MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Richard Merkin, Founder and CEO of The Heritage Group, which includes Heritage Provider Network and Heritage Medical Systems, has been recognized by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the most influential business leaders of 2016 in "The Valley 200."
Dr. Merkin was selected as the innovative healthcare leader in the region, recognizing his commitment to changing healthcare management and delivery resulting in a healthier, more vibrant population. "I'm deeply honored to be recognized by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 'The Valley 200,'" said Dr. Merkin. "We strive to contribute to a growing economy in the area offering quality, affordable, accessible healthcare that improves the lives of the members of the community we serve." "This book is a nod of appreciation to those who are strengthening our community, making it the place we want to live and creating the opportunities our children deserve. This book is a salute to the leaders we depend upon," said Charles Crumpley, Editor and Publisher of the SFVBJ. This inaugural edition of "The Valley 200" recognizes the 200 most outstanding, innovative leaders who shape and strengthen the community, creating new business opportunities, including jobs, for a dynamic economy that spans the entire region covering the San Fernando, Conejo, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys in California- if this vast area were its own city, it would be the fifth largest in the country. Under Dr. Merkin's leadership, HPN's family of medical groups in the region includes Regal Medical Group and Lakeside Medical Group in the San Fernando Valley and High Desert Medical Group in the Antelope Valley. HPN is currently the largest, physician owned and operated integrated delivery system in the country with over 50 related healthcare companies and medical groups, bringing 37 years of successful, coordinated, managed care with over 4000 primary care physicians and 30,000 specialists. HPN also encompasses numerous patent, venture capital, private equity, and insurance companies, including joint ventures with Rite Aid, Walgreen's Trinity Hospital Systems and Fresenius. Dr. Merkin's commitment to improving healthcare goes beyond the San Fernando Valley community as he serves on the Board of the California Institute of Technology and the Board of Trustees at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. He is the Co-founder of FasterCures. He has established the Richard Merkin Foundation for Stem Cell Research at the Broad Institute at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Richard Merkin Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute, the Richard Merkin Foundation for Neural Regeneration at UCLA, and the Merkin Family Foundation Fund for Regenerative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Dr. Merkin supported the Merkin Initiative to Study Payment and Clinician Reform at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC and has also endowed two professorships at the City of Hope, one in immunotherapy and the other in gene therapy. Dr. Merkin is supporting translational sciences and health technology at Caltech through the Heritage Research Institute for the Advancement of Medicine and Science. He is on the Board of the California Nano Systems Institute and serves on many other boards that focus on science, healthcare and finance. Dr. Merkin launched the $3million Heritage Health Prize Challenge, a global incentivized data mining competition seeking to achieve a fundamental breakthrough in our ability to predict future hospitalization, creating an online global community of problem solvers helping to save the country over $40 billion in avoidable hospitalizations. Dr. Merkin has been honored with the Dr. Armand Hammer Philanthropy Award from StopCancer, the Medical Visionary Award from UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, named one of HealthLeaders Media top 20 Leaders in the country and Healthcare CEO of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal. In addition, "Fast Company" named HPN one of the top ten most innovative companies in the world.