Skip to main content

Dr. George J. Brown, President and CEO of Legacy Health, Announces Retirement

May 22, 2017

After nine years of leading Legacy Health through the uncharted waters of health care reform; record organizational growth; and the early adoption of many health care innovations, George J. Brown, M.D., FACP, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Legacy Health since 2008, has announced his retirement to the Legacy Health board of directors. Dr. Brown will remain president and CEO through the transition, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2017. 

"Legacy Health has become a stronger and more adaptable organization today than it has ever been because of Dr. Brown's leadership," said Jeff Fullman, M.D., chair of Legacy Health's board of directors. "Dr. Brown's forward-thinking has improved patient care; expanded our geographic footprint; and deepened our community connections. We thank him for his unwavering dedication to the organization, having continued to serve beyond what the board had initially expected to produce record results." 

Dr. Brown came to Legacy Health in 2008 from MultiCare Health System (MHS) in Tacoma, Wash., as the organization's chief operating officer. Prior to joining MHS in 1999, Dr. Brown had a lengthy and decorated career in the military. He began his service in 1972 as First Lieutenant in the United States Army and after rising through the ranks, Dr. Brown retired from active duty service in February 1999 as Brigadier General in the Regular Army. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1973 and was a practicing gastroenterologist until 2006. 

"From the rapidly evolving science of health care delivery to our state budget crises, many external factors have imparted radical change on Legacy Health," said Dr. Brown. "We have worked hard at all levels of the organization over the last nine years to foresee this magnitude of change and adapt accordingly." 

Health Care Visionary 
As one of the consummate voices in state and national health care reform, Dr. Brown has been deeply involved in care transformation efforts. He helped create Health Share of Oregon, the state's largest coordinated care collaboration, and became the first chair of the board of directors of Health Share in 2012. 

Dr. Brown also developed many innovative approaches to health care that have broken down long-standing barriers to care for vulnerable populations. Recognizing adequate housing is a pillar of good health, Legacy Health made a $4 million investment in partnership with Central City Concern and six other Oregon health care organizations to respond to Portland's urgent challenges in affordable housing, homelessness and health care. 

Record Growth 
From six to eight hospitals; almost 40 percent more employees, $1 billion more in annual net revenue; more than doubling the number of primary care clinics; and having the largest inpatient market share in the Portland-metropolitan area--these are just a few of the figures that illustrate Legacy Health's significant financial and geographical growth that occurred under Dr. Brown's leadership. 

Transformative Actions 
Dr. Brown's deep engagement in the community has provided him with firsthand knowledge of the many emerging needs. He took on one of our country's biggest health crises when he convened four major health care organizations and opened Unity Center of Behavioral Health in January 2017. 

In addition to addressing the lack of regional behavioral health services, he has championed health literacy; dedicated resources to become the only regional Ebola treatment site in Portland-metropolitan region; instilled a culture that inspires diversity and cultural competency; and drove notable improvements in clinical quality and patient satisfaction. 

"As Legacy has grown and become more diverse, its deep commitment to improving the health of our communities has grown as well," continued Dr. Brown. "I am committed to supporting the organization throughout the transition and look forward to staying connected to my countless partners in the community and, of course, my family at Legacy Health." 

Legacy Health's Board of Directors is expected to announce Dr. Brown's successor by the end of 2017.