Thought Leader, Leadership


Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Virginia Mason Health System

Gary S. Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, has served as Chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System in Seattle since 2000. He is also a practicing internal medicine physician at Virginia Mason.

Dr. Kaplan received a degree in medicine from the University of Michigan and is board certified in internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at Virginia Mason and served as Chief Resident in 1980–1981. He is Chair of both the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Board of Directors and the National Patient Safety Foundation Lucian Leape Institute. He was a founding member of Health CEOs for Health Reform and has held leadership positions with numerous organizations, including the Medical Group Management Association and the Washington Healthcare Forum, and is a past Chair of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

During Dr. Kaplan’s tenure as Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason has received significant national and international acclaim for its efforts to transform health care, most notably as the leader in adapting the Toyota Production System to health care. In 2017, Virginia Mason received the America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award from Healthgrades, placing the medical center among the top 1% of hospitals in the nation for year-over-year superior clinical performance across a broad spectrum of care.


Lessons in Leadership: Gary Kaplan

A successful physician executive recalls two pivotal moments in his organization’s transformation.

Leadership 2016

How Your Board Can Improve the Patient Experience

Virginia Mason’s leadership is fully invested in understanding and improving patient care.

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now