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SEATTLE - (April 14, 2008) - Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Medical Center, was ranked 20th in Modern Physician's fourth annual list of the 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives. Created to recognize physician leaders who are thoughtful, visionary and focused on improving quality and patient safety, the list is produced by asking readers of Modern Physician to vote on who they view as the most powerful physician executives. Included in the list are hospital CEOs, physicians who are in government organizations, medical school leaders, those representing consumer and professional organizations and leaders of HMOs. Dr. Kaplan was ranked 18th in 2007 and 23rd in 2005.

"I am honored to be selected again," Dr. Kaplan said. "This recognition symbolizes the tremendous hard work of the entire Virginia Mason team of 5,000 staff. I am only on this list because of the way we all work together to bring the highest quality care to our patients."

In the past few years, Virginia Mason has become internationally known for its leadership in applying the principles of lean manufacturing to health care. The innovative Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS) was modeled after the Toyota Production System, a management methodology Toyota has used for more than 50 years to produce some of the best automobiles in the world. VMPS uses Toyota principles to assess processes, eliminate waste and improve quality and patient safety. Dr. Kaplan and other VM leaders receive many invitations to speak at conferences and workshops around the world about the work being done at Virginia Mason.

Dr. Kaplan was named Chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center in February 2000. He serves on the Virginia Mason Medical Center Board of Directors, the Board of Governors, the Benaroya Research Institute Board and the Board of the Virginia Mason Foundation. He has practiced internal medicine at Virginia Mason since 1982 and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Practice Executives and the American College of Physician Executives.

Dr. Kaplan is a board-certified internal medicine physician who received his medical degree from the University of Michigan. He is a clinical professor at the University of Washington.

In addition to his patient-care duties and position as CEO, Dr. Kaplan currently serves on the Board of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Board of the National Patient Safety Foundation, the Board of Directors of the King County Division of the American Heart Association, the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Foundation and the Board of the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care hospital in Seattle. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area, and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and Adult Day Health program for people living with HIV and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

For media inquiries only, contact:
Alisha Mark
(206) 341-1509

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