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Monday, Dec 4, 2023

Health Care Leadership Symposium Panelist: Amar A. Desai, MD, MPH

Amar Desai Full Headshot

Amar A. Desai, MD, MPH
President and CEO
Optum Pacific West

As a physician, public health leader and health care executive, Dr. Amar A. Desai has worked at the intersection of direct patient care and health care systems to help patients lead healthier, more fulfilled lives.

At the heart of his work, Dr. Desai has developed innovative and scalable delivery models that improve clinical outcomes, increase affordability, and transform the experience of being a health care consumer. By translating clinical excellence into economic value, Dr. Desai has improved care delivery in a range of settings, including early-stage start-ups, organizational turnaround, Fortune 200 companies, and academic health systems. A tireless advocate for diversity, inclusion, and health equity, Dr. Desai was recently named one of Modern Healthcare’s Top Diversity Leaders in Healthcare.

Currently, Dr. Desai serves as President and CEO of Optum Pacific West. In this role, he has oversight over all Optum care delivery organizations in California, Oregon and Washington. Collectively, these organizations are comprised of 25,000 physicians and serve 2.6 million patients. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 5 company, and is dedicated to providing an outstanding patient and clinician experience and convenient access to a high quality, more affordable, complete system of care across the diverse communities of the U.S. West Coast.

Prior to his current role, Dr. Desai served as President of HealthCare Partners, a leading medical group and integrated delivery network that provided population-based health care to over 700,000 patients. Previously, Dr. Desai served as CEO of USC Care where he led transformative growth and helped position the university’s medical center as a regional leader for complex care. From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Desai was a senior executive at DaVita, a global leader in dialysis care, where he advanced integrated kidney care models and led corporate strategy for the enterprise. Early in his career, Dr. Desai served as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Desai received his Bachelor’s and Medical Degrees from Brown University, and his Masters in Public Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He completed internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at the UCSF. Dr. Desai is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Keck School of Medicine at USC and has previously held faculty appointments at Stanford School of Medicine and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


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