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Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, named to Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives List


TPMG, MAPMG CEO recognized for demonstrating leadership and impact in advancing creative care delivery models

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Permanente Federation today announced that Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, CEO and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (MAPMG), and co-CEO of The Permanente Federation, was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of this year’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives.

The Modern Healthcare recognition program acknowledges clinicians working in the health care industry who their peers and an expert panel deem the most influential in demonstrating leadership and impact.

“This tremendous honor is a tribute to the expertise, dedication, and innovative spirit of our Permanente physicians and staff, who are committed to integrating the most sophisticated tools, systems and technology to deliver superior clinical outcomes, better and more convenient experiences, and more value for our patients,” said Dr. Isaacs. “This award also underscores the success we are having at TPMG and MAPMG in delivering on the Quadruple Aim of improved community health, better patient experience, lower costs, and reduced clinician burnout.”

TPMG and MAPMG are two of the most distinguished medical groups in the country; their nearly 11,000 physicians and 40,000 staff care for approximately 5.2 million Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The Permanente Federation is the national leadership and consulting organization for the 8 Permanente Medical Groups (PMGs), which care for more than 12.4 million Kaiser Permanente members across the country.

Clinical leadership is needed now, more than ever, to champion evidence-based approaches that will mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and address the longstanding health inequities that have become even clearer as a result of the crisis. These include programs that address conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which are among the top underlying contributors to COVID-19 deaths.

Modern Healthcare highlighted the creative care-delivery models at Kaiser Permanente that Dr. Isaacs has advanced, including:

  • Total Joint Home Recovery and Surgical Home Recovery programs: Together, these programs garnered a prestigious innovation award in 2019 from the National Committee on Quality Assurance. Over 34 months, the percentage of total joint replacement patients at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California who recovered at home went from 12% to 82%, and after just 21 months, approximately 87% of other eligible surgical patients recovered at home. Patients reported greater satisfaction, and the average length of hospital stays for surgical patients fell by nearly 50%.
  • Use of predictive analytics: TPMG rolled out the innovative Advance Alert Monitor (AAM) program to all 21 Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Northern California in 2018 — and in 2019 the program saved more than 200 lives.
  • Expansion of telehealth, including telepsychiatry: In 2019, approximately half of all “touches” between Kaiser Permanente patients and clinical care teams in Northern California were virtual — a figure that has grown to 80% this year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • TPMG’s Joy and Meaning in Medicine (JAMM) program: JAMM addresses physician burnout by helping clinicians reconnect to their meaning and purpose. Direct feedback from physicians prompted several meaningful JAMM-related improvements, including new performance measures to incentivize the reduction of clerical burden and new development offerings to equip leaders with the skills for collaborative leadership.

“Health care organizations are utilizing their greatest assets as they transform: their former front-line clinicians,” said Aurora Aguilar, editor of Modern Healthcare. “Former and practicing physicians and nurses have taken the helms of health care providers across the country and improved quality of care, patient satisfaction and margins. Modern Healthcare congratulates the honorees and thanks them for their contributions to patient care.”

The complete list of Modern Healthcare honorees and their profiles are available at

About the 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 more than 12.4 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide preventive and world-class complex care in 8 states — from Hawaii to Maryland — and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation

The Permanente Federation LLC (the Federation) is the national leadership and consulting organization for the 8 Permanente Medical Groups (PMGs), which, together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente. The Federation works on behalf of the PMGs 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 PMGs to expand the reach of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model and to lead the nation in transforming care delivery.

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