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Dr. Atul Gawande — the prominent physician, prolific writer, and all-around health care celebrity — will become the chief executive of the new health care company launched by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase, the three companies announced Wednesday.

Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston who teaches at Harvard’s medical and public health schools, will take charge of the new organization July 9. In a note sent to friends and colleagues, Gawande said that he is not giving up his positions at Harvard or the Brigham and that he will keep writing, including for the New Yorker. But he said he will transition from being executive director to chairman of Ariadne Labs, which works on solving problems in health systems around the world.

The new company will be based in Boston.


“I have devoted my public health career to building scalable solutions for better healthcare delivery that are saving lives, reducing suffering, and eliminating wasteful spending both in the US and across the world,” Gawande said in a statement put out by the companies. “Now I have the backing of these remarkable organizations to pursue this mission with even greater impact for more than a million people, and in doing so incubate models of care for all.”

Not much has been revealed about the new health care enterprise from the three corporate giants; in the release Wednesday, it doesn’t even have a name. The new organization is meant to come up with ways to address the health care costs for the companies’ employees, though its founders have indicated they hope that it comes up with solutions that could be spread across the entire U.S. health system.


Some experts have expressed some skepticism though so far, given the lack of details and the quagmire that is the health care industry. Many other innovators have sought to find solutions to health care costs in the past but have run head-on into the complexity of the system.

But in his note to friends, Gawande said that “this new health care organization represents one of the most promising opportunities to accelerate improvement of US health care delivery. The work will be difficult and take time, but it must be done.”

Gawande was not immediately available for an interview, according to the Brigham.

  • Will this new enterprise obviate the stark differences between hospitals in facilities and staffing, cost of care, outcomes, residency training etc? Are you intending toward integration of competitors?

  • Taking obscene profit out of health care for the sake of all Americans is a good thing. The rich who can afford health care regardless can find many other venues to invest in to get richer.

  • Good luck to you. I believe that you already will make a difference just having business leaders such as Buffet and Diamond with no financial gain. Since no CEO of an insurance company will be taking millions off the top and only careing about shareholder concerns you may be able to do something.

  • With his deep understanding , knowledge and most importantly passion for a better more accessible and affordable heathcare system ,He is certainly the best person for the job.He will surely be able to leverage his experience and synergize the massive resources Amazon has to offer.Congratulations all the best to him……

  • Being a surgeon myself and very interested in the development of a healthcare system that really provides quality care to all( universal healthcare), I’m interested to hear more of Dr. Atul’s innovation.

  • This is fantastic news. Taking on such an important initiative will require a herculean effort that I am sure will benefit the global family. May God bless you for taking on this assignment.

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