by Stephani Simmons
July 28, 2017
President, Thomas Jefferson University; CEO, Jefferson Health
Dr. STEPHEN KLASKO is a transformative leader and advocate for a revolution in our systems of health care and higher education.
As President of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, he has steered one of the nation’s fastest growing academic health institutions based on his vision of re-imagining health care and higher education. His 2017 merger of Thomas Jefferson University with Philadelphia University creates a pre-eminent professional university that includes top-20 programs in fashion and design and occupational therapy, coupled with the first design-thinking curriculum in a medical school, and the nation’s leading research on the role of empathy in health care.
His track record of success has earned him #2 on Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential Individuals 2018”; as #21 in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business 2018”; “Philadelphia Entrepreneur of the Year 2018”; Ernst & Young’s “Greater Philadelphia Entrepreneur of the Year 2018”; and Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Great Leaders in Healthcare.”
Dr. KLASKO IS AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ADVOCATE FOR TRANS- FORMATION IN HEALTH CARE AND HIGHER EDUCATION. In 2019, he spoke about the future of hospitals at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is author of: Bless This Mess: A Picture Story of Healthcare in America (2018) – an account of how the USA was elected to the Intergalactic Council of Cool Health Systems by 2035; WE Can Fix Healthcare in America (2016); and The Phantom Stethoscope (1999).
He has served as dean of two medical colleges and leader of three academic health centers before becoming President and CEO at Jefferson in 2013.
Under his leadership, Jefferson has expanded from three hospitals to 14 and from a health sciences university to a professional university with multiple campuses. Revenues have grown from $1.8 billion to more than $5 billion, annualized. The new Jefferson focuses on managing the health of populations in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, and providing high-value education that is transdisciplinary, interprofessional and experiential. Jefferson Health has the largest faculty based tele-health network in the country, the NCI-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, and an outpatient footprint that is among the most technologically advanced in the region.
Through a unique four-pillar model—academic-clinical-innovation-philanthropy—Jefferson has attracted venture capital and transformational gifts. Sidney and Caroline Kimmel donated $110 million to Jefferson on June 18, 2014, the largest gift in the University’s history. Philanthropy and innovation have also resulted in the addition of the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health, nationally recognized for its modern medical and integrated therapies, and the Jane and Leonard Korman Respiratory Institute, a partnership between Jefferson Health and National Jewish Health.
Previously, as CEO of USF Health and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida, Dr. Klasko built the nation’s largest “assessment of technical and teamwork competence” center known as CAMLS (Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation). He also led a partnership with the country’s largest retirement community, The Villages, to create “America’s healthiest hometown,” an innovative primary-care-driven, patient-centric, Medicare-based accountable care model.
Dr. Klasko is ideally suited to lead such initiatives, having completed a grant after receiving his MBA from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania on selecting and educating physicians to be leaders of change. His unique medical education program at USF, called SELECT (Scholarly Excellence, Leadership
Education, Collaborative Training), is recognized for its focus on choosing medical students based on emotional intelligence and leadership potential.
Dr. Klasko also serves on the board of Teleflex (TFX), a NYSE global medical device company with a market cap of $12 billion. He has served on both the audit committee and governance committee and has been a director since 2008. He also is a trustee of Lehigh University, one of the nation’s leading engineering and business schools.