Cleveland Clinic CEO Tom Mihaljevic Supporting EPIC 2020 in Dubrovnik

Total Croatia News


December 30, 2019 – The impression interest in EPIC 2020, the first European Patient Experience and Innovation Congress introduces its latest high-profile supporter, none other than Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic.  

It has been a real education watching this build up from the sidelines, as well as a lesson in what can be achieved if you aim high. 

My introduction to Croatia’s medical tourism industry just over two years ago was through a meeting request from Bagatin Clinic CEO Ognjen Bagatin, who wanted to show me not only what his own clinic was doing, but also other leading healthcare providers, such as St Catherine’s Specialty Hospital and Svjetlost Eye Clinic. I wrote my first impressions in Heath Tourism is Coming Home: Why Zagreb is the Next Big Medical Tourism Destination

It is an industry I have followed very closely since, including interviews with several global experts who spoke at conferences in Croatia, who all concluded that Croatia had the potential to be in the world’s top ten medical tourism destinations in Europe within 10 years if its stakeholders could unite


The success of St Catherine’s (the first European partner for the Mayo Clinic co-sponsored OneOme pharmacogenetic RightMed test) and Bagatin has been a particular pleasure to watch – and it was an honour to be in Berlin earlier this month to see Ognjen pick up the International Medical Travel Journal 2019 International Cosmetic Surgery Clinic of the Year award for Bagatin Clinic. 

Always an ambitious guy, I thought he had gone a little too far a few months ago when he showed me a flyer for a new conference his clinic was organising: EPIC 2020, the first European Patient Experience and Innovation Congress, to be held in Dubrovnik from March 19-21. 

“We will have some really top guys, it will be quite a show and really put Croatia on the medical tourism map. You will see.”


EPIC brings together some of the most influential physicians, MedTech startups and health professionals from Europe & beyond to the table to improve how your patients will experience healthcare in the near future.

As technology continues to help us achieve previously unattainable results in healthcare, join us for an insiders’ look at which technologies, ideas & innovations are improving the patient experience with some of the leading clinics & healthcare companies of the world so that you can stay ahead. 

Bagatin has been true to his word, some REALLY top names are already confirmed as speakers at EPIC 2020. Three international speakers from EPIC 2020 collaborative international presenter, Cleveland Clinic, two from Mayo Clinic, the Disney Institute, the Editor-in-Chief of International Medical Travel Journal are already confirmed, with many more on the way. And then there are the video endorsements from supporters of the initiative who cannot make it. 

A personal video message from Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic! Mihaljevic is himself a Croat, and the Cleveland Clinic has been taking a more active interest in Croatia in recent years, following a visit to Cleveland by Bagatin in 2018, as Cleveland Clinic International Patient Experience Director Joe Sweet explained to me in an interview in Zagreb earlier this year. 


And it was rather a pleasant surprise to find TCN nestled in the middle of the video with Mihaljevic’s message. 

To learn more about EPIC 2020, check out the official website

To follow the latest from the Croatian medical tourism industry, follow the dedicated TCN section


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