Did you know that the Cleveland Clinic held its annual fundraiser on the home turf of El Caudillo Del Mar-A-Lago?
It’s pretty sad news, to learn that this well-revered non-profit medical pioneer would stoop through the ostentatious golden gate of President Trump’s prized golfing resort. It’s a bit ironic too, considering that President Trump is actively throwing Twitter temper tantrums about his desire to destroy health care for millions of Americans.
ProgressOhio is now sharing an open letter to the Cleveland Clinic from various medical professionals, citizens, and others, imploring them to stop lending their brand and their money to this president and his destructive agenda.
In an email Monday, ProgressOhio wrote, “Despite an outcry from patients and physicians, the Cleveland Clinic – a nonprofit organization – once again held its annual fundraiser earlier this year at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
“This is unacceptable. The Cleveland Clinic is one of the top hospitals in the world, and by patronizing Trump the Clinic is financially and symbolically supporting his agenda — including decreasing access to healthcare and cutting billions of dollars in medical research funding. The Clinic shouldn’t be in the habit of personally enriching a politicians whose policies would harm its patients.”
ProgressOhio noted that a Clinic spokeswoman has publicly stated there won’t be any more events at Mar-a-Lago, but said that plans are already being made to return for 2018.
“The contract could be signed any day, so we have to mobilize fast,” ProgressOhio advised. “Read and sign (the letter) today.”
ProgressOhio also noted that other organizations, such as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, have stopped holding fundraisers there.
“It is time for the Cleveland Clinic to follow suit and reaffirm its commitment to improving healthcare for all,” they wrote.
The full text of the letter is in the block quote below.
To the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Clinic:
On February 25th, 2017, despite vehement patient and physician outcry from the local community and on the national stage, the Cleveland Clinic held their annual fundraiser at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
As outlined in our January 31st letter with over 1,700 signatories, holding a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago is unacceptable because it symbolically and financially supports a politician actively working to decrease access to healthcare and cut billions of dollars in research funding from the National Institutes of Health budget. This undermines the Cleveland Clinic’s mission, ethics and reputation.
Now, despite both private (in meetings with our group) and public pledgesthat the event would no longer be held in that location, it appears the Clinic once again plans to patronize the Trump Organization by holding a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in 2018. This is shocking behavior for a respected institution that names integrity as core to their Statement of Values.
No matter how convenient or lucrative it may be to do business with the Trump Organization, it is an inherently political act. Hosting the event on Trump property is a symbolic and financial endorsement of the President’s policies and statements, many of which threaten our patients’ health?—?particularly the very young, the very old, cancer patients, and the chronically ill. This is explicitly counter to the Clinic’s stated core values of compassion and integrity. Holding the fundraiser in that location comes at the expense of the most vulnerable among us.
Although raising funds for patient care is critically important, the way the money is raised makes a powerful statement about the Clinic’s values. By holding this fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago, the Cleveland Clinic expresses its support of President Trump both symbolically and financially.
The Clinic cannot conduct business as usual in the face of patients’ and colleagues’ concerns about Trump’s healthcare policies. How healthcare providers and their institutions choose to exercise their influence can be as consequential as any prescription or procedure. This is a test of ethics in challenging times, and the Clinic’s community, both in Cleveland and beyond, is watching.
Our demand is simple, and has not changed: the Cleveland Clinic must hold the fundraiser at another location that is not affiliated with the Trump Organization. Fundraising events should not directly enrich a politician actively working to take healthcare from our patients and research funding from our labs. The Cleveland Clinic must make finding a new location for the fundraiser a priority. Indeed, other leading institutions like the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have now ceased to hold their fundraisers at this venue. Refusing to relocate the fundraiser sends a message to Cleveland Clinic patients, students, and faculty, that their concerns do not matter to this institution.
Since the contract has yet to be signed, now is the time for the Clinic to find a venue for the fundraiser that is in line with its values, and to reaffirm its commitment to improving healthcare for all. We are deeply concerned about this issue, and we will continue to voice our concern loudly and publicly until we are certain that the Cleveland Clinic will hold its fundraiser elsewhere.
The Cleveland Clinic prides itself on being fully committed to the best interests of its patients. Now is the time to demonstrate that commitment.
1. Nikhil Krishnan, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
2. Vanessa Van Doren, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
3. Gloria Tavera, MD/PhD candidate, Case Western School of Medicine
4. Emily Verbus, MD candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
5. Paige Hamilton, MD candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
6. Micah Johnson, MD Candidate, Harvard Medical School
7. Meaghan Diffenderfer
8. T Nicholas Domitrovic, Master’s Candidate, Case Western Reserve University
9. Tanya S. Khan, MD candidate , Northeast Ohio Medical University
10. Julia Blanchette, BSN, RN, CDE, PhD Student , Case Western Reserve University
11. Jason Chao, MD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
12. Lutetia Li, MD candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
13. Sarah Seresinghe, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
14. Emily Durbak, MD Candidate, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
15. Sara Myers, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
16. Harini Ushasri
17. Rosemary Behmer Hansen, MPH/MA candidate, Case Western Reserve University
18. Ryan Hansen, Graduate student researcher, Case Western Reserve University
19. Deborah Silverstein, State Director, SPAN Ohio
20. Anna Quian MD candidate , Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
21. Ellen Pill, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic long-time patient
22. Arnon Reichers, Ph.D, Retired OSU faculty
23. Sanjay Sridaran, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
24. Kayla Hicks, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
25. Arthur Lavin MD, CWRU
26. Lyba Zia, MD Candidate , CWRU SOM
27. Eric Curfman, Medical Student, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine