Search Virginia Mason News

Chairman and CEO Ranked No. 41 by Modern Healthcare
Only Health Care Leader in Washington State Selected This Year
SEATTLE – (Aug. 28, 2012) — Virginia Mason Medical Center Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, is ranked No. 41 on Modern Healthcare’s 2012 list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. Modern Healthcare is the most widely read publication among health care leaders. Dr. Kaplan is the only person from the state of Washington selected to this year’s list.
The entire list can be found here: 2012 100 Most Influential P eople in Healthcare
This is the fourth time Dr. Kaplan has been named to the list — he was No. 66 in 2007, No. 41 in 2008 and No. 33 in 2011.
"This achievement is not only a great honor for Dr. Kaplan, but for every physician and staff member at Virginia Mason," said Carolyn Corvi, chair of the Virginia Mason Health System and Virginia Mason Medical Center Boards of Directors. "It recognizes Dr. Kaplan’s and Virginia Mason’s influence in transforming health care and just how many health care organizations are modeling the Virginia Mason Production System to eliminate waste, improve quality and patient safety, and lower the cost of care."
Topping this year’s list was Chief Justice John Roberts for his role in casting the deciding vote on the constitutional challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Also appearing on the list were President Barack Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. More than 21,500 individuals were submitted to Modern Healthcare for this recognition. From a list of 300 candidates, the final 100 were voted on by the magazine’s readers. The voting counted 50 percent toward the final ranking with the opinions of the editors accounting for the remaining percent.
Under Dr. Kaplan’s leadership, Virginia Mason has become an international leader in health care innovation, quality, service and patient safety by making the decision 10 years ago to adopt the essential principles of the Toyota Production System to eliminate waste, improve quality and lower costs. The Virginia Mason Production System has vaulted the health system to among the top 1 percent of hospitals for efficiency and led to Virginia Mason Medical Center being named in 2010 one of two "Hospitals of the Decade" by The Leapfrog Group.
Each year, hundreds of clinical and administrative leaders from all over the United States and the world travel to Virginia Mason to study the Virginia Mason Production System at the Virginia Mason Institute
About Gary S. Kaplan, MD
Gary S. Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, has served as chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System since 2000. Dr. Kaplan received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and is board certified in internal medicine.
In addition to his patient care duties and his position as CEO, Dr. Kaplan is a clinical professor at the University of Washington and has been recognized for his service and contribution to many regional and national boards, including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Medical Group Management Association, the National Patient Safety Foundation, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Healthcare Forum. Dr. Kaplan is a founding member of Health CEOs for Health Reform.
In 2007, Dr. Kaplan was designated a fellow in the American College of Physician Executives. Earlier this year, he was ranked No. 2 on Modern Healthcare’s list of 50 Most Influential Physician Executives.
In 2009, Dr. Kaplan received the John M. Eisenberg Award from the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission for Individual Achievement at the national level for his outstanding work and commitment to patient safety and quality. Additionally, he was recognized by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) as the recipient of the Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award. Each year, the MGMA and the American College of Medical Practice Executives honor one individual who has made outstanding nationally recognized contributions to health care administration, delivery and education in his career, advancing the field of medical practice management.
About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs more than 5,300 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital, a primary and specialty care group practice of nearly 460 physicians, locations 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 and improve quality and patient safety.
Awards and distinctions include Top Hospital of the Decade by The Leapfrog Group, 2012 Top Hospital (for the sixth consecutive year) and grade "A" patient safety rating by The Leapfrog Group, 2012 Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety Excellence Award from HealthGrades®, and 2012 America’s 100 Best Specialty Excellence Award for Overall Cardiac and Gastrointestinal Care from HealthGrades.  
To learn more about Virginia Mason Medical Center, visit or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.
To learn more about how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at
For media inquiries, contact:
John Gillespie
Media Relations Manager
(206) 341-1509 (o)
(206) 402-2822 (m)

Back to Search