Mark Schafer, MD, prominent physician leader in California, was named CEO of MemorialCare Medical Foundation, replacing Patrick Kapsner, who is retiring Jan. 2014 after four decades as a distinguished health care executive.

MemorialCare Medical Foundation, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, is part of MemorialCare in Southern California. More than 2,000 employed and affiliated physicians are part of the Foundation’s two divisions—MemorialCare Medical Group and the Independent Practice Association (IPA), Greater Newport Physicians (GNP). In addition to medical offices in Orange and Los Angeles counties, the Foundation oversees MemorialCare’s medical imaging facilities and ambulatory surgery centers. Dr. Schafer is currently the Foundation’s Chief Medical Officer.

“Mark Schafer and Pat Kapsner are acknowledged national pioneers and innovators in leading physician organizations,” says Barry Arbuckle, PhD, MemorialCare president & CEO. “These visionaries are on the leading edge of developing state-of-the-art, successful clinical programs that engage physicians throughout the Southland. These initiatives have vastly improved patient quality, safety, experience and satisfaction as well as physician performance, clinical outcomes and early adoption of electronic medical records and other means of communications that provide immediate, real-time information on patients whether they are in a hospital, physician office or other outpatient setting.”

Their achievements have not gone unnoticed. MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians have received numerous accolades and awards for patient quality and customer service and are consistently honored with the Elite Status by California Association for Physician Groups, the highest rating possible for medical groups in the state.

“It is an honor to be selected to lead MemorialCare Medical Foundation,” says Dr. Schafer. “The Foundation, MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians have a long and distinguished record of providing the highest quality, compassionate care to our patients in Los Angeles and Orange counties. I am looking forward to expanding these efforts in partnership with our exceptional physicians, staff and all members of the MemorialCare team as we continue to transform health care services in Southern California.”

Dr. Schafer has served as Chief Medical Officer of MemorialCare Medical Foundation since its inception in early 2010. He has extensive experience in physician leadership, performance and quality improvement and implementation of Electronic Medical Records, utilization management and disease management programs for physician groups.

Prior to joining MemorialCare, Dr. Schafer was Chief Medical Officer for 10 years at Bristol Park Medical Group, a large Orange County medical group, which joined MemorialCare Medical Foundation in 2010. He also practiced as an Internal Medicine physician in Orange County and was a founder and developer of the software programs for Ascender Software, LLC, a leading health information technology company.

Dr. Schafer serves on the Board of Directors of California Association of Physician Groups and co-chairs its Clinical Leadership Committee. He is also on Boards of MemorialCare Innovation Fund, Wave Imaging and Beach Surgical Holdings. He earned his bachelor’s degree with distinction in Neurobiology from University of Michigan, his medical degree from The Chicago Medical School and completed his internal medicine residency at University of California, Irvine (UCI). A fellow of the American College of Physicians, he served as Associate Professor of Medicine on the UCI clinical faculty. An avid skier, triathlete and Ironman competitor, Dr. Schafer and his wife have two children.

Kapsner, a national figure in health care and physician group management, has led several organizations. He served as president of American Medical Group Association, Unified Medical Group Association and Medical Group Management Association’s Western and Orange County Divisions and chaired California Association of Physician Organizations and Healthcare Association of Southern California, among other groups. Adjunct professor in the University of Southern California’s Health Administration Program and a member of its Health Advisory Board, Kapsner serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Health Care Management and Policy at UCI Paul Merage School of Business. He served in the Army’s 44th Medical Brigade in Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star and RVN Gallantry Cross.