Jefferson University Hospitals

Stephen K. Klasko Named No. 2 to Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare of 2018


Stephen K. Klasko

PHILADELPHIA — Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, was named 2nd to Modern Healthcare’s 2018 list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, climbing over 80 spots from the publication’s 2017 rankings. Dr. Klasko tied with a distinguished group of leaders that Modern Healthcare named the “Class of Disrupters,” which includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos, and the CEOs of CVS and Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Klasko was cited for "addressing root problems," and for "combining a major health system with a design school."

Accompanying the rankings, in which President Donald Trump took the top spot, was a feature article addressing “changes that are taking hold across the industry.”

“The disruptors on our list aren’t waiting for cues on how to transform the industry," said Aurora Aguilar, editor of Modern Healthcare. “Their leadership is bold, visionary and ripples across the economy.”

Dr. Klasko has been one of the nation’s foremost voices in applying creativity across healthcare disciplines and championing disruption of long-held beliefs in order to advance the delivery system in a consumer-friendly way, where patients – not doctors or executives – are the boss.

“Health care and higher education cannot rely on yesterday’s thinking in today’s world, and both industries are ripe for disruption,” Klasko said. “Just being on this list is always an honor, and jumping to number two means that people are listening. Now, it’s time to start taking the steps necessary to truly transform healthcare in America.”

Klasko leads the rapidly expanding Jefferson Health comprising 14 hospitals, 40 outpatient and urgent care locations and a multitude of physician practices in the Philadelphia region. Jefferson serves 130,000 inpatients, 519,000 emergency room patients and 3.7 million outpatients annually. He is also president of the recently combined comprehensive professional university, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), which meshes design and medicine, as well as a variety of other majors, to prepare students for the work force of the future.

An advocate for transformational change in health care, Klasko is author of “Bless This Mess: A Picture Story of Healthcare in America,” which published earlier this year, 2016’s “We Can Fix Healthcare in America: The Future Is Now,” and editor in chief of the journal Healthcare Transformation.

Klasko aims to prepare the industry for healthcare’s inevitable consumer revolution by ensuring care is available wherever patients are through telehealth and regional expansion. He calls for a transformation in how medical students are selected and trained, emphasizing team-based problem solving and empathy over the MCAT’s.

Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare is in its 17th year. This year, readers nominated 6,800 individuals and cast 74,000 votes, accounting for 50 percent of the final list and rankings, while Modern Healthcare editors accounted for the remaining 50 percent. 

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Gianna DeMedio

Public Affairs Specialist