Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA

President of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health

Dr. Stephen Klasko is an advocate for a transformation of health care and higher education. He has been a pioneer in using technology to build health assurance and equity – especially as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.

His new books are Un-Healthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance, with Hemant Taneja, and Patient No Longer: Why Healthcare Must Deliver the Care Experience that Consumers Want and Expect. His 2018 book is Bless This Mess: A Picture Story of Healthcare in America.

As President and CEO of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health since 2013, he has led one of the nation’s fastest growing academic health institutions based on his vision of re-imagining health care and higher education.

Under his leadership, Jefferson Health expanded from three hospitals to 14. His 2017 merger of Thomas Jefferson University with Philadelphia University created a pre-eminent professional university that includes fashion, design, architecture and health.

Jefferson Health handled the most patients with Covid-19 in the Greater Philadelphia region. Immediate use of universal masking, early exchange of research with Italy, and a history of pandemic planning ensured that Jefferson had a minimal employee infection rate and no transmission to non-Covid in-patients.

In 2020, he was named the first Distinguished Fellow of the World Economic Forum, and co-chairs the WEF Board of Stewards for The Future of the Digital Economy and New Value Creation.

President Klasko has served as dean of two medical colleges, and leader of three academic health enterprises before becoming President and CEO at Jefferson. For three years he has been listed among the Top 100 most influential people by Modern Healthcare - in 2018 he tied for #2.

His work on healthcare in a digital economy includes his 2009 collaboration with Apple Inc on digital media in healthcare, the 2012 building of one of the nation's largest medical simulation centers (CAMLS), and the development at Jefferson of his vision of "healthcare with no address." He is working with several digital health companies on the vision of "health assurance," using new technology to keep people well, instead of waiting to provide sick care.