Steve Ferrara is a Scottsdale, Arizona native who recently retired from the Navy after a distinguished 25-year career culminating in his role as the Navy’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Operations. He helped lead a complex global healthcare delivery system of 63,000 Navy medical department personnel caring for ~9.5 million active duty, dependents, and retirees around the world with an annual budget of nearly $50B. In this role, he chaired numerous initiatives directly reportable to the Secretary of Defense, Congress, and the President.
Immediately prior to his tenure as the Navy’s Chief Medical Officer, Captain Ferrara spent a year on Capitol Hill as a National Academy of Medicine Congressional Fellow. As an integral staff member to the Committee on Energy and Commerce his portfolio included FDA, public health, and health reform. Most of his expertise, however, was devoted to formulating the overhaul policy to the costly and inefficient Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) physician payment formula. His efforts directly culminated in the landmark legislative replacement of SGR by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), signed into law on April 16, 2015.
A combat doctor, Captain Ferrara transformed military medical practice by introducing life and limb saving endovascular therapies to the battlefield of Afghanistan as well as the disaster relief environment of the apocalyptic 2004 Asian tsunami. In addition to deployments across four continents with the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Dr. Ferrara is an accomplished hospital leader and educator. At Naval Medical Center San Diego, Dr. Ferrara was Chief of Interventional Radiology and Radiology Residency Program Director. He holds several academic appointments, lectures, and writes extensively on health policy and economics, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and combat casualty care. He is a renowned speaker and has lectured to nearly 100 national and international audiences at meetings and institutions including Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Northwestern, Georgetown, and DARPA.
Upon retiring from the Navy in 2016, Dr. Ferrara transitioned to caring for Veterans and his community in the newly created role of Chief of Interventional Radiology at the Phoenix VA Medical Center. There he applied his extensive clinical and leadership experience to help vulnerable and underserved Veterans receive much needed, high quality medical care. His pioneering spirit and proactive leadership style led to the establishment of the facility’s first interventional oncology and liver disease programs and he initiated the city of Phoenix’s first Interventional Radiology residency program in collaboration with the county safety net hospital.
Dr. Ferrara is a UCLA graduate where he first answered the call to public service, joining the Navy at the outset of the first Gulf War. He completed his medical training in the Navy, at UCSD, and at Boston Children’s Hospital. He has been recognized for many clinical and academic achievements including Master Clinician and San Diego Top Doctor. Military awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal, as well as numerous other personal and campaign awards including the Afghanistan Campaign and ISAF Medals. Steve and his wife Elizabeth, a Navy Captain and pediatric nephrologist, have been married for 22 years. They have two amazing children, Madeleine (16) and John (12).