Carol Santalucia, President, of Santalucia Group, LLC is a seasoned healthcare leader with a passion and commitment to enhancing the patient experience. After 28 years in various service excellence and leadership roles at Cleveland Clinic, Carol began her own healthcare consulting practice, Santalucia Group, LLC. While at the Cleveland Clinic, Carol played a pivotal role in:


  • The formation of Cleveland Clinic’s Service Excellence Department – as director of the department, Carol built a team charged with ensuring consistent service delivery throughout the system via education and training. Carol built strong relationships with leaders across the organization to ensure consistency in service delivery.  Also in this role, Carol served as an advisor to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on developing their Service Excellence team and adapting the H.E.A.R.T. program to meet the cultural needs of their patients and employees.
  • The design, creation and implementation of Cleveland Clinic’s service recovery model Respond with H.E.A.R.T.® – a model that has become the industry standard for service recovery. Not only does the program provide a framework for frontline staff to address patient concerns and complaints in an empathetic way, it also engages all employees in identifying and fixing problems. This program led to Cleveland Clinic’s Communicate with H.E.A.R.T.® – a comprehensive communication program that addresses both upfront communication and service recovery.
  • Shaping Cleveland Clinic’s Patient Advocacy Department – Carol served as a patient advocate for 5 years before being promoted to a leader in this area. As a leader, she helped refocus the advocate’s role from reactive to proactive in an effort to enhance the patient experience.
  • The development of Cleveland Clinic’s patient navigation program.


She and her team offer well-rounded, customized services that enhance and sustain an exceptional experience for patients, families, visitors and employees by creating a culture of empathy, training every level of the organization to leave a lasting impression, developing and implementing robust service recovery programs, and more. They work with healthcare leaders to reignite passion in healthcare by connecting employees to the purpose of their work.


Carol also serves as a part-time faculty member at Cleveland State University where she teaches in the Patient Advocacy Certificate Program, and is a member of the patient experience speakers bureau at The Beryl Institute. Carol presents nation-wide regularly on various topics, including service recovery, patient navigation, patient satisfaction, patient experience, customer service, accountability, patient advocacy and more.


Carol is the Founder and President of the Carmella Rose Health Foundation (, a nonprofit organization that aims to positively impact lives by providing resources to help them access quality healthcare and navigate through the healthcare system in Northeast Ohio.


Carol received an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Cleveland State University and a BS in Psychology from Denison University. She is a past-president of the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy’s Board of Directors and the Ohio Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy. She is also a Board Member of the American College of Healthcare Executives of Northern Ohio and sits on the Executive Board of The Beryl Institute.


Contact Carol directly at


Igniting passion and purpose to improve the healthcare experience.