USC Price School of Public Policy

Chris D. Van Gorder, FACHE

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Master of Public Administration, 1986
President and Chief Executive Officer, Scripps Health

Chris Van Gorder is president and chief executive officer of Scripps Health in San Diego, California. Scripps is a not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system with five acute-care hospitals, Scripps Clinic, ambulatory care network, and more than 2,600 affiliated physicians. Scripps Health has over 11,000 employees. Van Gorder’s responsibilities include all functions of the $1.7 billion corporation.

During the period 2001-2005, Van Gorder led a $131 million turnaround of Scripps Health, one of the most dramatic successes in the health care industry. During the same time, Scripps Health has been recognized by AARP as one of the nation’s best employers for workers over 50, by Working Mothers as one of the nation’s Best Companies, and by numerous national and regional organizations for clinical excellence.

Van Gorder received his Masters of Public Administration with a focus on health services administration at the University of Southern California (USC), completed the Wharton System CEO Program at University of Pennsylvania and obtained his Bachelor of Arts at California State University, Los Angeles. He is board certified in healthcare management and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and member of the ACHE Board of Governors.

Van Gorder is a member of the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board (RPB9) and is immediate past chair of the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties. He is an assistant clinical professor in health administration and member of the Healthcare Advisory Board in the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (SPPD), and on the Editorial Board of the Governance Institute. He is also a member of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, San Diego Urban League President’s Circle, San Diego Center for Patient Safety Advisory Board and a member of the Board of The Scripps Research Institute and the Whittier Institute for Diabetes.

In December 2004, the U.S. State Department appointed Van Gorder to the United States National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In September 2005, Van Gorder organized and led an 81-member Scripps Medical Response Team to Houston to aid Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors. Scripps Health was requested by Surgeon General Richard Carmona, marking the first time the federal government called on a private health care system to deploy a medical team to assist the federal government in a national disaster relief effort.

In March 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Van Gorder to the Commission on Emergency Medical Services.

In 2006, the San Diego County Fire Chief’s Association presented the prestigious Maltese Award to Van Gorder. This award was developed to recognize an individual whose efforts to protect and preserve the health and welfare of others and whose extraordinary service to the community embody the spirit and beliefs of the fire service. And in 2007, Van Gorder was presented the Outstanding Humanitarian of the Year Award by MedAssets — a national healthcare supply organization. Also in 2007, Mr. Van Gorder was ranked No. 21 in the nation in Modern Healthcare magazine’s annual listing of the “100 Most Powerful in Health Care.”

Van Gorder is also a nationally certified emergency medical technician and reserve commander with the San Diego Sheriffs Department in command of the Search & Rescue Team.