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John Kenagy
Dr. John Kenagy knows healthcare as a physician, executive, academic researcher and advisor. In addition to his clinical experience as a vascular surgeon, he has been Chief of Surgery, Chief of Staff and Regional Vice President for Business Development in a not-for-profit healthcare
system. But, his most meaningful experience was becoming a patient.

His frustration with current methods was fueled by an injury – he suffered a broken neck in a fall from a tree. Critically injured, he discovered that his recovery depended on the efforts of dedicated individuals working in an unpredictable and often unresponsive system.

Searching for new answers, he became a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School. His research included developing disruptive innovation healthcare strategy with Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen and translating to healthcare the drivers of success in resilient, highly adaptive companies like Toyota, Intel and Ideo. The result is Adaptive Design®, a self-sustaining system for rapidly developing, doing and improving patient-centered care within and across disciplines.

His contributions have been widely recognized:
• Clinical Professor of Surgery, University of Washington
• Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh
• His best-selling book "Designed to Adapt: Leading Healthcare in Challenging Times" was named Healthcare Management Book of the Year by the American College of Healthcare Executives
• Forbes Magazine featured Kenagy as “the man who would save healthcare.”

Dr. Kenagy’s Adaptive Design speaking, workshops, webinars and on-line learning courses make rapid, patient-centered innovation part of everyone’s daily work and, thereby, generate the adaptive capacity to thrive in 21st Century healthcare.

Blog Entries by John Kenagy

Mass. Confusion in Health Care

Posted January 22, 2010 | 12:58:18 (EST)

As I looked out the window in Massachusetts this morning, everything seemed the same. But, from what I read and hear, everything changed on Tuesday night. That's confusing.

The confusion started as a red Republican, Scott Brown, threatened to take Ted Kennedy's bluest-of-blue, Democratic Senate seat. Then, on Tuesday,...

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Turning Health Care Reform Losers Into Winners

Posted November 12, 2009 | 09:33:37 (EST)

Recently, The New York Times identified a surprising group that may lose, and lose big, under health care reform - large urban medical centers. The Boston Globe ran a similar story two weeks ago on Boston Hospitals.

What's unusual is that the big losers are not just gritty, inner...

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Beyond Politics: Making a Difference in Healthcare Now

Posted October 1, 2009 | 12:05:27 (EST)

"Markup" time is politics in action as Chairman Max Baucus' healthcare reform bill faces a barrage of amendments in the Senate Finance Committee. Politics in action equals deal making in action, and as I watch, it makes me nervous.

Here's politics in action:

Bloomberg News...

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The Path to One Trillion Dollars

Posted September 14, 2009 | 21:34:10 (EST)

President Obama said last week his health care reform plan requires about $1 trillion in health care savings over the next 10 years. In all the acrimonious debate around health care, we can all agree that saving that $1 trillion is vital. Without it, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO)...

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An Obama Health Care Reform Scorecard

Posted September 8, 2009 | 15:17:51 (EST)

I am going to be watching as President Obama addresses Congress tomorrow evening on his health care reform initiative. If his speech moves us closer to more care at lower cost, I'm on board. But how will I know? Perhaps I need a scorecard.

The inspiration for a health...

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Co-ops, the Unconventional and Healthcare Innovation

Posted August 20, 2009 | 15:47:56 (EST)

The health care reform debate moved into a new phase over the weekend when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said a public insurance option was "not the essential element" of any overhaul, and non-profit cooperatives could also fulfill the White House goal of creating more competition on insurance....

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Solving the Health Care Reform Puzzle

Posted August 17, 2009 | 13:42:51 (EST)

Health care reform in America is possible. In fact, four eminent physician leaders wrote an intriguing editorial in the New York Times on Aug. 12 offering the opinion that, in places, it has already been done.

Authors Atul Gawande, Donald Berwick, Elliot Fisher and Mark McClellan -- who...

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My Healthcare Reform Fear - It's Not Who Pays, It's What We Get

Posted July 24, 2009 | 13:13:27 (EST)

I share President Obama's commitment to healthcare reform and greatly value his leadership. I have been a physician, healthcare executive, academic scholar, advisor, author and, most importantly, a patient once deeply immersed in our healthcare system with a critical injury. In all those roles, I have consistently seen the need...

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The Health Care Pundits Get It Right ... And Wrong

Posted July 13, 2009 | 13:59:16 (EST)

Last week, Alex MacGillis of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times both identified the crucial flaw in the current efforts at government-driven health care reform -- the failure to control health care inflation.

MacGillis admitted President Obama acknowledges there are limits to what we...

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Ensuring Investment in Healthcare Information Technology Does Not Flatline

Posted June 25, 2009 | 19:26:11 (EST)

Given the $47 billion awarded in stimulus funding, it's clear the government's assumption is that healthcare information technology (IT) will deliver better care at lower cost. The IT industry and all the healthcare IT mavens are waving the flags and beating the drums.

But can current IT deliver?


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Health Care Rationing is Inevitable - Unless We Build the Alternative

Posted June 15, 2009 | 07:26:20 (EST)

As President Obama makes it increasingly clear we are going to reform health care this summer, the parties are drawing lines in the sand and everyone is choosing sides for the long-haul. For the Democrats, the public health insurance option is a key part of the agenda. Meanwhile, the Republicans...

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When Healthcare Solutions Become Problems

Posted June 8, 2009 | 11:02:40 (EST)

When it comes to healthcare, bigger isn't necessarily better -- not even in Texas. In a recent New Yorker article, Dr. Atul Gawande examines the healthcare system of McAllen, TX, also known as one of the most expensive places in American healthcare. Despite the latest and greatest technologies and...

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To Fix Healthcare, Let's Not Just Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Posted May 19, 2009 | 18:38:00 (EST)

As physician, healthcare executive, academic scholar, author, advisor and, most importantly, a patient, I propose the answer to our current healthcare dilemma starts with a laser-like focus on getting patients exactly what they need at continually lower cost. But current healthcare proposals are offering more of the same.


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