Cleveland Clinic Appoints Lagos-Based Representative To Facilitate Access To Care For Nigerian Patients

As part of its continued efforts to ensure greater access to quality care for patients around the world, Cleveland Clinic is broadening its network of in-country representatives to include Nigeria.

Cleveland Clinic’s in-country representatives are local citizens with in-depth knowledge of the latest healthcare treatments available. Representatives are able to remove language, cultural and logistical barriers to ensure a smooth patient journey for their compatriots.

Cleveland Clinic is known for pioneering medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery, the first face transplant and first uterus transplant in the United States, as well as world firsts including deep brain stimulation surgery to restore function after stroke and the development of a vaccine to prevent deadly triple-negative breast cancer, currently in a phase one trial. Integrating clinical and hospital care with research and education, the health system has locations across the United States, and in Toronto, Canada; London, UK; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

In collaboration with Nigeria’s 6334 Business Services, Olufisayo Okunsanya has been appointed as the Nigerian in-country representative for Cleveland Clinic.

Olufisayo has had considerable healthcare management experience and is the lead consultant at the 6334 Business Services.

“Nigeria is witnessing a rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases and has developed an impressive health infrastructure to address this,” Olufisayo said. “With that being said, there are still some gaps in complex care, such as neurosurgery and new treatments for diseases that are being developed and trialed by global institutions such as Cleveland Clinic.

“My role will be to help Nigerian patients who need or want to travel to Cleveland Clinic locations for care, but who are concerned about practical issues and language or cultural barriers,” Olufisayo said. “I can educate them about treatment options and provide end-to-end support to ensure the entire process runs as smoothly as possible. I understand patients’ needs, speak their language, and can advocate for them while making sure they are fully informed about their options.”

With 24/7 access to Cleveland Clinic’s Global Patient Services department, the in-country representatives are able to connect patients with various medical experts. They can arrange online consultations, follow-ups and second opinions, as well as in-person treatment at the most convenient Cleveland Clinic hospital.

Due to a strong demand in growth for its services, Cleveland Clinic has increased the number of countries supported by in-country reps over the past couple of years, with 13 reps now covering 15 markets globally.

“Our goal is to touch more lives and give every patient the best care and experience possible. Our in-country representatives are kept current with the range of expertise and the newest treatments available in Cleveland Clinic’s global network,” said Tommaso Falcone, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Executive Vice President and President, International and Emerging Markets. “We ensure they connect our patients with the most appropriate team of experts for their needs. The aim is to ensure a seamless patient journey from the initial consultation up to post-treatment follow-ups by leveraging the interconnectedness of our global facilities.”

Globally, Cleveland Clinic has 23 hospitals and 276 outpatient facilities, covering a total of 140 specialties and subspecialties, Access for international patients is enhanced through a seamless, global interface with 24/7 access portals as well as digital medicine capabilities.

Cleveland Clinic expanded its footprint to London in 2021. Cleveland Clinic Portland Place Outpatient Centre opened in September 2021 and the 184-bed Cleveland Clinic London hospital opened in March 2022. The eight-story facility treats a wide range of complex conditions, with a focus on heart and vascular care, digestive diseases, neurosciences and orthopedics.

Cleveland Clinic London has 184 inpatient beds, including 29 ICU beds and eight operating theaters, a 41-bed neurological rehabilitation ward. Cleveland Clinic London has welcomed over 42,000 patients to date across both locations. In December 2023, Cleveland Clinic added a new medical outpatient centre.

In addition, the in-country representatives assist local medical professionals with training and continuing medical education, as well as liaise with philanthropists who wish to donate to the hospital system’s global efforts to elevate delivery of medical training, care and research.

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