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SEATTLE - (Aug. 25, 2008) — Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center, was ranked 41st in Modern Healthcare's seventh annual list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare. Kaplan joins Bill Gates, ranked third, as the only other leader from Washington state to make the list. Kaplan was ranked 66th in 2007.

Readers submitted more than 14,600 nominations, up from 12,600 last year. Modern Healthcare placed 300 people on a final ballot. The 100 people who received the most votes made the final list with the ranking determined by number of votes received.

"It is an honor to be recognized among the nation's top leaders working to improve the state of health care for Americans," said Kaplan. "For us at Virginia Mason, this recognition symbolizes the tremendous hard work of our team to transform health care. 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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health-care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area; manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and Chronic Care Management program for people living with HIV and AIDS; and operates Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety.

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