Gary Kaplan: A Career of Excellence

Dr. Gary Kaplan MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE is the CEO of Virginia Mason Health System.

Gary also practices internal medicine at Virginia Mason Health Systems, and it is ranked as one of the top 50 hospitals in America. Dr. Kaplan is renowned for his work disrupting the norms of the healthcare industry by implementing the Toyota Production System to make medicine more efficient and cut costs.

Gary Kaplan’s Background

Dr. Gary Kaplan was educated at the University of Michigan and is board certified. He completed his residency at Virginia Mason where he served as chief resident. Dr. Kaplan chairs the National Patient Safety Foundation Lucian Leape Institute and formerly was the chair of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Board of Directors. Dr. Kaplan has performed numerous leadership roles in groups such as the Washington Healthcare Forum and the Medical Group Management Association. He is considered one of the top physician executives in the healthcare industry.

Gary assumed the position of CEO in the year 2000, and during his tenure has elevated Virginia Mason’s stature through innovative approaches to make healthcare more affordable and efficient.

One way he has done this is by requiring every board member to spend two weeks in Japan studying the management techniques of the Toyota Corporation. This focus has streamlined the delivery of care and heightened efficiency.

Gary Kaplan Awards and Accolades

Gary Kaplan M.D. has won many awards in his long career managing Virginia Mason.

  • In 2019 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Seattle Business Magazine.
  • Modern Medicine Magazine ranked Dr. Kaplan one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.
  • One of the rarest awards in medicine is membership in the Institute of Medicine. They inducted him in 2013.

Within the last 20 years Virginia Mason has excelled in providing healthcare efficiently and effectively. While Dr. Kaplan has been CEO Virginia Mason has won several awards.

  • Consistently ranked in the top 1% of hospitals nationwide, Virginia Mason was named one of the top 50 hospitals by HealthGrades in the United States in 2017. They were a top 100 hospital in 2016.
  • From 2011 to 2016 Virginia Mason received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence.
  • For more than 10 years in a row, Virginia Mason was named one of the Top Hospitals in The United States by The Leapfrog Group, the only hospital in Washington State to be awarded this honor.

Dr. Gary Kaplan believes in consistently working to improve efficiency and delivery of care at Virginia Mason. Some of his goals are to continue to embrace change and disruption in the healthcare industry and to accelerate the performance of the hospital.

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