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Dual-CEO Model Ending for Virginia Mason Franciscan Health

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   September 24, 2021

Ketul J. Patel will solely lead the health system after Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE steps down as co-CEO at the end of 2021.

Co-CEO of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH), Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, announced earlier this week he will step down from his position at the end of 2021.

Ketul J. Patel, who has served as co-CEO alongside Kaplan since January 2021, will assume the role of sole CEO, effective January 1, 2022.

"It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve Virginia Mason and our Puget Sound communities, and I’m deeply proud of the strong progress we have made in our first year as the new VMFH health system," Kaplan said in a statement. "As we enter this new chapter, I’m confident that Ketul is the person best equipped to lead VMFH through the next years of growth and evolution."

During Patel's first year as sole CEO, Kaplan will stay on and serve as a special advisor to Patel. Kaplan will also serve as a senior vice president at CommonSpirit Health, with a focus on promoting quality, safety, and patient experience across the health system.

"Gary has made a legendary impact on health care not only in our region, but across the country," Patel, said in a statement. "We are deeply grateful for his leadership and his commitment to infusing the constant pursuit of quality and safety improvement into the fabric of who we are as VMFH."

CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason Health System merged in early 2021, creating an integrated health system with 11 hospitals and nearly 300 sites of care across Seattle and the Puget Sound region in Washington.

While Kaplan and Patel have co-led the newly formed health system, the dual-CEO structure was put in place as a temporary model to accelerate the integration between the two organizations.

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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