Below is an open-letter to the CEO and former CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. Toby Cosgrove operated on my dad's heart 15 years ago. He knows our family. I'm hoping he's all ears on this important issue. He fought successfully to get McDonald's out of the Cleveland Clinic because it was doing harm to his heart patients . He cares. He gets it. And now he has Sotera Health (Sterigenics parent company) CEO Michael Petras Jr on his board. There is a fox in the henhouse. He needs to be removed from this post. Please share liberally, literary friends. I'd be so grateful. Let's get his attention.
Attention: Dr Toby Cosgrove MD and Dr Tom Mihaljevic MD
I’m writing to ask you to please take a closer look at your Cleveland Clinic board member, Michael Petras Jr. He is the CEO of Sotera Health-which is emitting such high levels of EO in our hometown (and others,) we have a cancer cluster as a result.
Do no harm?
Dr Cosgrove; you saved my dad's life 15 years ago in an emergency heart surgery. He has been the picture of health ever since, walking 8 miles a day. Little did he know, he was breathing air filled with ethylene oxide, which is being emitted 24/7 from the Sterigenics/Sotera Health plant—located just one mile from his home. As a result, my picture-of-health-father had a huge brain tumor removed last Christmas Eve. So many of our friends and neighbors have cancer, or autoimmune diseases that cannot be explained.
Our son plays baseball 1/2 mile from this toxic plant. A young boy he played with developed a rare hand-cancer. Do you know how terrifying that is to know as a parent? (Look at the faces in the photograph below--those are my son's teammates. Please help us keep them safe.)
Michael Petras is not a "health professional." Health professionals DO NO HARM. He does not belong on the board of a HEALTH FACILITY--especially a leader like the Cleveland Clinic. He is actively fighting to keep this plant open and running, emitting ethylene oxide twenty-four-hours a day, seven days a week, in a densely populated area that is close to at least four schools, parks, and tens of thousands of frightened residents.
How is that DOING NO HARM?
As you must know, there are other proven ways to sterilize that aren’t a toxic risk to the health and well being of local residents. Many of our Chicago-area hospitals have already discontinued using EO as means of sterilization. They know better. These hospitals are leaders. Will the Cleveland Clinic be on the right side of history?
Please consider asking for Michael Petras Jr’s resignation from your board immediately. He is a stain on the stellar reputation of the Cleveland Clinic. This fight is long from over. We have over ten thousand residents and many state legislators fighting to pass pending legislation to ban EO state-wide in Illinois. We are asking you to join us in the fight to improve our air quality, both here in Illinois and world-wide in other places where Sotera Health/Sterigenics is actively polluting, and in some cases, under the radar.
We know better. We can do better.
Do No Harm.
That is the oath.
Please show us that the leadership of the Cleveland Clinic has a strong moral compass.
Andrea and Jim Thome