Dr. Stephen Clasco believes digital health is the key to closing inequalities

Dr. Stephen Clasco usually sends playlists to Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University staff on Fridays in his weekly emails.

The song recommendations came a day earlier this week, in time for Klasko’s announcement of his retirement as university president and CEO of Philadelphia’s health care system.

“Goodbye Doesn’t Mean I’m Gone” Carol King wrapped up Thursday’s playlist with the outgoing CEO, who will officially retire on December 31, but will remain as Special Advisor to Jefferson’s Board of Trustees until July 2022.

Clasco did not expect to leave the system for several more years, but he exceeded his own timeline to meet some of his core goals at Jefferson Health, he told Modern Healthcare on Thursday. During his tenure, he raised large donations for medical buildings, oversaw mergers and acquisitions, and led the system to digital health, launching JeffConnect telemedicine service in 2014.

Clasko’s next step will be to “look at how digital healthcare transformation can start cutting back on healthcare stocks,” he said.

“What Jefferson was able to do under my leadership was to become a 197-year-old academic center, thinking like a startup. And to be honest, I’ve become something of a unicorn whispering horse between fast movement and “the world of breaking things and the traditional health ecosystem,” Clasco said. “It’s a pretty good way to spend eight years.”

Reflecting on his time at the helm of the system, Clasco said he is most proud of the way Jefferson has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jefferson made some bold decisions to get through tough times, from a “no-limit” approach to keeping people safe, to avoiding stowing and laying off workers, to easing visiting restrictions for those at the end of their lives so no one has to die. alone. “The last year and a half,” he said.

The outgoing CEO said he will be “focused” on Jefferson by December 31 and hopes to complete the system’s acquisition of HealthPartners by November. The deal will generate approximately $ 8.1 billion in annual revenue for Jefferson, up from the current $ 6.7 billion, the system said.

After that, he wants to find a way to bring the work he has done at Jefferson to make the system a flexible life-saving institution nationwide.

“How do we bring academic medical centers together with the people of Silicon Valley so that they really start translating public health, predictive analytics, social determinants, philosophical considerations into the mainstream of healthcare payment and medical education models? This will be my passion, “said Klasco.

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