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Richard Ha, MD

Assistant Physician-in-Chief, KP Santa Clara

“With a compelling vision for KP to lead the nation in cardiovascular surgery, Dr. Ha has built a can do culture amongst our colleagues, and his mastery of operations is leading us to achieve that vision.”
- Rakesh Chaudhary, MD, Physician-in-Chief, KP Santa Clara

Under the leadership of Richard Ha, MD, the cardiovascular surgery program at KP Santa Clara expanded from providing coronary artery bypass grafts and valve surgeries to include a full program of surgeries that deploy medical devices that improve heart function. The KP Santa Clara Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) program now includes left and right ventricular assist devices (VAD) and heart pumps; and the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) device, which improves blood flow.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ha led efforts to expand KP Santa Clara’s ECMO capacity, transforming it into one of California’s premier programs. He recruited surgical leaders to join the KP Santa Clara MCS program, which since its inception in 2018 has installed 51 ventricular-assist devices with a two-year survival rate of 87%, far exceeding national averages.

Now, as Chief of Cardiac Surgery for The Permanente Medical Group since 2020, Dr. Ha oversees the cardiovascular mechanical support program regionwide, which he has developed into a nation-leading surgical program. The KP Northern California cardiovascular surgery program earned top quality metrics at three regional cardiac surgical centers, increased case volume by 20%, and recruited early-career cardiac surgeons in a competitive job environment.

Of his leadership style, Dr. Ha says: “Certain things require operational strength and others good knowledge of the financials, while others require inspiring, being humane, and having empathy.”

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