Ananse Taharka, MD

Critical Care, East Bay Area

“I’ve learned a lot about leadership from the world of jazz. You have to be ready to improvise and you have to allow each voice to express itself.”

Dr. Ananse Taharka’s definition of leadership is simple – understand the perspective of each team member so that everyone knows what to do to accomplish the goal.

During his twenty-year tenure at the Oakland medical center, where he was APIC for Inpatient Services throughout the 1990s, Dr. Taharka led the effort to establish and expand critical care units throughout the East Bay, including Richmond’s ICU and Oakland’s PICU. He exercised the same tenacious leadership in helping to develop Kaiser Permanente’s cardiac surgery program at Summit Hospital, one of California’s top-ranked cardiac surgery units.

A highly regarded pulmonary and critical care physician, teacher, and leader, Dr. Taharka has received many awards – five for excellence in teaching – and repeated recognition for his clinical practice, both locally and nationally. Most recently, Oakland Magazine selected him as one of the East Bay’s Best Doctors.

But don’t expect Dr. Taharka to toot his own horn, unless it’s his favorite instrument: the trumpet. Taharka likens his leadership style and the work of his top-notch medical team to the great tradition of jazz improvisation—everyone contributes a unique talent to the ensemble, and ultimately, success is achieved through collaboration.