Stay up to date with the latest press releases and news.

Healthcare Innovation Leader Dr. J. Andrew Chacko will be Ultimate Medical Academy’s Spring Commencement Speaker

Dr. Chacko commencement

TAMPA, Fla. March 8, 2019 – Ultimate Medical Academy today announced that Dr. J. Andrew Chacko will be UMA’s Spring Commencement (#UMAgrad) speaker at the nonprofit healthcare school’s 10:30 a.m. ceremony on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. The ceremony for almost 4,300 UMA students eligible to graduate between Oct. 29, 2018 and May 19, 2019 also will be live-streamed to UMA graduates and their friends and family members across the nation.

As a leader in healthcare innovation, Dr. Chacko uses his medical experience to teach others how to become design thinkers using cognitive, strategic and practical processes by which design concepts (proposals for new products, buildings, machines, etc.) are developed. He is passionate about transforming healthcare into the vital, rewarding, and life-changing practice that it can be for patient, provider, and support professionals alike.

“I am thrilled and deeply honored to be invited to be the commencement speaker at UMA’s upcoming graduation,” Dr. Chacko said. “The healthcare of the future will be a team sport, and it is critical that all the members of that team get the best training they can. UMA does that. And it goes the extra mile, understanding that there are people behind those degrees and certificates. People with lives, often complicated, who need not only great training but support – and UMA seems ready and willing to provide that!”
An attending psychiatrist for the Veterans Administration’s outpatient clinic in San Bruno, California, Dr. Chacko worked as a Medical Director and an attending Psychiatrist for Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco. As the only practicing clinician to have graduated from the program at Stanford that developed design thinking, Dr. Chacko expertly synthesizes years of expertise in medicine as a psychiatrist, work as a designer and innovator, and a focus on leadership and teamwork.

A highly sought-after public speaker and consultant on a broad array of topics including design thinking, leadership, healthcare, education, digital health, mental health, and wellness, Dr. Chacko spoke on “Transforming Healthcare

Through Innovation and Design” at UMA’s inaugural 360 Summit: Perspectives on Healthcare Innovation last fall in

Tampa. His presentation examined the three phases of design thinking and creative problem solving, enabling participants to apply the same tools used in Silicon Valley to the problems they face each day at work and at home.

“We are honored that Dr. Chacko will share his passion and wisdom with our graduates,” UMA President Derek Apanovitch said. “He was an inspiration at our 360 Summit and I know our students, and their families and friends will learn some design thinking principles and be motivated by his address as they begin their careers in their fields of study in healthcare.”

Dr. Chacko completed his training at Tripler Army Medical Center, where he was honored as the only civilian selected for a military psychiatry residency, gaining special expertise in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Traumatic Brain Injury. He earned his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Dr. Chacko served 12 years in the Navy, developing his leadership acumen, before completing his post-baccalaureate studies through Harvard University. He earned his graduate degree at Stanford, studying both Mechanical Engineering and Art in the Joint Program in Design, taking an extra year for an in-depth focus on Robotics, working as a designer independently and at IDEO, an international design and consulting firm founded in Palo Alto, California. His lectures, notes, and sources of inspiration can be found on his website:

More commencement information can be found at