Battle-tested. Chief Medical Officer. Emergency Physician.
Imagine taking on the role of Chief Medical Officer for the 2nd largest chain pharmacy in the US, on the eve of a global pandemic. That is precisely where Dr. Kevin Ban found himself, in January 2020, as he assumed the helm at Walgreens. As the first wave of COVID hit U.S. shores, Kevin was pressed into battle mode. Good thing he is no stranger to creating order out of chaos.
Kevin graduated from Georgetown University with an BA in theology. Before launching his career, he served as a volunteer teacher at an all-boys school in South Africa. While on that trip, he found his calling and decided to pivot and enroll in Georgetown medical school. After earning his M.D., Kevin completed 2 years of general surgery residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, then completed his residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine, in Boston. After completing his residency training, Kevin joined Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians as an attending physician and was appointed to Harvard Medical School. He became the executive director of the Tuscan Emergency Medicine Initiative—an innovative project to develop emergency medicine as a training specialty in Tuscany, Italy, where more than 900 physicians were certified during his tenure. He successfully built and led a team that launched Italy’s first pediatric trauma center.
After working internationally, Kevin became chief medical officer of Beth Israel Deaconess-Needham, where he collaborated with others to restructure the hospital’s physician team, introduced Just Culture quality improvement, and helped launch a new cancer and surgical center. In 2015, Kevin joined athenahealth, a healthcare technology company, to lead and expand its population health offering. He later became the company’s chief medical officer, working with some of the nation’s largest healthcare systems.
Throughout his career, Kevin has focused on working collaboratively with fellow healthcare providers and administrators to improve patient-centered care and outcomes. He is an expert in medical systems development, practice/performance improvement and is passionate about providing high quality, standardized, patient-centric care.
Early in his career, Kevin was an on-air healthcare analyst for the local ABC and FOX affiliates in New York and Boston, respectively. He is a regular guest of news and talk show programs and has appeared on The Today Show, MSNBC News, Morning Joe, Bloomberg TV and Good Morning America. He has contributed commentary and bylines to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR, and he has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals.
Leading Through a Pandemic: Mistakes, Lessons, and Future Threats
On stage, Kevin shares the journey we took as a nation, as a government, as a network of public health service organizations, and as a frightened populace through the worst global health crisis of our time. His quick thinking, expert public relations skills, empathetic leadership style and deep understanding of crisis medicine helped make Walgreens one of the leaders in COVID response, employee retention, public trust, and vaccine rollout.
In this behind-the-scenes look back at real-time response at every level, he helps us understand where we went wrong, what we learned and how we can best prepare for the next pandemic.
Photos: Courtesy Walgreens