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Richard Isaacs MD

Physician leader Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, honored by Modern Healthcare as one of 2022’s ‘Most Influential People’


The co-CEO of The Permanente Federation named to prestigious list of influential health care leaders for third consecutive year

OAKLAND — The Permanente Federation today announced that Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS — CEO and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group; president and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group; and co-CEO of The Permanente Federation at Kaiser Permanente — has for the third consecutive year been named by Modern Healthcare to its list of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.”

The annual Modern Healthcare recognition program acknowledges individuals who are selected by their peers, national leaders, and the magazine’s senior editors for demonstrating outstanding leadership and impact on the health care industry. This year’s list recognized individuals who are transforming a major sector of the nation’s economy and are focused on improving care and payment models.

“This honor is a testament to the diligence, ingenuity, and adaptability of our physicians, clinicians, nurses, and staff who have continually risen to the immense challenges of the pandemic while continuing to lead the transformation of care delivery,” said Dr. Isaacs, who was 45th on the list. “Their dedication, supported by our unique integrated model and deep commitment to coordinated care, enables us to continue delivering high-quality care while developing, implementing, and embracing the latest innovations. I am deeply humbled and appreciate the tremendous commitment and sacrifices everyone continues to make as we persevere through extraordinary times in health care.”

The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), the country’s largest medical group, and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (MAPMG) are 2 of the most successful medical groups in the country. Their more than 11,000 physicians and 40,000 staff care for approximately 5.4 million Kaiser Permanente members in Northern CaliforniaMarylandVirginia, and Washington, D.C. The Permanente Federation is the national leadership and consulting organization for the 8 Permanente Medical Groups that care for more than 12.6 million Kaiser Permanente members across the country.

Faced with the seemingly endless challenges posed by ongoing surges of COVID-19, and currently confronting a “tridemic” created by simultaneous surges of COVID, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the physicians, nurses, and staff of the 2 medical groups continue to model Dr. Isaacs’ philosophy to continually think about what’s possible in care delivery. As a result, they are leveraging learnings from the pandemic and building on successful strategies to deliver exceptional care for patients.

Examples of recent transformational innovations include:

  • Get Care Now, an easy-to-navigate online tool that enables Kaiser Permanente Northern California members to select their health concern from a list of more than 100 common symptoms and conditions. Members then use a digital shortcut to determine the most appropriate and convenient way to address their care needs — from self-care and emailing their physician to ask questions, to scheduling in-person or video visits with their physicians. Since TPMG launched Get Care Now in late fall 2021, this digital “front door” for virtual care has had more than 3.2 million visits from 2.5 million patients seeking guidance on how to best manage common health concerns. Work continues to expand its capabilities, reach, and impact.
  • COVID Home Care, an innovative population management intervention created by TPMG physicians, clinicians, and staff. The program leverages technology to provide high-quality care to patients recovering at home, from those without symptoms to those who have been discharged after hospital stays. Clinical care teams have taken care of more than 500,000 patients via COVID Home Care, with more than 1.5 million case reviews, outreach efforts, and contacts.
  • Acute Care at Home, a program initiated through a strategic partnership between Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and Medically Home to build a model for the delivery of hospital-level care in patients’ homes. This collaboration transforms the delivery of care for patients with serious or complex illnesses by enabling them to receive acute-level care and recovery services in the comfort of their own homes. It also demonstrates the organization’s ongoing commitment to provide the right care, in the right setting.
  • Advances in health equity, including a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, that showed Kaiser Permanente Northern California has essentially eliminated colorectal cancer disparities between Black and white adults. The research examined colorectal cancer screening participation, incidence, and death rates for Black and white Kaiser Permanente Northern California members ages 50 to 75 between 2009 and 2019, when the screening rate for all members increased from about 40% to 80%. In 2009, the colorectal cancer death rate per 100,000 was 54.2 for Black members and 32.6 for white members — a significant disparity. By 2019, death rates in both groups had decreased by half to 20.9 for Black members compared to 19.3 for white members. The incidence of colorectal cancer also significantly decreased — with similar rates between Black and white members.

Also named to the 2022 “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” list are Greg A. Adams (No. 5), chair and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, and Ruth E. Williams-Brinkley (No. 93), president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States.

The complete list of Modern Healthcare honorees and their profiles are available at and in the December 5 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine. (A digital subscription is required to view the online profiles.)

About Permanente Medical Groups

The Permanente Medical Groups are self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups composed of more than 23,000 physicians. We are dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and communities. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente — an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine to 12.6 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide world-class preventive and complex care centered in eight states — from Hawaii to Maryland — and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation

The Permanente Federation LLC is the national leadership and consulting organization for the 8 Permanente Medical Groups, which, together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente. The Federation works on behalf of the Permanente Medical Groups to optimize care delivery and spread Permanente Medicine — medicine that is person- and family-centered, compassionate, evidence-based, technology-enabled, culturally responsive, team-delivered, and physician-led. The Federation, based in Oakland, California, fosters an open learning environment and accelerates research, innovation, and performance improvements across the Permanente Medical Groups to expand the reach of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model and to lead the nation in transforming health care delivery.

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