View from a live webcam showing progress on the Health Education Campus

Executive turned patient invests in health education

Building now named the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion

Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University have been given a very generous gift from Sheila and Eric Samson for the Health Education Campus (HEC), scheduled to open in summer 2019. In recognition of the significant donation, the campus’s centerpiece 485,000-square-foot facility will be named the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion.

Designed by London’s Foster + Partners architects, the state-of-the-future campus will include the Samson Pavilion as well as a dental clinic education building. Students from the university’s schools of medicine, nursing and dental medicine—including those in Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine—will learn, study and collaborate together on the 11-acre campus, located between Euclid and Chester avenues at Cleveland Clinic.

“When it opens next year, the Health Education Campus will transform medical education for the next generation of caregivers,” said Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic. “We are exceedingly grateful to Eric and Sheila Samson for their vision and support of this project, which will provide our students with the most technologically advanced learning environment as we prepare them to become leading providers in exceptional patient care.”

This most recent gift makes the Samsons among the largest donors to Cleveland Clinic. A steel company executive, Mr. Samson had successful heart surgery performed by Toby Cosgrove, MD, executive advisor and former CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic. Mrs. Samson is also a patient. Mr. Samson, executive chairman of Macsteel Holdings, is a member of Cleveland Clinic’s International Leadership Board.

The Samsons made previous gifts to Cleveland Clinic to establish the Samson Global Leadership Academy, to the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute and to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. The Samsons are natives of South Africa.

“The new Health Education Campus will bring in a new era of teaching,” Mr. Samson said. “We have to look to the future, new technology and an updated way of imparting knowledge. The collaboration between Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University will certainly make this campus the best teaching facility available to students.”

“We are humbled by the Samsons’ generous support and their recognition of the potential that this project has to help transform health care,” said Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder. “As students from multiple health professions learn together in one extraordinary space, they will be uniquely prepared to lead teams that provide coordinated treatments that result in better outcomes for patients.”

More than 350 people, including the two organizations’ leaders, the Samson family and other supporters, attended an announcement of the gift yesterday at the site. To date, the two institutions together have raised more than $270 million for the $515 million project, and active joint fundraising continues.

The Samson Pavilion will feature a 27,000-square-foot central atrium that draws maximum light from a specially engineered roof. Admissions and other academic learning environments will surround the central first-floor space. The building also will house an innovation laboratory, where students and faculty can develop and test new technologies, and pilot their use in health care education.

The HEC will include a separate dental clinic education building on the north side of Chester Avenue. This building will provide greater access to patients for their community clinic and education program.

Overall, the hospital and university expect 2,200 medical, dental, nursing and physician assistant students to be learning in the building simultaneously.

“The Samsons have a long relationship with Cleveland Clinic and have made a tremendous impact on the Health Education Campus,” Cosgrove said. “With their significant gift, they are helping to provide the upcoming generation of students with the innovative education required to lead in this new era of medicine.”