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Merging Clinical and Management Skills

Surgeon helps lead change in healthcare delivery

Ravi Chari, M.D.
President, HCA Healthcare, West Florida Division

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2008

Dr. Ravi Chari has been on the leading edge of medical care for years. Among a number of other advanced procedures, he is a well-known expert in minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgeries now used in treating cancer of the liver, pancreas and bile duct.

But the leading edge of health care is also rapidly shifting—and demanding leaders with the expertise to bridge the business and clinical worlds. That's why he pursued a Vanderbilt Executive MBA.

"Health care is on the threshold of significant change where science and management will together shape process and performance," he says.

After completing his degree, Ravi was named Chief Medical Officer at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. Two years later, he became Chief Medical Officer for HCA’s TriStar Division, which included 17 hospitals and nine ambulatory surgery centers in three states.

Then, in addition to serving as a clinical professor of surgery at Vanderbilt, Ravi drew on both his medical and business expertise as Senior VP of Clinical Excellence to improve clinical operating performance by identifying and reducing avoidable, negative variation. He led the HCA Leadership Academy, which focuses on developing physician leadership capabilities. In other words, the physician with executive expertise helped other doctors within his organization make the same leap.

In 2018, Ravi was named President of HCA Healthcare West Florida, a comprehensive network of 16 hospitals, 14 surgery centers, 40 graduate medical education programs and a continuum of specialized health programs.

He credits his career development to the choice he made to pursue a Vanderbilt Business degree. “My Executive MBA experience at Owen,” he says, “has enabled me to acquire stronger financial vision and leadership skills, and to participate in decisions that will influence the future of health care."

“My Executive MBA experience at Owen has enabled me to acquire stronger financial vision and leadership skills, and to participate in decisions that will influence the future of health care."