Jack Cochran, MD

At a time when the pace of change in healthcare can be overwhelming, Dr. Cochran provides a clear path to a new system. I’m inspired by the practical ideas for change.”

– Maureen Bisognano, Retired CEO Institute for Healthcare Improvement


DR. JACK COCHRAN is an innovative leader for health care transformation. In his 2018 book Healer, Leader, Partner he provides practical, proven knowledge and skills for physicians to become effective, compassionate leaders for improving and transforming health care to deliver on what patients want, need, and deserve.

UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP as the Executive Director (CEO) of the Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente was recognized as a national leader in clinical quality by multiple institutions including the Medicare Star program and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The Federation represents the national interests of the regional Permanente Medical Groups, which employ 20,000 physicians who care for more than 10 million Kaiser Permanente members.

Speech Topics

HEALER, LEADER, PARTNER: How Physicians Can Lead The Transformation Of Healthcare

Health care continues to improve the quality and predictability of care outcomes so patients can experience improved health and decreased suffering. But we still see daily examples of uneven quality and access and an increasing problem of affordability for patients and families. Physicians are not more important than all of the other stakeholders in health care, but we do have disproportionate impact on outcomes due to the many touch points where we significantly impact the process and/or outcome. This disproportionate impact should engender disproportionate accountability to “opt in” to all the ways health care touches our patients and families : physically, socially, psychologically, and financially. We track the evolution of health care from both the patients view and that of the physician. We follow the rapid growth in knowledge, technology , and both diagnostic and therapeutic options. This marvelous increase in knowledge nd capability has also created major increases in complexity that are radically forcing change that is pressing on both patients and physicians. We bring the past as a source of learning to the present and offer a clear eyed view of the impact of complexity as described , but add more development of added complexity as patients are cured or stabilized from difficult illnesses and go on to develop additional conditions. All of this lands in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship and has made many aspects of the experience better, but other aspects very difficult. We show how the current state for both patients and physicians must change and improve and outline how physicians must not become victims to all the change, but become leaders in improving care in this age of technology and information explosion.. Details of how the model of one doctor, one patient, and one paper chart can be enthusiastically changed into care that is delivered using technology, information, and teams to create excellent and personal care is demonstrated. Tangible examples add proof points to this very positive future state that can create a health care system that patients want, need, and deserve but also provide physicians a growing sense of professional confidence and pride in their work and being the kind oh healing physician they believe has been and should be their standard.


         “Structure matters, but the ability to optimize the function of the

                   structure are differentiating.” ~ Jack Cochran, MD

Health care continues to create advances and breakthroughs in knowledge, understanding, technology, therapeutics and outcomes. In this keynote, Dr. Cochran focuses on the growing challenge of the complexity of this knowledge and technology. He highlights how organizational systems can begin to leverage such structural advances as group practice, integration, and technology to coordinate care, both real and virtual, at a highly reliable level. Questions arise around the limitations these systems produce and how to leverage these systems and the resulting journey of learning as well as developing the people, leadership and culture to create reliable outcomes and consistent improvements. Dr. Cochran delivers the answers by showcasing examples of how organizations became competent, and even enthusiastic, toward measurement and improvement and leading change. He identifies the elements needed to bring about clarity of vision and focused and substantive investment in time and training for this change. His approach to identifying early adopter targets and building of trust through peer credibility all assist in creating an organizational culture that embraces measurement, acknowledgement, reflection, learning and improvement.


At a time when we regularly hear about the advances, breakthroughs, and even cures in health care too many patients are suffering and too many physicians and other health care workers are suffering. Physicians have a disproportionate impact on health care and can no longer be silent bystanders to what is happening to too many of our patients and colleagues. In this keynote Dr. Cochran challenges physicians by unpacking four questions that surface answers and actions to finally address the true breadth and depth of the impact of our health care system:

#1  “Is Excellent Good Enough?

In spite of the improvements and even miracles in health care, our patients experience uneven quality and access to care and affordability at an individual and family level. Even with outstanding care being delivered daily, we still have many examples of underuse, overuse, misuse, and error impacting our patients and families, so what are physicians to do?

#2 “What Kind of Ancestor Will I Be?

Very disturbing trends are surfacing and when surveyed a significant number of physicians, answered “No,” when asked if they would recommend their child become a physician. Why did we want to become physicians and what happened to the hope and passion of that 21 year old idealist? The calling of the physician remains noble, so what are physicians to do?

#3 – How Big is Our Ambition?

A good quality outcome for our individual patients is the ideal but there is a rapidly growing awareness of the financial impact of health care as an agent of wealth transfer. Governments, corporations, and families are increasingly faced with tradeoff decisions involving health care costs. Over $.80 of every health care dollar is spent on care delivery, so what are physicians to do?

#4 – How Broad is My Responsibility?

When two competing hospitals continue to invest in and build services and structures with NO consideration for looking at disciplined collaboration, there is a likelihood that over capacity in the name of competition is at work. Is it OK for competition and business success to keep us from collaboration and shared learning? Dr. Cochran agrees that we can’t treat our way to affordable health care, and we can’t legislate our way, so what are physicians to do?

Invite Dr. Cochran to come alongside and empower physicians to be a part of the solution.

Speakers Videos

The Doctor as Healer, Leader, Partner

Connecting with Patients Through Technology

The Crux of Leadership

Books & Media


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KEYWORDS: Business of Healthcare, Care Delivery Systems, Change, Communication, Competition, Corporate Culture, Customer Service, Future of Healthcare, Governance, Healthcare Reform, Innovation, Leadership, Service strategy, Trust, Vision, Workforce Issues