Author + information
- Steven E. Nissen, MD, FACC, President, American College of Cardiology⁎ and
- Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, Immediate Past President, American College of Cardiology
- ↵⁎Address correspondence to:
Dr. Steven N. Nissen, American College of Cardiology, c/o Cathy Lora, 9111 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-1699.
We are delighted to announce that an extraordinarily energetic and visionary physician-administrator, John C. (Jack) Lewin, MD, will become Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American College of Cardiology on November 13, 2006. Lewin brings to the College an unusual background with diverse career experiences and unique talents that will help us meet current and future challenges.
His selection as CEO followed an extensive national search that included many exceptional candidates. From the field of outstanding candidates, the search committee unanimously and enthusiastically recommended Lewin to the Board of Trustees, which confirmed his appointment, also unanimously.
Lewin is CEO of the 35,000-member California Medical Association (CMA), where he has served as Executive Vice President and CEO for 11 years. However, he did not begin his career as an association executive, rather quite the opposite. Following his B.A. in Biological Science and M.D. degrees from the University of Southern California and post-graduate training in Internal Medicine, he joined the U.S. Public Health Service and spent the next 7 years in the Navajo Area Indian Health Service in Arizona. Lewin’s advocacy for health care for the underprivileged and uninsured has continued to be a core value throughout his career.
From Arizona he moved to Hawaii to practice medicine in a large, rural area of Maui and eventually became Medical Director of Kula Hospital and Clinic. In 1987, he was named Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, where he managed a billion dollar budget.
During his Hawaii years, Lewin was extraordinarily successful, achieving nearly universal health care access for the people of Hawaii. He founded an innovative health insurance company to serve the self-employed and small businesses. This unique collaboration between the public and private sectors grew rapidly, eventually covering 55,000 beneficiaries. This type of innovative solution to health care problems is characteristic of Lewin’s career. He never seems bounded by the limits that others see. He is a gifted, independent thinker who seeks and finds “out-of-the-box” solutions.
Many of his accomplishments at CMA reflect these same abilities. For example:
• Lewin, recognizing advocacy’s pivotal role, moved the association’s headquarters from San Francisco to Sacramento, where CMA could more actively interact with the state government
• Through his leadership, CMA invigorated the Audio Digest Foundation, now the world’s largest producer of continuing medical education audio products. The highly successful, wholly-owned subsidiary provides the CMA with significant revenue, and recently acquired Marathon Multimedia, an international producer of health media products.
• Under his guidance, CMA sued 6 large health insurance carriers under the RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act and won settlements with a combined value of $384 million for physicians (1).
Lewin’s entrepreneurial and political skills will be major assets for the College. At CMA, he has guided CALPAC, the largest and most successful political action committee of any state medical society. An ardent advocate for quality in health care, he serves on the Board of Directors Institute for Medical Quality, an organization dedicated to helping physicians improve health care quality. Lewin also founded MedEPass, a digital identity and information trust company that authenticates the identities of licensed health care professionals and their staff to enable clients to conduct confidential health care business on the web.
His references are uniformly glowing: “Jack meets the textbook definition of a CEO. He is truly a visionary leader. He has great ideas and is not afraid to step out—he is gutsy.” Current and former staff praised his leadership style effusively—“He has generated stunning loyalty in his staff.”
As CEO of the CMA, his influence extended far beyond the state. In the words of one reference, “He can sit down with Bill Thomas, Henry Waxman, Pete Stark…whoever and get CMA business done. He is a great advocate and is well-networked nationally and in the state.”
Lewin also understands the imperative for a member-driven organization to move forward under the governance of its Board of Trustees. In the words of one associate, “He has not overstepped his bounds; he understands governance; he understands his role; he is careful to keep the Board in the loop.”
Lewin and his wife, a successful businesswoman now turned schoolteacher, have 3 children. They are deeply connected to the outdoors and enjoy backpacking and kayaking. An accomplished runner, he still competes in marathons.
Jack Lewin has the vision, leadership and management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and integrity to be a truly outstanding CEO for the College. His passion for improving health care and his belief that physicians should take the lead in this effort make him the right leader for the College at this time. He will help us address our most important issues and seamlessly integrate advocacy with quality and education. We warmly welcome him to the American College of Cardiology family.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
- ↵(2006) RICO Settlements at a Glance, Available at: http://www.cmanet.org/upload/RICO%20Settlements%20At%20A%20Glance.pdf. Accessed June 5.