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Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Medical Center, was ranked 18th in Modern Physician’s third 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, medical school leaders, those representing consumer and professional organizations and leaders of HMOs. Dr. Kaplan was ranked 23rd in 2005.

"This is a real honor to be selected again,” Dr. Kaplan said. “This recognition is really all about our entire team at Virginia Mason. I am on this list because of the way everyone at VM works together to bring the highest quality care to our patients. I want to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work.”

Over the past few years, Virginia Mason has become internationally known for its leadership role 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 principles pioneered by Toyota to assess processes, eliminate waste and improve quality and patient safety. Dr. Kaplan and other VM leaders receive many invitations to speak about the groundbreaking work being done at Virginia Mason at national and international conferences and workshops.

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; is Chair of the Management Committee; serves on 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 Medical Center 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 received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and has practiced Internal Medicine since 1981. 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. He is Past-Chair of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Board of Directors, the National Patient Safety Foundation Board, 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.
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