CEO George Halvorson: Extending His Influence Beyond Kaiser Permanente
George Halvorson has served as chairman and CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest health plan and hospital system, since 2002. Thirty-seven hospitals were part of Kaiser's system as of Dec. 31, 2011.
During his time at the helm of Kaiser, the hospital system has grown to serve more than 9 million members. Mr. Halvorson is considered to be a pioneer of electronic medical records, implementing them in Kaiser's hospitals and medical offices over the last five years. However, he also knows the limits of EMR systems. "If you think of it [the EMR system] as an end in itself, that's a mistake," he told Kaiser Health News in 2011. "But if you say once the information is on a computer and it's accessible and available, you can use it to make care better…then it's very workable."
Mr. Halvorson is very involved in the healthcare world outside of Kaiser. He serves on several boards, including the National Committee for Quality Assurance, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Alliance of Community Health Plans. He is also the chair of the International Federation of Health Plans and is involved in several other healthcare committees and organizations. Additionally, Mr. Halvorson has served as an advisor to Uganda, Great Britain, Jamaica and Russia on health policy and financing issues.
Mr. Halvorson has also found time to author several books on healthcare reform. Some titles include Health Care Will Not Reform Itself: A User's Guide to Refocusing and Reforming American Health Care, Health Care Reform Now!, Health Care Co-ops in Uganda, Strong Medicine and Epidemic of Care.
In recognition of his healthcare influence and success, Becker's Hospital Review named Mr. Halvorson as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Healthcare in 2012 and placed him on its 2012 and 2011 lists of Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know.
After a full career as a healthcare professional, author and leader, Mr. Halvorson announced he will retire at the end of 2013.
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