Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.S.A., M.A.C.P., F.A.C.M.I.
Dr. Jonathan Perlin is widely recognized as one of the nation’s most impactful health leaders with a career of service in public and private sectors focused on improvement of quality, safety and community health. He is broadly published in health care transformation. His visionary leadership for the Veterans Health Administration and HCA Healthcare has improved care for millions worldwide.
Dr. Perlin is the chief medical officer and President of clinical services at Hospital Corporation of America (now HCA Healthcare) in Nashville. The organization’s inaugural CMO, he transformed the clinical enterprise developing a clinical leadership structure with a corporate team of 400 physicians, nurses, data scientists and researchers. He also set up a distributed workforce of clinical facility executives who lead 45,000 physicians, 95,000 nurses and 35,000 other health professionals at 1,800 sites of care. Dr. Perlin also built a clinical data warehouse that empowers HCA to function as a “learning health system”—wherein past care continuously informs and improves future care. It is a platform for some of the world’s largest comparative effectiveness trials. Under his leadership, 82 percent of HCA hospitals have been designated Joint Commission “Top Performers” for quality compared to 32 percent of non-HCA hospitals.
Before joining HCA, Dr. Perlin was under secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate as the senior-most physician in the federal government and Chief Executive Officer of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Dr. Perlin led the nation’s largest integrated health system, directing care to 5.5 million patients annually by 250,000 health care professionals at 1,400 sites.
At the VA, Dr. Perlin also worked as chief quality and performance officer. He led VA to systematically outperform other sectors in access, quality, patient experience and efficiency. These improvements demonstrated utility of increasing access to preventive services. During his tenure, VA achieved recognition for a myriad of measures of quality, with numerous articles published on “the best care anywhere” in the Washington Post, New York Times, Business Week and Time. VA also won the Innovations in Government Award from Harvard for exceptional performance as a result of rigorous quality management.
A few of his other accomplishments as under secretary for health: Dr. Perlin led the first national EHR implementation, changing health care informatics and leading VA to acclaim for highest measured performance. He led national EHR implementation efforts in the Bush Administration as a member of the American Health Information Community and in the Obama Administration as chair of the U.S. Health Information Technology Standards Committee. He also spearheaded the Million Veterans Program, which coupled EHR clinical records with genomics to map genomes of now 730,000 veterans to their health history—providing insight into genomic basis of disease and how troops with genetic predispositions might be protected from occupational health exposures.
Dr. Perlin exhibits the highest level of ethical and professional character. He has received numerous awards for his many contributions, but more importantly, he is a servant leader. Throughout his career, he has freely given his time to support professional development of others, mentoring physicians, health administrators and government executives.