Dr. Christine Cassel, planning dean of Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, has received the 2016 Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award from the not-for-profit National Center for Healthcare Leadership.
Cassel was selected this year because of her contributions to quality performance, particularly as president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, an organization that seeks to improve health and healthcare quality through measurement.
She joined the NQF in 2013 and focused her efforts on advancing leadership in quality improvement, diversifying funding and expanding the organization's portfolio with new initiatives.
Cassel left the organization in March to join the leadership team of the new Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. She served on the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals boards for more than a decade before concerns were raised in 2014 about potential conflicts of interest. She stepped down from the boards around that time.
Regarded as a pioneer in healthcare, Cassel is an expert in geriatric medicine, medical ethics and quality of care. She was the first female chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine, president of the American College of Physicians and dean of the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.
She was also one of 20 scientists chosen by President Barack Obama to serve on the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which advises the president on forming responsible and effective policy in the areas of science and innovation. Cassel also was a founding member of the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.
Cassel has appeared several times on Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list.
Previous winners of the Gail L. Warden award, named after the chairman emeritus of the Henry Ford Health System, include Richard Umbdenstock, past president and CEO of the American Hospital Association; Nancy Schlichting, former CEO of the Henry Ford Health System, and Dr. Glenn Steele Jr., former president and CEO of Geisinger Health System.