Print Friendly and PDFPrinter Friendly Version

Press release
December 12, 2018

Families USA Welcomes Governor John Kitzhaber to Its Board of Directors

Governor, Physician and Oregon Legislator Brings Renown for Health System Reform, Value.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Families USA Executive Director Frederick Isasi welcomed former Oregon governor John Kitzhaber as its newest Director. Kitzhaber, who served as Oregon’s governor first from 1995 to 2003, and again from 2011 to 2015, is the longest-serving governor in Beaver State history.

An emergency room physician, Governor Kitzhaber also served in the Oregon House of Representatives and Oregon Senate. Widely touted as the “father of the Oregon Health Plan,” Kitzhaber is highly regarded for creating the coordinated-care-organization model (CCO), a model where physical, behavioral and oral health providers collaborate and receive coordinated payments on how to best serve patients in their communities.

The seminal CCO model positioned Oregon to improve health outcomes and set the standard for innovative approaches to health system reform and is frequently patterned by states and communities.

“This is an incredible day at Families USA. Governor Kitzhaber’s commitment to health care reform, value, and system transformation could not align more perfectly with the work Families is leading nationally and in states, and our vision for a more equitable health care system. The root of reform lies in revamping delivery and pricing systems to meet the needs of our nation’s families, and we are elated that the Governor will share his vast expertise in these areas with Families USA,” Isasi said.

Kitzhaber is a sought-after thought leader on health care reform, early childhood development, and climate change.

“I did not deliberate about my decision to join the Families USA Board. After three-plus decades, the organization continues to be a greatly respected and trusted voice on how to ensure all people can access and afford quality health care. Families USA is leading the way on the national and state levels with inventive approaches in not only system reform, but in value, early childhood development, and drug pricing — issues I am most passionate about. My values and life work inherently align with the work Frederick and his team are doing, and I could not be more delighted to join such an incredibly vibrant group of health care forerunners,” Kitzhaber said.

View Families USA’s full list of Directors.

More about former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber

John Kitzhaber graduated from South Eugene High School, Dartmouth College, and the University Oregon Medical School. He practiced emergency medicine in Roseburg Oregon from 1974 to 1988. John was elected to the Oregon legislature in 1978 and served for 14 years – eight years as Senate President. He was elected governor in 1994 and served three terms from 1995-2003; and 2011-2015. During his time in office, he focused on health care, public education, at-risk children and families, and environmental stewardship. His approach to solving difficult problems in public policy was based on investing in relationships and collaboration built on trust and respect. John is motivated by the belief that “Oregon won’t be a good place for any of us to live unless it’s a good place for all of us to live.” He is a dedicated fly fisherman and avid white-water rafter; and remains committed to continuing to contribute to the Oregon community.

-30-