The Big Opportunity. What a difference a presidential visit makes

Peruse the national headlines and you’ll quickly see the benefit Cleveland Clinic gets from a presidential visit in the midst of a high-stakes debate on health-care reform.

Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A popular pastime in Cleveland this summer has been finding a fresh nickname for one of the newest members of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Shaquille O’Neal. Among the nominees: The Big Witness Protection, The Big Lake Effect, The Big OH or, in a change on the theme, Shaqer Heights.

One trip by President Obama and Cleveland Clinic got its own remake: The Big Efficiency or perhaps The Big Top Result At Costs That Are Lower Than The National Norms.

Not as catchy as Shaq’s offerings, but it shows how a hospital benefits from a presidential visit in the midst of a high-stakes debate on health-care reform (particularly when other hospitals are campaiging against his plan). The Cleveland Clinic got a little reputation polishing.

Here’s how the national media and blogosphere portrayed Cleveland Clinic (summarized in nickname format).

  • The Big Digital. “Obama nods to the Cleveland Clinic which “has one of the best health information technologies in the country.”
  • The Big Salary. “Its successes capture what real reform would look like. Like Mayo, the Cleveland Clinic pays its doctors a salary, rather than piecemeal, and delivers excellent results for relatively little money.”
  • The Big Philanthropy. “The clinic also pulls in significant revenue from philanthropy; it collected $183 million in 2008.”
  • The Big Famous. “Obama takes his campaign on the road today, with a town hall-style meeting in Cleveland and a tour of the famed Cleveland Clinic.”
  • The Big Role Model. “Today he holds a town hall meeting in Ohio at the Cleveland Clinic, a place he — just last night — called a role model for the type of health care change Americans want.”
  • The Big Emigrator. “Once best known as the hospital where fabulously wealthy foreigners came for heart surgery and other high-risk procedures…”
  • The Big Cost Control. “The clinic has been particularly successful in controlling the cost of state-of-the-art care, at least compared with its silk-stocking competitors.”
  • The Big Pitchman. “I wish someone at the Clinic would try to sell a few items to the President with the same enthusiasm and urgency that Billy Mays used to sell millions of dollars worth of OxyClean.”

Feel free to leave your own nickname ideas in the comments section, or send them to us via e-mail or tweet.