George Halvorson, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente, announced to his employees today that he will retire in December 2013. Halvorson has served as chairman and CEO since 2002, and under his leadership Kaiser Permanente has grown to serve more than 9 million members, pioneered electronic health records and is often seen as a model for the future of health care.
Halvorson led the decision to implement Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect(R), an enterprise-wide electronic health record system, a decade ago. Today, KP HealthConnect is the largest non-governmental system in the world, supporting the transformation of care delivery and connecting caregivers and patients in new and innovative ways. In the first six months of 2012, for example, members securely viewed 16.7 million laboratory results, exchanged 6.8 million emails with their Kaiser Permanente caregivers and refilled 5.6 million prescriptions online.
During Halvorson's tenure, Kaiser Permanente has become recognized as a national health care quality leader. Honors include:
-- Earning top ranking in the 2012-2013 National Committee for Quality
Assurance Health Insurance rankings for Medicare and commercial HMO
plans in each of the states Kaiser Permanente serves.
-- Leading the nation in many NCQA Quality Compass effectiveness of care
measures, including breast cancer screening, weight assessment for
children, cholesterol management, asthma care, osteoporosis management
and comprehensive diabetes care.
-- Having 20 Kaiser Permanente hospitals recognized as "Top Performers on
Key Quality Measures(TM)" for 2011 performance by The Joint Commission.
-- Receiving five-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
for five Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage plans in 2012.
-- Being ranked highest by J.D. Power and Associates for employer
satisfaction nationwide, and five regions ranked highest in member
In addition, Halvorson championed public health efforts designed to improve the health of Kaiser Permanente members and the communities it serves. In 2011, the organization launched Every Body Walk! (http://www.everybodywalk.org) to inspire the nation to experience the health benefits of walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week. In 2012, Kaiser Permanente also joined with HBO, Institute of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to launch a national public health campaign to address the nation's rising obesity rates that includes the two-time Emmy nominated documentary series The Weight of the Nation (http://kp.org/weightofthenation).
Earlier this year, Halvorson was named No. 6 on Modern Healthcare's annual 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list. He has been named to each of Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare lists since the program was created. He has received the Modern Healthcare/Health Information and Management Systems Society CEO IT Achievement Award. The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange also awarded him the 2009 Louis Sullivan Award for leadership and achievements in advancing health care quality.
Halvorson has written numerous books on improving and reforming health care, including 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.
During Halvorson's tenure at Kaiser Permanente, the organization was rated No. 1 in the country as an employer for diversity. Diversity MBA magazine gave Kaiser Permanente their best place to work award three straight times. The organization is also the first inductee into the Diversity MBA Hall of Fame. Kaiser Permanente was also rated No. 1 for diverse employees by Computerworld and won the Catalyst Award as a best place to work for women.
In addition, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognized Kaiser Permanente's leadership. Kaiser Permanente also was named as one of the Best Companies for Latinas to Work in the United States. Kaiser Permanente was also named Corporation of the Year by the Hispanic College Fund. The organization has also been recognized as one of the top 50 companies for supplier diversity by Hispanic Enterprise Magazine.
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