Since arriving at Mass General as a resident in 1992, Timothy G. Ferris, MD, has delivered outstanding care to individual patients and families. As his career progressed, Tim became increasingly involved in developing models to better organize care for large populations of patients with complex needs. Continuing this trajectory, Tim now is preparing to embark on a remarkable journey to help shape and improve health care for an entire nation.
It is with great pride that I let you know that our own Dr. Tim Ferris, CEO of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, will become the National Director of Transformation in England’s National Health Service (NHS), effective May 1. This newly created role will be one of the most senior positions in the NHS, the largest publicly funded health care system in the world. Tim will be responsible for setting forth a strategy and overseeing the design, development and delivery of clinical and digital technologies aimed at improving health care quality, increasing productivity and ensuring convenient access to services and health information for more than 56 million people in England.
This new role is clearly one well suited to a beloved physician leader who has spent a career transforming medicine and health care. While first and foremost a compassionate caregiver devoted to patients, Tim, as the leader of the MGPO, has also been a champion for the physicians he represents. A progressive and innovative thinker, Tim has been both architect and advocate for a wide range of efforts aimed at improving care in the hospital and in the community for the sickest and most vulnerable patients. He founded the Center for Population Health at Partners HealthCare – now Mass General Brigham – and with characteristic enthusiasm, creativity and persistence, he has proposed solutions, designed care models and tested systems, all the while searching for the next big idea, the next game-changer.
Tim’s clinical interests have been around the design, implementation and evaluation of large-scale models of improved health care delivery. Notably, he co-led the creation of a Medicare Demonstration Project – now Mass General’s Integrated Care Management Program – which matches high-risk patients with nurse care managers to develop customized plans to address complex health needs and challenges. The result of this effort has been increased satisfaction, better outcomes and reduced costs. A decade ago, during his time as senior vice president for Population Health Management, Tim was integral in steering Partners HealthCare through choppy waters as it moved from a fee-for-service delivery system to an accountable care organization. He led the successful effort that helped bend the cost curve and improve care.
Tim is no stranger to life in England. He spent two years earning a master’s degree at Oxford University before he entered Harvard Medical School, where he now holds the title of Professor of Medicine. He is the author or co-author of more than 150 publications ranging from asthma in children, to physician attitudes about electronic health records, to the projected impact of the surge of baby-boomers on hospitals.
Tim has been at the forefront of understanding the need for changing the way we deliver health care, and he has dedicated himself to making those changes in a way that respects and dignifies the people who are both receiving and providing that care. He has guided those changes in a manner that values exceptional patient care and fosters the culture that has long made the MGH a truly special institution.
I am working with Pam Reeve, chair of the MGPO Board of Trustees, and Anne Klibanski, MD, CEO of Mass General Brigham, to name an interim leader for the MGPO and then map out a process for identifying the next CEO. I will keep you apprised as these plans are put into place.
On behalf of a grateful institution and with great admiration, we will be cheering Tim on as he heads across the ocean to do what he does best – tackle some of the most complex and important challenges in health care today.
Peter L. Slavin, MD