Daniel Varga, MD, was placed as the chief physician executive at Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) in Edison, New Jersey. The 4,300-bed not-for-profit healthcare organization is the largest, most comprehensive and integrated healthcare network in New Jersey, reaching two-thirds of the state through its 17 hospitals, 7,200 physicians, 33,570 employees, and 500 patient care locations. It has one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades' "America's 50 Best Hospitals" award for five or more consecutive years, with four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report; other honors include consistently achieving Magnet recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, receipt of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, and six-time receipt of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" award. In his role, Dr. Varga will lead and oversee the physician enterprise of the HMH network to ensure that short- and long-term objectives are achieved in accordance with the strategic plan and capital and operating budgets of the organization, working with other senior leaders to crystallize the strategy of value-based, highly reliable, innovative care that supports its mission. He will be responsible for all clinical outcomes network-wide, and will organize, lead, employ, and credential physicians to develop a network of care that will deliver the desired care product and maintain or improve operational margins. In addition, Dr. Varga will oversee all basic and clinical research for the network, as well as the development of new research and discovery institutes and external partnerships, and will hold an academic appointment within the School of Medicine.
Dr. Varga comes to HMH from Texas Health Resources, where he served as senior executive vice president and chief clinical officer. For this 25-hospital integrated healthcare system that commanded the largest market share in northern Texas, Dr. Varga created a joint venture with UT Southwestern Medical School to create Southwestern Health Resources, subsequently becoming the CEO of the joint venture's clinically integrated network, which represented over 4,000 physicians; under his leadership, the network's NextGen ACO was the number-one performer in the country in 2017 and 2018. A firm believer in transparency, Dr. Varga led the development of the high-reliability model at THR, building a "gold standard" governance accountability model that notably reduced mortality. During his tenure, he was also able to lead employee engagement scores into the top decile and to achieve a significant operating expense reduction.
Previously, Dr. Varga served as chief clinical officer of KentuckyOne Health, as chief medical officer of Saint Joseph Health System in Kentucky, as regional vice president and chief medical officer of SSM Healthcare in Saint Louis, as senior vice president and chief medical officer of Norton Healthcare, and as founder and president of Community Medical Associates in Louisville, Kentucky, a multi-specialty primary care group. He holds bachelor's degrees in English and biology from University of Kentucky and an MD from University of Louisville.
Outside of work, Dr. Varga and his wife enjoy spending time with their adult children and their grandson; Dr. Varga also enjoys golfing, reading, sampling bourbons and wines, playing guitar, and traveling.