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New Union Hospital president puts focus on community

| September 9, 2022
Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital President Dr. Thomas Rogers speaks to the Chamber of Commerce at Buckeye Career Center Thursday.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (September 9, 2022) – Three weeks into his tenure as president of Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, Dr. Thomas Rogers outlined his priorities: recruiting and retaining health care workers and keeping Union’s focus as a community hospital.

Rogers spoke to the Chamber of Commerce at Buckeye Career Center Thursday. He used the setting to highlight his desire to employ locals. He says worker shortages have decimated the nursing staff.

“Where did the workforce go? We’re trying novel ideas to try and bring those folks back… We want our folks that work here to be trained here in this area and work here. To me, that’s the biggest piece that we can give back as a large employer in this county is to be able to have those people work here.

“[Nursing staff has been down] 35 percent down, 50 percent down, and so we started working on some programs already. We’ve been over to Kent State. We need to start recruiting as far as the nursing field. Docs can be a little more challenging.”

Meanwhile, he says he also hopes to take advantage of the Cleveland Clinic regional system to offer more specialty care in Tuscarawas County while keeping a community focus.

“I think we’re going to start seeing some changes in the Cleveland Clinic operating model which really focuses on each individual hospital. We’re not the main campus. We’re Cleveland Clinic, but we’re not the main campus… We have a community, so our autonomy has to be maintained.

“When Cleveland Clinic came to be able to sponsor Union Hospital a few years ago, I think folks started thinking, ‘What’s going to happen? Are we safe? Are our jobs going to go away?’ Nothing that I’ve seen is going to point to that at all.

“There’s no doubt that we’re going to be here to stay. Cleveland Clinic is investing in us.”

Rogers took over as Union’s president Aug. 15 after retiring from active military serve. He had been the director of the DiLorenzo Pentagon Health Clinic and the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Branch Clinics in Washington, D.C., before moving back near his hometown of Canton.

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