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Stephen A. Esper, MD, MBA  

Director of the UPMC Center for Perioperative Care, Musician, Actor, Singer, Sports-Journalist & Life Experience Speaker

Stephen A. Esper, MD, MBA, is currently employed at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Presbyterian University Hospital, since July 2012, where he practices as a Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologist. He is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Division, in the UPMC Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. Dr. Esper has held the positions of Acting Clinical Director of the Operating Room (2014-2018); Director, UPMC Enhanced Recovery Programs (2015-2016); and he was promoted to Director UPMC Center for Perioperative Care in 2016, (Inaugural position), a program he founded.

A unique program in the USA, the mission of the Center for Perioperative Care (CPC) is to holistically assess patients before and after surgery, concentrating on patient values and goals through shared decision making. The program focuses on new healthcare paradigms to promote better outcomes as we fight one of the leading causes of death, globally: post-operative mortality. Already adapted at several UPMC hospitals, its expansion will affect over 40 hospitals and greater than 300,000 surgical patients per year.

Designing new clinical pathways, he led a core team around our health system to implement different protocols for operative patients, which, over the last seven years, has been shown to reduce postoperative length of stay, 30-day, 1-year, and 2-year mortality, as well as improve discharge to home rates, the results of which were published in the acclaimed medical journal, Annals of Surgery (2020). The team he leads have saved multiple millions (confidential sum) for the UPMC health system. He and the team are also working with health payors as well as other information technology solutions to expand and the program. Using the surgical episode as the sentinel event, or the touchpoint to re-engage patients in their own care, looking at the longitudinal episode of care vs. the short-term episode.

Speech Topics

  • Leading by humility, being better for the sake of others
  • Perioperative Medicine and Population Health
  • Orthodox Church

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