Dr. Richard Isaacs, CEO and executive director of Kaiser’s The Permanente Medical Group and president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, is exiting his post for a job in academia.
Isaacs, who joined Oakland, California-based Kaiser in 1995, will join California Northstate University June 1 as dean of the College of Medicine and vice president of medical affairs. He began his current role in 2017.
“It’s just something new,” Isaacs said. “I’ve always loved teaching residents, fellows and medical students. … This is an up-and-coming school. They’re building a quaternary hospital, so my skills as the vice president of [medical] affairs are going to come in handy for this program.”
As head of the Permanente medical groups, Isaacs oversees more than 11,000 physicians and roughly 40,000 nurses serving 5.4 million patients in three states and Washington, D.C. He previously was physician-in-chief at South Sacramento Medical Center, where he helped lead implementation of electronic health records and other telehealth technology.
Dr. Maria Ansari, physician-in-chief and chief of staff at San Francisco Medical Center and board member for The Permanente Medical Group, will succeed Isaacs. He will help with the transition process over the next several months.
Kaiser, a $95 billion system, reported a $4.47 billion net loss in 2022, largely due to poor market performance on investments. It, along with its peers, is working to cut costs in an increasingly expensive operating environment and navigating labor shortages. In November, Kaiser avoided a nursing strike after making a deal with the California Nurses Association to offer clinicians a 22.5% wage increase over four years, create more than 2,000 nurse positions and maintain a three-month stockpile of personal protective equipment.
On Wednesday, Kaiser announced a collaboration with Danville, Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health to form Risant Health, a nonprofit entity that plans to buy up health systems and create a national care network.