Search Virginia Mason News

SEATTLE – (Aug. 25, 2014) — Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, is No. 36 on Modern Healthcare magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. The 2014 list was announced today by the national publication.

This is the sixth time Dr. Kaplan, who has served as chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason since 2000, has made the magazine’s elite roster of Most Influential People.

“This recognition is a testament to Dr. Kaplan’s visionary leadership and Virginia Mason’s status as the pacesetter for improving quality and safety, lowering cost, and transforming health care,” said Jim Young, chair, Virginia Mason Health System and Virginia Mason Medical Center Boards of Directors.

The list of 100 Most Influential People is determined by the magazine’s readers and editors, with each group’s vote accounting for 50 percent toward the ranking. See the complete list online at 2014 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.

In addition to his duties as chairman and CEO, Dr. Kaplan is a practicing physician at Virginia Mason; chair of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Board of Directors; and chair of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is a founding member of Health CEOs for Health Reform and a member of the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Directors.

Under Dr. Kaplan’s guidance, Virginia Mason has become an international model for innovation. In 2002, Virginia Mason became the first health system in the United States to adapt principles of the Toyota Production System as its organizational management methodology for eliminating waste, improving quality and safety, and reducing cost. More than 5,000 people from 20 nations have since participated in Virginia Mason Production System seminars offered by the Virginia Mason Institute.

Earlier this year, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, identified Virginia Mason as the model he is using in his efforts to improve quality and safety in the National Health Service of England.

Virginia Mason was named a Top Hospital of the Decade in 2010 by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization that rallies the collective buying power of companies and other large purchasers of health care to drive improvements in quality, safety, cost and transparency. Also, Virginia Mason is consistently rated as one of the best and safest hospitals in the nation in annual evaluations by independent groups such as Leapfrog and Healthgrades, an online service that enables consumers to search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals.

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 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.

To learn more about Virginia Mason, please visit or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter. To learn how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at

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

Back to Search