2019 Leaders in Health Care, Outstanding Medical Director/Chief Medical Office: Michael Anderson M.D., David Knoepfler M.D.

The Chief Medical Officer of CHI Franciscan Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Overlake Medical Center and Clinics are being honored as Leaders in Healthcare
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

This article appears in print in the March 2019 issue. See more about the winners of the 2019 Leaders in Healthcare Awards hereClick here for a free subscription.

Gold Award
Michael Anderson, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, CHI Franciscan Health, Tacoma

Michael Anderson served as a Navy physician and organization leader at postings across the globe, but he and his wife consider the Bremerton area home. Today, the retired rear admiral is chief medical officer for Tacoma-based CHI Franciscan Health, a nonprofit health system with 10 hospitals and 200-plus clinics.

Leading a big organization isn’t new. Previously, Anderson held such roles as Navy medical inspector general, medical officer to the Marine Corps and health services director at Headquarters Marine Corps before retiring from the military in 2013. That same year, Anderson became CMO of Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton to help steer the then-independent hospital’s transition as it joined CHI Franciscan.

In his role as CHI Franciscan’s CMO since 2016, Anderson’s colleagues describe him as a change agent while ensuring clinical quality, regulatory compliance and institutional safety. On his watch, the Perioperative Surgical Home Center for coordinated care of a patient’s entire surgical experience has reduced surgery complications and costs.

For hospital safety, Anderson encouraged an integrated program toward team-based care, changing processes and fostering better communication. CHI Franciscan raised benchmarks significantly, with the Leapfrog Group, a national advocate for hospital and health care transparency, according it top safety ratings that reflect a 26 percent improvement since spring 2017. Anderson credits this improvement to more than 2,000 physicians sharing a laser focus on quality treatment of what matters most, patient experience.

“It’s resulted in fewer deaths,” he says, “and fewer complications.”

Silver Award
David Knoepfler, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Overlake Medical Center and Clinics, Bellevue

At Bellevue’s Overlake Medical Center, David Knoepfler quickly tackled the biggest challenge in 2014 as new chief medical officer. A Journey to Zero Harm plan set out to cut in half the occurrence of falls and infections. Overlake since has achieved a 50 percent reduction in harm events and a consistent safety grade of “A” from the Leapfrog Group. Dr. Knoepfler encourages staff to report errors and solve problems. Having a programming and technology background, his knowledge became instrumental to adding an early-warning system that alerts providers to signs of sudden patient decline.

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