Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., M.B.A.
President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 • 8:45 AM–10:00 AM
As the President and CEO of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System, Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., M.B.A., is bridging the art and science of medicine and healthcare information technology with twenty-first century business and administrative changes through a unique background of academic and administrative medicine, entrepreneurial clinical practice, and business and leadership training.
Turning transformative philosophy into action has been Dr. Klasko’s competitive advantage as the President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (ranked in the top 20 hospitals nationwide by U.S. News & World Report in 2013) and of Thomas Jefferson University, which boasts one of the largest private medical colleges in the country.
Previously, as CEO of USF Health and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida, Dr. Klasko led, designed and built the largest “assessment of technical and teamwork competence” center known as CAMLS (Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation)—a marriage between health care and aviation simulation, to create benchmarks for proficiency among physicians and other healthcare providers. This privately funded project is now being expanded internationally to South America and China.
He also led an effort to partner 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. He also spearheaded the effort to create a public-private partnership entitled PaperFree Florida, a job creation and healthcare transformation model which engages “electronic healthcare ambassadors” to transform healthcare in the ten-county area surrounding USF.
Dr. Klasko is ideally suited to lead such initiatives, having completed a grant after receiving his MBA from Wharton on selecting and educating physicians to be leaders, not followers, in healthcare reform. His entrepreneurial spirit has helped the organizations he has led to be recognized among the top ten in the world for obtaining US patents, and his unique educational program 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’s research and experience in culture transformation in healthcare culminated in a book that he authored entitled “The Phantom Stethoscope: A Field Manual for an Optimistic Future in Medicine”. Today, it serves as the basis for the first medical school curriculum in the country to include healthcare leadership and information technology. As a national leader in healthcare management, he has transformed three major academic practices to paperless environments. Dr. Klasko has been a keynote speaker internationally on the transformation of clinical practice through healthcare information technology; health care transformation vs. healthcare reform; and new models for changing the DNA of healthcare through physician leadership.
Within the past few years, Dr. Klasko has been honored by being appointed as a trustee for the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology and was named by Healthcare IT News as one of the ten rising stars in healthcare information technology. He serves on the corporate board and audit committee of Teleflex (TFX:NYSE), a multi-billion dollar diversified health care solutions corporation. He has also served on the boards of the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania and Resurrection Health System in Chicago.
Dr. Klasko received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Lehigh University and earned his medical degree from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Health East Teaching Hospitals and became a diplomate of the American Board of OB-GYN in 1984. He completed his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. He is a board certified and actively practicing OB-GYN. Prior to joining USF, he served as Dean of the College of Medicine at Drexel University and CEO of Drexel University Physicians. During that time, Drexel University was able to attract world-class leaders, grow its research portfolio, and develop innovative partnerships throughout Philadelphia. While at Drexel, Dr. Klasko was also appointed as a member of Governor Rendell’s Pennsylvania Healthcare Transition Team.
Dr. Klasko was the founder and principal of the North Group, Inc., a consulting team that has engineered collaborations between physicians, administrators and industry. This group is responsible for creating the award-winning “optimistic future” program that ensures that young physicians have the skill sets necessary to lead health care transformation.
Since then he has had the opportunity to serve on the faculties of the Governance Institute and the American College of Physician Executives. He is sought after to speak throughout the country regarding his research on physician motivation and negotiation, and building trust and transforming culture among physicians and administrators. He has received awards in Asia and South America for global leadership and education and for his innovative international health, education, and safety programs.
Dr. Klasko has worked in several volunteer organizations and served as President of the Maimonides Society, an organization of physician volunteers. He also was the founding president and is still involved with Spirit of Women, a grassroots women’s health marketing and health improvement program, now adopted by over one hundred hospitals.
He is married to Colleen Wyse, a Vice President for Visit Philadelphia, and has three children: Lynne, David and Jill.