Jefferson Health CEO Dr. Stephen Klasko will retire Dec. 31, the system announced Thursday.
Klasko, who has served as president of Thomas Jefferson University and as head of the health system for eight years, will remain on as a special advisor to the board of trustees through July, the system said.
"I'm most proud of the people at Jefferson, who responded as heroes these past 18 months. Together, we have reimagined what health, education and research can be for the future, and I believe Jefferson is on course to lead that revolution," Klasko said in a press release.
Emeritus Board Trustee H. Richard Haverstick Jr. will serve as interim president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2022. A national search for Klasko's replacement will be led by Leslie McNamara, vice chair of the board of trustees, who will work with management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
"Dr. Klasko has been tireless in his entrepreneurial drive, but as important as his creativity and energy has been his commitment to diversity, inclusion and community engagement. We have an incredibly strong and dedicated management team to carry on the Klasko legacy, and we thank him for all he has done for Jefferson," Jefferson's Board of Trustees' Chair Patricia Wellenbach said in a press release.
Klasko, who is a perrenial on Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Influential list and was named one of Modern Healthcare's 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives in 2020, led the Philadelphia-based system from annual revenues of $1.5 billion to $6.7 billion, expanding its footprint from three hospitals to 18, the system said. When Jefferson Health's acquisition of health insurer HealthPartners Plans closes, the system will have roughly $8.1 billion in revenue.
Klasko didn't expect to leave the system for a few more years but he beat his own timeline for accomplishing some of his major goals at Jefferson Health, he told Modern Healthcare Thursday.
His next step will involve "looking at how this digital transformation of healthcare can start to reduce health equities," he said.
During his tenure at Jefferson, Klasko has bet on digital healthcare, leading the system to launch the telehealth service JeffConnect in 2014.
He also secured a $110 million donation to rename the Jefferson Medical College the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and another $70 million in 2019 to help construct the Caroline Kimmel Research Building. And construction has started on a new 19-story Specialty Care Pavilion, which is expected to be finished in 2024, the system said.