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Jack Cochran, MD, named one of ‘50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare’

May 3, 2012

Jack Cochran, MD, FACS, executive director of The Permanente Federation, has been named one of 50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare in the eighth annual survey published by Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician.

In addition to Dr. Cochran, who was ranked No. 39, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan Board of Directors member Christine K. Cassel, MD, MACP, was also recognized on the list, at No. 46.

“I am honored to be included among such a distinguished list of health care executives who also are exceptional physicians,” said Dr. Cochran. “Health care is a team effort, so this is a reflection of the exemplary work performed day-in and day-out by my colleagues in our medical groups throughout the country, as well as the many medical and support team members who work so closely with them.”

Dr. Cochran leads The Permanente Federation, which represents the national interests of the regional Permanente Medical Groups, employing approximately 16,000 physicians who care for nearly 9 million Kaiser Permanente members. Kaiser Permanente is composed of the Permanente Medical Groups, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. The Permanente Federation is headquartered in Oakland, Calif.

Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician

Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician’s ranking was the result of nominations by readers, which were used to create the final ballot for the competition. Readers then voted for one of 100 physician executives on that ballot. Readers’ votes counted for 50 percent of the outcome. The other 50 percent came from the expert opinions of the senior editors at Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician.

Prior to his appointment to The Permanente Federation in October 2007, Dr. Cochran served as executive medical director, president and chairman of the board of the Colorado Permanente Medical Group for Kaiser Permanente. He began his career with CPMG in 1990 as the chief of plastic surgery and founder of the plastic surgery department. Dr. Cochran began his medical career in clinical and private practice in Denver. He went on to serve at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital as chief of plastic surgery, chair of Surgical Services, and president of medical staff, and at Exempla Healthcare as a board member and chairman of its Quality Committee.

Dr. Cochran serves as a member of the board of directors of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, and the UCSF Global Health Group Advisory Board. For more than 30 years, he has volunteered his reconstructive surgery and consulting services in Third World countries, aiding underserved populations in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Ecuador, Tanzania and Nepal. Dr. Cochran is also a past president of the Consortium for Community Centered Comprehensive Child Care (C6), a foundation that has built hospitals in East Africa.

Dr. Cochran is a vocal advocate for nurses and oversees the Lois and John Cochran Education Award, an annual scholarship given to oncology nurses at the Lutheran Medical Center in Denver. When he served as the executive medical director of CPMG, he launched programs addressing nursing shortages. The highly successful efforts focused on retention, recruitment and nursing education, and they aided in creating an environment where, Dr. Cochran says, “Nurses are included in care decisions, where doctors treat them as valued colleagues and where doctors are expected to be supportive partners.”

As a frequent speaker and author on a broad range of health care topics including health information systems, health care delivery system reform, and integrated care delivery, Dr. Cochran’s insights gained from decades of work on the front lines of health care provide a unique perspective. He has participated in implementing many of the priorities called for in health reform, including Kaiser Permanente’s electronic health record, the largest successful non-governmental clinical information systems deployment in the world.

Dr. Cochran earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado and served residencies at Stanford University Medical Center and the University of Wisconsin Hospital. He is board certified in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) and in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Cassel has served on the boards of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. since June 2003. Board certified in both internal medicine and geriatric medicine, she has achieved a number of firsts for women in medicine — she was the first female board chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine (1995–1996), the first female president of the American College of Physicians (1996–1997), and the first female dean of Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore. (2002–2003).

An active scholar and lecturer, Dr. Cassel is the author or co-author of 14 books and more than 150 journal articles on geriatric medicine, aging, bioethics and health policy. Her most recent book is Medicare Matters: What Geriatric Medicine Can Teach American Health Care. She has participated in numerous Institute of Medicine reports and activities, and chaired influential reports on improving end-of-life care and public health.