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SEATTLE – (April 30, 2015) — The National Patient Safety Foundation’s Lucian Leape Institute announced today that Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, has been named chairman of the institute. Lucian Leape, MD, a renowned patient safety leader who has chaired the institute named for him since its creation in 2007, will remain a member of the institute.

Dr. Kaplan’s appointment, effective today, was announced at the opening general session of the 17th annual National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) Patient Safety Congress being held this week in Austin, Texas.

As chairman and chief executive officer of Virginia Mason Health System since 2000, Dr. Kaplan is nationally recognized for his leadership in health care and, in particular, for advancing quality and safety. During his tenure, the organization created and implemented the Virginia Mason Production System, designed to improve patient safety and health care quality. He has served as a member of the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute since 2010.

“Working with Gary Kaplan and other members of the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute has been a great joy of my professional career,” said Dr. Leape. “The time is right to pass the torch, and I am delighted that Gary has accepted this role.”

Founded in 2007, the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute is the Foundation’s think tank, charged with providing a strategic vision and paths for improving patient safety. Dr. Kaplan, who also serves on the NPSF Board of Directors, was co-chair of the institute’s most recent initiative, promoting greater transparency in health care.

“It is an honor to be asked to fill a role that has since its inception been held by Lucian Leape,” said Dr. Kaplan. “Lucian is truly one of the reasons we are all so focused on patient safety today, and my goal is to help the institute continue to work on the issues that we think can help lead the path to safer care.”

Dr. Kaplan has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including a John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement (2009). In 2013, he was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine in recognition of outstanding professional achievement and service. Earlier this year, Modern Healthcare magazine included Dr. Kaplan among its “50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders” for the 10th consecutive year.
Prior to the announcement of Dr. Kaplan’s appointment to chairman of the Leape Institute, those attending the NPSF event viewed a video in tribute to Dr. Leape that included comments from many of the institute’s members and others.

“With Lucian’s leadership, the institute has helped raise the national profile of patient safety and start conversations about culture, transparency, workforce safety, and other interconnected issues,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, president and chief executive officer of NPSF and president of the institute. “Like Lucian, Gary is an inspiration to those working in the patient safety field, particularly those in clinical care and leadership positions. Under his guidance, the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute will continue to be worthy of its name − serving as a leading body in developing new ideas to advance the safety of our health system.”

About Virginia Mason
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs about 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety.

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Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

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