Jefferson Names Joseph G. Cacchione, MD, New CEO of Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University

Joseph G. Cacchione, MD

Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health’s Board of Trustees have announced that Joseph G. Cacchione, MD, will join as the organization’s new CEO, effective September 6, 2022. Dr. Cacchione comes from Ascension, one of the largest nonprofit healthcare systems in the U.S., where he has served as an integral leader since 2017.

Most recently, Dr. Cacchione served as Executive Vice President, Clinical and Network Services (CNS) for Ascension, a $28B organization with 165,000 employees across 145 hospitals and 2,600+ care sites in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Before his current role, he served as CEO of Ascension Michigan with 15 hospitals and 22,000 employees.

Jefferson’s Board of Trustees’ Chair Patricia D. Wellenbach said: “Jefferson is a national leader in healthcare delivery and higher education. The Board was laser-focused on finding a leader who would be committed to our mission of ‘improving lives’ by prioritizing innovation, partnerships, and reducing racial, ethnic, health and socioeconomic disparities. With Dr. Cacchione, we’ve found the visionary and operational leader we need to reach new heights in healthcare, research and higher education. His experience successfully managing large, complex organizations while also demonstrating thoughtful, inclusive leadership, leaves no doubt in my mind that he is the best person to take Jefferson into the future.”

As a lifelong advocate for clinical quality and patient experience, Dr. Cacchione has an impressive record of identifying high-impact opportunities to best meet the needs of patients and communities, and designing strategies to provide better care while enabling growth consistent with an organization’s core mission. His detailed understanding of the delivery of clinical services has enabled him to collaborate and implement innovative approaches that improve efficiency with sensitivity to their impact on clinical quality, caregiver engagement and patient experience. The depth and breadth of Dr. Cacchione’s visionary leadership coupled with his vast experience in various markets and business conditions are key to the new CEO’s ability to take the Jefferson organization to new heights in reimagining health, education and discovery to create unparalleled value.

“I am honored to be the next CEO of Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University. Jefferson has long served as a national model for excellence in care delivery, higher education, discovery and innovation,” said Dr. Cacchione. “I look forward to working together with the dedicated Jefferson team to continue the remarkable work they have done around creating one of the nation’s most respected healthcare organizations and distinctive universities. I believe in organizations that make their communities better, and I can think of no better example than Jefferson.”

As Jefferson CEO, Dr. Cacchione will continue to advance the enterprise’s growth strategy. Dr. Cacchione will be working with his direct reports Jefferson Health President Bruce A. Meyer, MD, MBA, and Thomas Jefferson University President Mark L. Tykocinski, MD to further shape the future of healthcare, research and professions-focused education on a national and international stage.

Emeritus Board Trustee H. Richard Haverstick, Jr. has served as interim CEO and President of Thomas Jefferson University and interim CEO of Jefferson Health since January 1, 2022, while Jefferson’s Board embarked on a national search for a permanent CEO. Mr. Haverstick will work with Dr. Cacchione to ensure a smooth transition as he assumes his new role. 

The search was led by Leslie J. McNamara, Vice Chair of the Jefferson Board of Trustees, and was guided by the important work the Board already had begun years ago around the ‘CEO of the Future.’

“The search committee was immediately struck by Dr. Cacchione’s ability to transform and manage complex organizations with a clear vision, while building diverse and high-performing teams to execute against a well-defined strategy.  That approach will serve Jefferson well as we map out what’s next,” said McNamara.

Some of Dr. Cacchione’s recent accomplishments include:

  • Served as Executive Vice President of Enterprise-Wide Clinical Network Services at Ascension, a $28B organization with 165,000 employees across 145 hospitals and 2,600 care sites across 19 states.
  • Led Ascension Michigan’s multi-million-dollar statewide health system, including planning and directing a significant turnaround in one year through revenue growth and stewardship.
  • Played an instrumental role in creating a new strategic plan focused on moving the organization to a differentiated quality, value and consumer centricity.
  • Led Ascension’s enterprise initiative to centralize operations and unite stakeholders around a common purpose and vision, transforming the organization from disparate operating entities into one unified operating company.
  • Launched a proprietary ACA plan to address the needs of uninsured patients.
  • Developed and oversaw system-wide strategies to integrate NIH’s Equity consensus categories into Ascension’s culture and operations through successful internal initiatives, external affiliations and data applications.
  • Created a data-informed Community Impact Department combining mission and clinical perspectives on Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity.
  • Grew Ascension’s employed physician enterprise by 25% over four years, improved financial performance, and improved physician well-being index by 30%.
  • Maintains an extensive national network of industry, government and thought leaders.

Before his time at Ascension, Dr. Cacchione spent eight years at the Cleveland Clinic, a leading academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education, where he played a major enterprise role in business development while also serving as Chairman of Operations and Strategy for its Heart and Vascular Institute. Before that, he served as executive vice president and chief of quality and operations at Saint Vincent’s Health System in Erie, PA, where he oversaw the development of several service lines, including orthopedics, oncology, neuroscience and cardiovascular. Previously, he spent the first 20 years of his professional career as a private practice cardiologist and large private physician practice executive.

Dr. Cacchione earned his MD from Hahnemann University and his BS degree from Gannon University. Dr. Cacchione completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He also completed his residency in cardiology at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) and served as a Cardiac Research and Interventional Fellow at Case Western Reserve University. He is Board Certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology and has been recognized many times for his contributions to his field and the prestigious institutions he has served. He also has held numerous leadership roles on a national level and in Pennsylvania for the American College of Cardiology and has served on a number of national and community-based administrative health committees. He has authored and co-authored scholarly papers, and presented at national conferences and meetings on healthcare systems, new paradigms in healthcare, cardiology and cardiovascular disease and healthcare administration. He holds active medical licenses in Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania.