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Congratulations to Dr. Atul Gawande

An extraordinary decision from Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, and Warren Buffett: Dr. Atul Gawande, the famed surgeon and writer, will be the CEO of their new joint venture in healthcare. It’s hard to imagine a better choice.

Dr. Gawande is already one of the most eminent voices in American public health. He has published extensively on various issues in healthcare, including process improvement, end-of-life-care, and cost disparities.

It’s his work on this last issue that may have caught the attention of Bezos, Buffett, and Dimon. In 2009, Dr. Gawande published a landmark essay about care costs in The New Yorker. Upon reading it, Warren Buffett’s business partner, Charlie Munger, spontaneously mailed him a check for $20,000 as a thank-you. “This article is so useful socially,” Munger said.

The article makes it clear that Dr. Gawande believes, as Buffett does, that soaring healthcare costs are a “tapeworm,” damaging America’s competitiveness in the global economy. And now Dr. Gawande is well-positioned to stamp out that tapeworm.

When the three industry titans announced their healthcare venture last year, they kept the details scarce. Many speculated about their intentions. Would they genuinely try to win better access, and better care, for everyone?

The appointment of Dr. Gawande should answer that question. He’s a true visionary. His ideas and leadership, combined with the broad expertise of Amazon, Berkshire-Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase, have true potential to revolutionize the industry.

NRC Health congratulates Dr. Gawande and applauds his appointment. We can’t wait to see the changes he’s going to bring.