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Dr. Gary Kaplan Named Chair of NPSF Lucian Leape Institute

Thursday, April 30, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Founding Chairman Dr. Leape to remain a member of the Institute

Austin, Texas, April 30, 2015 — The National Patient Safety Foundation’s Lucian Leape Institute announced today that Gary S. Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, has been named chairman of the Institute. Dr. Lucian Leape, a renowned patient safety leader, who has chaired the Institute named for him since its creation in 2007, will remain a member of the Institute.


Dr. Kaplan’s appointment, effective today, was announced at the opening general session of the 17th Annual NPSF Patient Safety Congress being held this week in Austin, Texas.


As chairman and chief executive officer of Virginia Mason Health System since 2000, Dr. Kaplan is nationally recognized for his leadership in health care and, in particular, for advancing quality and safety. During his tenure, the organization created and implemented the Virginia Mason Production System designed to improve patient safety and health care quality. He has served as a member of the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute since 2010.


“Working with Gary Kaplan and other members of the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute has been a great joy of my professional career,” said Dr. Leape. “The time is right to pass the torch, and I am delighted that Gary has accepted this role.”


Founded in 2007, the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute is the Foundation’s think tank, charged with providing a strategic vision and paths for improving patient safety. Dr. Kaplan, who also serves on the NPSF Board of Directors, was co-chair of the Institute’s most recent initiative, promoting greater transparency in health care.


“It is an honor to be asked to fill a role that has since its inception been held by Lucian Leape,” said Dr. Kaplan. “Lucian is truly one of the reasons that we are all so focused on patient safety today, and my goal is to help the Institute continue to work on the issues that we think can help lead the path to safer care.”


Dr. Kaplan has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including a John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement (2009). In 2013, he was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine in recognition of outstanding professional achievement and service. Earlier this year, Modern Healthcare included Dr. Kaplan among “50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders” for the seventh consecutive year.


Prior to the announcement of Dr. Kaplan’s appointment, Congress attendees viewed a video in tribute to Dr. Leape that included comments from many of the Institute’s members and others.


“With Lucian’s leadership, the Institute has helped raise the national profile of patient safety and start conversations about culture, transparency, workforce safety, and other interconnected issues,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, president and chief executive officer of NPSF and president of the Institute. “Like Lucian, Gary is an inspiration to those working in the patient safety field, particularly those in clinical care and leadership positions. Under his guidance, the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute will continue to be worthy of its name—serving as a leading body in developing new ideas to advance the safety of our health system.”


In addition to Drs. Leape, Kaplan, and Gandhi, the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute members include Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA, distinguished fellow, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; Susan Edgman-Levitan, PA, executive director, John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital; Gerald Hickson, MD, senior vice president for Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention, Joseph C. Ross Chair in Medical Education & Administration, assistant vice chancellor for health affairs, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Julianne Morath, RN, MS, president and CEO, Hospital Quality Institute of California; Dennis S. O’Leary, MD, President Emeritus, The Joint Commission; Paul O’Neill, former chairman and CEO, Alcoa, and 72nd Secretary of the US Treasury; and Robert M. Wachter, MD, associate chair, Department of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco.

About the Lucian Leape Institute
The National Patient Safety Foundation’s Lucian Leape Institute, established in 2007, is charged with defining strategic paths and calls to action for the field of patient safety, offering vision and context for the many efforts under way within health care, and providing the leverage necessary for system-level change. Its members are national thought leaders with a common interest in patient safety whose expertise and influence are brought to bear as the Institute calls for the innovation necessary to expedite the work and create significant, sustainable improvements in culture, process, and outcomes critical to safer health care.


About the National Patient Safety Foundation
The National Patient Safety Foundation’s vision is to create a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm. A central voice for patient safety since 1997, NPSF partners with patients and families, the health care community, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm. NPSF is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. To learn more about the Foundation’s work, visit

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