Ozzie Delgado’s route to high achievement—which currently has him as chief operating officer for Cleveland Clinic Florida—started in New Jersey when he was born to Cuban immigrants. He spent his formative years in south Florida, where his parents instilled in him the importance of hard work, and the idea that nothing in life would ever really be handed to him.
“They would be proud of me, whatever I was going to do, but I had to put in 100 percent,” Delgado says. “They taught me that you can’t just go into in cruise control and coast. You’ve got to put the work in.”
He’s done exactly that at Cleveland Clinic. Starting as a pharmacy intern in 1999, he worked his way up to pharmacy director by 2005. From there, his responsibilities expanded to other clinical areas such as respiratory therapy, neurology, and cardiology and pulmonary services. By 2012, he joined the Clinic’s plant operations team as he became more involved in the “facility side of things”; a year later he was also assuming more oversight of the Clinic’s supply chain, environmental services, and security department.
“Working in the pharmacy allowed me to interface with several different areas of the Clinic,” Delgado explains. “Then it was just a progression of responsibility and assignments over time that primed me to become chief operating officer by 2014.”
More than that, his trajectory prepared him to assist president Dr. Wael Barsoum in building out the leadership teams and structures. “Looking back at that first year, a lot of it was about putting everyone’s minds at ease—establishing what that new leadership was going to mean,” he adds.
Ultimately, it meant expansion. With the Clinic being both a hospital and an ambulatory clinic with 250 employed multispecialty physicians, Delgado now has twelve direct reports that help him oversee the Clinic’s many facets, including service lines of support and corporate reporting responsibilities. “Our president, Dr. Wael Barsoum, has done a great job expanding our senior leadership team,” Delgado says. “We’ve added a chief of medical operations, as well as a chief strategy officer. We’ve continued to build upon the leadership team knowing what’s coming down the road will be bigger than what it is today.”
The Clinic also added a senior director of global patient services whose job focuses on managing patient visits to the Clinic from the Caribbean and Latin America, including the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Dominican Republic. Delgado notes these patients will often make a Clinic appointment while visiting the United States.
“We don’t singularly market to Florida—Cleveland Clinic has posts around the globe—but given the very heavy Latin American influence down here in south Florida, there are a lot of folks from those regions with a big family base down here,” he says.
Expansions for Cleveland Clinic Florida have begun to take a more literal form in recent years. It started with the opening of the Egil and Pauline Braathen Center in March 2015, which provides neurology and cancer-related services, and is continuing with a $230 million expansion of the Weston, Florida campus.
Also on the way is an all-new family health center in Coral Springs—approximately twenty miles north of Weston. “But besides the brick-and-mortar expansions, we’re really becoming the destination center for complex care,” Delgado says. “For a heart, liver or kidney transplant, we’ve already become the service provider leader in Broward County. It’s one of the things we’re most excited about. And the expansion will only increase the capacity for patients to continue receiving that care.”
Expansion has also resulted in recognition from US News & World Report as well. Cleveland Clinic Florida was listed as the number one hospital for the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region, which covers Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Delgado takes pride in the distinction and what it says about the Clinic and its caregivers.
Delgado expresses the most excitement in knowing that Cleveland Clinic Florida is becoming well-known not just in the state but also across the Latin American region as a leader in healthcare. “To provide the absolute best quality care at the end of the day, at an affordable price point—that’s the value equation,” he says. “And we’re assuring that continues to be our path forward as well while never forgetting to put our patients first.”
Family Health Center (Coral Springs, FL)
Begin Date March 2017
End Date Mid-2018
For Cleveland Clinic Florida, expansion means welcoming more patients from all over the world. The clinic is now in the process of expanding its Family Care capabilities with the construction of a world-class facility in the Coral Springs area of Miami/Fort Lauderdale. The Center will have forty-plus exam rooms for patients in a clinic setting, and will feature ambulatory surgery capabilities with four operating room suites, two endoscopy/procedure rooms, and full imaging capabilities.