Stephen Klasko M.D. | President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO, Jefferson Health

Stephen Klasko M.D.

President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO, Jefferson Health

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Philadelphia, PA

Stephen Klasko M.D.

Dr. Klasko is an author, an entrepreneur and a believer in the creative and optimistic transformation of healthcare and higher education. He has been a CEO of two multibillion-dollar health systems, a university president, and a dean of two highly ranked medical colleges. Currently he is pursuing his passion to bridge the traditional healthcare ecosystem with the emerging world of digital medicine and innovation. As President of Thomas Jefferson University, he directed a merger between an almost two century old health science university and a nationally ranked university for design and architecture, heralded by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the “few successful mergers between academic entities.” As CEO of Jefferson Health, he presided over the growth of the system from $1.5 billion to $9 billion including the acquisition of Health Partners Plan, making Jefferson the first integrated delivery and financial system in Philadelphia history.

His most recent book, Feelin’ Alright: How the Message in the Music Can Make Healthcare Healthier uses music and creativity to tackle some of the thorniest issues in healthcare and health equity through radical collaboration, radical communication and radical creativity. His fifth book (with Hemant Taneja of General Catalyst) in 2021, UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance has become the manual for both founders and health system CEOs for bringing together the venture capital world with the traditional healthcare ecosystem and has been translated in several languages.

Since leaving Jefferson, Dr. Klasko has had the opportunity to help lead the non- disruptive creation of “healthcare at any address” through his partnership with Eric Langshur as CMO and operating partner of Abundant Venture Partners, with Hemant Taneja as an executive in residence at General Catalyst and with Dr. Eyal Zimlichman as North American Ambassador for Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

He serves as lead independent director for Teleflex (TFX:NYSE) an S&P 500 medical device company. He has led the advisory board for the bioprinting and cellularization of organs for transplant through a collaboration of 3D Systems (DDD: NYSE) and United Therapeutics (UTHR:NSDQ).

Over the past five years he has been awarded by Fast Company as one of the “top 25 most creative people in business,” by Modern Healthcare as the “#2 most influential person in healthcare” and by Ernst and Young as the “entrepreneur of the year.”

He lives in Miami and New York City with his wife Colleen Wyse, a fashion executive with senior positions in Vogue, W and Glamour.

Stephen Klasko M.D.
Featured Videos

Current: Tedx: What healthcare will look like in 2020

Time 20:29

More Videos From Stephen Klasko M.D.

Tedx: What healthcare will look like in 2020
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Stephen Klasko M.D.
Featured Keynote Programs

We CAN Fix Healthcare - The Future is NOW

Dr. Stephen K. Klasko proposes an extraordinary, even science fiction, event where a no-blaming conversation leads to an optimistic new future. Democrats and Republicans find they can collaborate on Dr. Klasko’s 12 disruptive transformations. Built on a variety of interviews from every part of the system, looking at service, education, economics, and the sociology of healthcare, Dr. Klasko argues that if we stop blaming each other, trends we now see as disruptive will actually lead to solutions. With an entertaining blend of humor, wit, and practical assessments about the current state of healthcare, Dr. Klasko shows where healthcare is heading in the future.

Putting Patients First

An obstetrician who also has an MBA from Wharton, Stephen Klasko has no trouble thinking about healthcare through a business lens. “With AI on the horizon, training humans to be better robots doesn’t make sense,” says Stephen Klasko, CEO of Philadelphia’s Jefferson Health. “The doctor of the future needs to be self-aware and empathetic.” By merging Thomas Jefferson University, a med school plus health and nursing colleges with design-focused Philadelphia University, Klasko has created the first medical school in the U.S. to offer a design certificate within its MD program. This now encourages future doctors to discover novel methods for putting patients first. Klasko has become one of the most innovative people in healthcare, developing new initiatives such as “hotspotting,” where med students are paired with patients who tend to overuse the ER, coaching them on self-care skills. The program has helped reduce unnecessary ER visits by 60%. “Virtual rounds” allow families to sit in, via videoconferencing software, when the doctor visits a recovering patient. Eighty percent of Jefferson’s doctors are trained in the network’s telehealth platform that offers 24/7 patient assistance.

Pandemic of 2030
From Covid to Consumerism

Dr. Stephen Klasko tells a “history of the future” as governments in 2030 face a new pandemic. The talk will discuss how the pandemic of 2020 made clear the need for transformation in American health care delivery, including the fight to end health disparities, the growth of consumerism, and the shift from sick care to health assurance.

5 Lessons We Must Take from the Coronavirus Crisis

Health systems have accelerated their digital health, telehealth and virtual care capabilities in the past 30 days forcing them to disrupt themselves. Care delivery will never be the same again. Dr. Klasko shares five key insights about the future of healthcare delivery after the pandemic.

Stephen Klasko M.D.
Featured Books

Bless This Messby Stephen Klasko M.D.

Bless This Mess

by Stephen Klasko M.D.
UnHealthcareby Stephen Klasko M.D.


by Stephen Klasko M.D.
Feelin' Alright: How the Message in the Music Can Make Healthcare Healthierby Stephen Klasko M.D.

Feelin' Alright: How the Message in the Music Can Make Healthcare Healthier

by Stephen Klasko M.D.

Feelin' Alright leverages the emotional power of song lyrics to inspire healthcare executives to envision and build a more accessible, high-quality, and equitable healthcare system. Using music as a metaphor, author Stephen Klasko encourages readers to examine what is problematic in the existing healthcare model and to take tangible steps toward a more consumer-centered healthcare experience.
Dr. Klasko shares his experiences as a physician, a health system CEO, a university president, and dean, and now bridging the gap between academic health systems and digital health innovators and entrepreneurs.
Each chapter features his multifaceted perspective and is anchored with a song that reflects the chapter' s central themes. Topics explored include:

  • Why consumers are starting to rebel against traditional healthcare
  • How technology can be used to transform healthcare through consumer empowerment
  • How medical education must evolve to prepare physicians for paradigm shifts
  • What radical changes are needed to decrease health inequity

Infused with the passion inherent in music, Feelin' Alright will motivate healthcare executives to take the lead in building a better healthcare system.

Stephen Klasko M.D.
Featured Reviews

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