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Jonathan Perlin  

President of Clinical Operations & Chief Medical Officer at HCA Healthcare

Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin is president, clinical operations and chief medical officer of Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services. Dr. Perlin leads HCA Healthcare’s Clinical Operations Group (COG), which consists of nationally recognized clinical leaders, data scientists, researchers and improvement experts who drive HCA Healthcare’s care excellence agenda.

Under Dr. Perlin’s leadership, HCA Healthcare uses data from more than 32 million annual patient encounters to create the most comprehensive learning healthcare system. His team is responsible for the landmark REDUCE MRSA study that demonstrated a 44 percent improvement on known best practices for reducing bloodstream infections, creating a new, worldwide standard of care. HCA Healthcare also achieved national recognition for preventing elective pre-term deliveries and achieving better outcomes for mothers, babies and society. Numerous studies in areas such as early sepsis recognition, improving COVID diagnosis and treatment, preventing antimicrobial resistance and reducing maternal mortality are underway and helping drive HCA Healthcare to benchmark clinical performance. The team’s implementation of the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign” and computerized algorithm for early detection of sepsis has saved 8,000 lives and was recognized as the 2019 Red Hat Innovation of the Year and also earned the John M. Eisenberg Award for National Innovation in Patient Safety.

In 2021, Perlin launched “CHARGE” (Consortium of HCA and Academia for Research GEneration), an HCA Healthcare partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and multiple universities (Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Hopkins, Meharry and others) to accelerate the understanding of COVID and its treatment and introduce a new platform for large-scale data sharing and rapid collaborative research.

Before joining HCA Healthcare in 2006, 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 and chief executive officer of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Dr. Perlin led the nation’s largest integrated health system. At VHA, Dr. Perlin directed care to over 6 million patients annually by more than 250,000 healthcare professionals at 1,400 sites, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, counseling centers and other facilities, with an operating, research and capital budget of approximately $40 billion. A champion for early implementation of electronic health records, Dr. Perlin led VHA quality performance to international recognition as reported in academic literature and lay press and as evaluated by RAND, the Institute of Medicine, and others.

Dr. Perlin was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) in 2018 and the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Health Advisors. He also serves as chair of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group. Dr. Perlin was the 2015 chair of the American Hospital Association. In 2014, Dr. Perlin took a “sabbatical” from HCA Healthcare to serve as senior advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to help improve operations, accelerate access and rebuild trust with America’s Veterans. Dr. Perlin has served previously on numerous Boards and Commissions including the Joint Commission, the National Patient Safety Foundation and in 2009, he was appointed as the inaugural chair of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health IT Standards Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Meharry Medical College, a historically black graduate institution (HBGI), and is chair of the National Quality Forum.

An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), Dr. Perlin co-chairs their recently formed “Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic,” and leads the “Digital Health Learning Collaborative of the Consortium on Value and Science-Driven Healthcare.” Perennially recognized as one of the most influential physician executives and health leaders in the United States by Modern Healthcare, Dr. Perlin has received numerous awards including Distinguished Alumnus in Medicine and Health Administration and the Lifetime Achievement Award from his alma mater, the Chairman’s Medal from the National Patient Safety Foundation, the Founders Medal from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, and he is one of the few honorary members of the Special Forces Association and Green Berets.

Broadly published in healthcare quality and transformation, Dr. Perlin is a Master of the American College of Physicians and Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. He has a Master of Science in Health Administration and received his Ph.D. in pharmacology (molecular neurobiology) with his M.D. as part of the Physician Scientist Training Program at the Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Dr. Perlin has faculty appointments at Vanderbilt University as Clinical Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics and at VCU as Adjunct Professor of Health Administration.

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