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Cleveland Positive: The Touch of Human Kindness

John Phillips, M.D. photo
John Phillips, "The patient coming into the hospital should feel the touch of human kindness all through his/her treatment."

Part of the thrill of telling stories about Cleveland’s history is that my audiences are very attentive and on many occasions share stories and their ideas with me. Three weeks ago after presenting a talk about “Millionaires’ Row,” a young lady waited afterwards to share an idea with me. She enjoyed my presentation but felt my audience would have great interest in how Cleveland of today is making its way back to greatness. Thus, upon this suggestion, I have added at the end of most of my talks, “A Cleveland Positive” going on today.

My first Cleveland positive is our world famous Cleveland Clinic. Now I know Cleveland is blessed with many state of the art medical facilities, but it so happens that my dear wife, Susan, took ill and her doctors were with the Cleveland Clinic. Being a Cleveland history buff, our contact with the Clinic lead me on a mission to research the history of this great medical institution. In my search I came across a quote that stuck with me and, more than anything else I read about the Clinics early beginnings, gave me pause for the quote totally represented the experience Sue and I had at our Clinic.

John Phillips, M.D. was a Co-Founder of the Cleveland Clinic. I believe all of us who may ever need medical attention would have loved contact with Dr. Phillips based upon the following quote. Dr. Phillips said, “The patient coming into the hospital should feel the touch of human kindness all through his/her treatment.” What the good Dr. said 90 years ago is what Sue and I experienced with the Clinic. How the folks at the Clinic imbed in each and every one of their employees, Dr. Phillips philosophy of medicine is far beyond me. All I can say is that they have, and the Ruminskis are most grateful (Dr. Michael McNamara).

Thus next time a stranger pulls one of those negative Cleveland stereotypes on you, give them a 5-minute Cleveland history lesson and inform them with a dose of “human kindness.” That this city is home to one of the finest medical entities in all the land, our Cleveland Clinic

Dan Ruminski
Storyteller

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