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Stephen  Klasko

Stephen Klasko

President & CEO of Thomas Jefferson University & Jefferson Health


Stephen Klasko is President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. He has led Jefferson to become one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the nation with recent mergers to create one of the nation’s largest delivery systems as well as a comprehensive university. In 2018, Dr. Klasko was named one of the “most creative people in business” by Fast Company for making large-scale healthcare personal. Read More >

In August 2017, he was named by Modern Healthcare as one of America's "100 Most Influential" individuals in healthcare. Also that month, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital was named to US News and World Report's Honor Roll as the 16th best hospital in the U.S. Early in 2017, he was named the nation's 24th most influential physician executive by Modern Healthcare, and among 100 Great Healthcare Leaders by Becker's Hospital Review.

An advocate for bipartisan transformational change in health care, President Klasko is author of 2016’s We Can Fix Healthcare in America: The Future Is Now, and editor in chief of the journal Healthcare Transformation. Dr. Klasko has extensive experience as a keynote speaker, moderator and panelist. He’s had the opportunity to speak with such icons as Malcolm Gladwell, Jack and Suzy Welch, and other incredible minds from the world of medicine, business and innovation.

A native of Philadelphia, President Klasko returned in 2013 to lead as a change agent for Jefferson. Since then, Jefferson has doubled its employees to 30,000, grown from three hospitals to 13 and over 2-million patient visits, and now draws revenues of $5.1 billion. In 2015, he led the merger of  Jefferson with Abington Health in one of the nation’s first shared-governance, “hub and hub” academic medical center mergers. He has also attracted Aria Health System and Kennedy Health System, two premier community academic medical centers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, to join this unique governance system.

In 2017, Jefferson merged with Philadelphia University, a top ten design university in suburban Philadelphia, creating a single comprehensive university dedicated to professional careers.

He is a professor of OB-GYN at Sidney Kimmel Medical College and the founder of Spirit of Women, a grass roots women's health empowerment organization now utilized at over 150 hospitals and health systems. After the conclusion of his MBA at the Wharton School, he received a $1.5 million grant to investigate the selection and education biases that affect a physician’s ability to negotiate and handle change, which resulted in his previous book, The Phantom Stethoscope: A Field Manual for an Optimistic Future in Medicine.

He previously served as CEO of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine at University of South Florida. He is married to Colleen Wyse, a fashion publishing executive and founder of Philadelphia Trunk Show, and has three children and one grandchild.

No matter the audience, Dr. Klasko has proven time and time again to be inspiring. He treats every event like the performance of his life providing an entertaining presentation of brilliant insights from a mind and heart committed to a brighter, more patient centric future. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: What Will Healthcare Look Like in 2020

Creating Renaissance in Healthcare

The Future of Healthcare: Telehealth and Communication

How to Transform to a Better Healthcare System

On Obamacare

Speech Topics

We CAN Fix Healthcare - The Future is NOW

Dr. Stephen K. Klasko proposes an extraordinary, even science fiction, event where a no-blaming conversation leads to an optimistic new future. Democrats and Republicans find they can collaborate on Dr. Klasko’s 12 disruptive transformations. Built on a variety of interviews from every part of the system, looking at service, education, economics, and the sociology of healthcare, Dr. Klasko argues that if we stop blaming each other, trends we now see as disruptive will actually lead to solutions. With an entertaining blend of humor, wit, and practical assessments about the current state of healthcare, Dr. Klasko shows where healthcare is heading in the future.

Putting Patients First

An obstetrician who also has an MBA from Wharton, Stephen Klasko has no trouble thinking about healthcare through a business lens. “With AI on the horizon, training humans to be better robots doesn’t make sense,” says Stephen Klasko, CEO of Philadelphia’s Jefferson Health. “The doctor of the future needs to be self-aware and empathetic.” By merging Thomas Jefferson University, a med school plus health and nursing colleges with design-focused Philadelphia University, Klasko has created the first medical school in the U.S. to offer a design certificate within its MD program. This now encourages future doctors to discover novel methods for putting patients first. Klasko has become one of the most innovative people in healthcare, developing new initiatives such as “hotspotting,” where med students are paired with patients who tend to overuse the ER, coaching them on self-care skills. The program has helped reduce unnecessary ER visits by 60%. “Virtual rounds” allow families to sit in, via videoconferencing software, when the doctor visits a recovering patient. Eighty percent of Jefferson’s doctors are trained in the network’s telehealth platform that offers 24/7 patient assistance.