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Gary S.  Kaplan

Gary S. Kaplan

Healthcare Administration Leader


Gary S. Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, has served as chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System in Seattle since 2000. He is also a practicing internal medicine physician at Virginia Mason. Read More >

Dr. Kaplan received a degree in medicine from the University of Michigan and is board certified in internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at Virginia Mason and served as chief resident in 1980-1981. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), the American College of Medical Practice Executives (FACMPE) and the American College of Physician Executives (FACPE), and is recognized as one of the most influential physician executives in health care.

Dr. Kaplan is chair of both the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Board of Directors and the National Patient Safety Foundation Lucian Leape Institute. He was a founding member of Health CEOs for Health Reform and has held leadership positions with numerous organizations, including the Medical Group Management Association, the Washington Healthcare Forum and is a past chair of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

He has been honored nationally for his leadership. Modern Healthcare magazine ranked Dr. Kaplan No. 11 on its 2016 list of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives in the U.S. He has been on this prestigious annual list 11 times. Modern Healthcare magazine also ranked Dr. Kaplan No. 44 on its 2016 list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. In 2013, he was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, recognizing those who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Dr. Kaplan received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement in 2009 from the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission for his contributions to improving patient safety and health care quality. Also in 2009, Dr. Kaplan received The Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award from the Medical Group Management Association and the American College of Medical Practice Executives in recognition of his contributions to health care.

During Dr. Kaplan's tenure as chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason has received significant national and international acclaim for its efforts to transform health care, most notably as the leader in adapting the Toyota Production System to health care. In 2017, Virginia Mason received the America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award from Healthgrades, placing the medical center among the top 1 percent of hospitals in the nation for year-over-year superior clinical performance across a broad spectrum of care. In 2016, for the 11th consecutive year, The Leapfrog Group named Virginia Mason one of the Top Hospitals in the United States. Virginia Mason was the only hospital in Washington state to receive the Top Hospital honor last year, and is the only hospital in the nation to be named a Top Hospital every year since the recognition program began in 2006. Of note, Leapfrog named Virginia Mason its Top Hospital of the Decade in 2010. In addition, under Dr. Kaplan’s leadership, Virginia Mason was named one of the “Most Wired” health systems in the nation in 2016 for the fifth consecutive year by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the publication of the American Hospital Association. B’nai B’rith International is honored to present the prestigious 2017 National Healthcare Award to Dr. Kaplan for his dedication to community service, excellence in leadership and outstanding philanthropic commitment in the healthcare community and beyond. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Healthcare Quality, Safety & Efficiency: How We Can Improve

Connect with Gary S. Kaplan