Lakewood OH

River native to become new Fairview Hospital president

Fairview Hospital President Jan Murphy, who is leaving for an assignment in Abu Dhabi, speaks during the dedication ceremony for the facility's new emergency department June 6. In the middle is Toby Cosgrove, the president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. At the right is Neil Smith, who will succeed Murphy as Fairview Hospital president Sept. 1. (West Life photo by Kevin Kelley)

By Kevin Kelley


Neil Smith, Fairview Hospital’s incoming president, will bring plenty of knowledge of the facility when he starts his new job Sept. 1.

Currently the hospital’s vice president for medical affairs, the physician previously served as assistant chief of staff and chief of staff. Besides that, he was born at the West Park hospital.

The Rocky River native will succeed Jan Murphy, who will become the new chief operating officer of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, a hospital run by the Cleveland Clinic, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Smith, who graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1976, received medical degrees from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1986 and the Ohio State University School of Medicine in 1990.

Smith will continue his private practice in internal medicine.

“I hope that being a physician and running the hospital will be of some benefit,” Smith said.

Smith told West Life that the recent opening of a new emergency department and intensive care unit made Fairview Hospital one of the region’s elite hospitals. He said he will work at continuing the excellence in patient care overseen by Murphy at the facility.

Murphy, who had led Fairview Hospital since 2007, said she first began considering the post in Abu Dhabi six months ago.

“I went for a visit, and it’s a great opportunity for me,” said the former nun and schoolteacher.

Murphy, a registered nurse, described Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, as a beautiful city. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, managed by the Clinic since 2007, is an excellent hospital with a very talented medical staff, she added. Fairview Hospital has had a relationship with the Abu Dhabi facility for several years, with members from each hospital working at the other.

Besides managing Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, the health care institution is constructing a new hospital, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which it will operate in a partnership with the government of Abu Dhabi.

Previously the senior vice president and chief operating officer at Fairview Hospital, Murphy said the institution’s goal was to achieve the best outcome for its patients. In addition to the opening of the new ER and ICU, new cardiac care and birthing centers were opened during her tenure as president.

Murphy also said she was proud of the Parkview Terrace patient wing, which opened in 2000. The single-patient rooms were designed with the privacy of patients and their families in mind, she said.

From 2010 to 2011, Murphy also served as president of Lakewood Hospital.

Murphy began her career at Fairview Hospital as an oncology department nurse in 1978. Among the numerous community awards Murphy received in recent years was the Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce annual businessperson award for 2010.

The appointments of Smith and Murphy were two of several announced by the Cleveland Clinic July 18. New presidents were also named at Lutheran, Hillcrest and South Pointe hospitals. In addition, J. Stephen Jones, M.D., chief of surgical operations at Fairview Hospital, will add the duties of Cleveland Clinic’s chief of regional hospital surgical operations. The organization also announced that its regional operations division, which includes 27 ambulatory locations and 12 family health centers outside of Lorain County, will now be part of its regional executive administration under the leadership of David L. Bronson, M.D., president of Cleveland Clinic Community Hospitals and Family Health Centers.




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