, Athens, Ohio 45701
Tel: 740-593-2346 FAX: 740-593-0343
Copyright Ohio University (Home)
Last updated: 01/28/2016