With a gift of more than $2 million, University Hospitals has established a new endowed position and named one of its top executives the inaugural Ernie and Patti Novak Distinguished Chair in Health Care Leadership at UH.
Dr. Daniel Simon, UH chief clinical and scientific officer and president of UH Cleveland Medical Center, will hold the title, created with the gift from Ernie and Patti Novak with additional support from the Dr. Donald J. and Ruth W. Goodman Philanthropic Fund at the Cleveland Foundation, according to a news release.
“I am honored and humbled by Ernie and Patti’s generosity and for their unwavering support,” Simon said in a provided statement. “They embody the same spirit of giving that founded this health system, investing their time, talent and resources in the community that they love.”
Simon, who joined UH in 2006, also has previously served as president of UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute and earlier this year assumed leadership of the UH’s COVID-19 response.
The Novaks, longtime patients and advocates of UH, turned to Simon for guidance when navigating Ernie’s complex heart issues and Patti’s breast cancer diagnosis, according to the release.
“Over the years, Ernie and I have been fortunate to get to know Dan as both a dedicated physician and a supportive friend,” Patti Novak said in a provided statement. “His commitment to providing the best care to every patient, every time, is second only to his exceptional leadership skills.”
Ernie Novak, managing partner of the Cleveland office of Ernst & Young LLP from 1998 to 2003, joined the UH board of directors in 1999 and later became the inaugural chair of the UH Cleveland Medical Center board of directors, according to the release. Patti Novak was a founding member of the Naples Circle of Friends, an annual fundraising event in Naples, Fla., that benefits UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
“Strong leadership is essential to the success of any health care system,” Ernie Novak said in a provided statement. “We are thrilled to endow this chair and support in perpetuity strong leadership and a culture of caring at UH.”