Kitzhaber’s Not in the Running at OHSU

Oregon’s former governor has opted out of the search for the next president of the state’s leading research hospital.

Former Governor John Kitzhaber made it quite clear when he called David Yaden, who’s heading the presidential search committee at Oregon Health & Science University.

“I’m getting some questions about it, and I want to let you know I will not be a candidate for OHSU president. You can make that public,” Yaden recalls Kitzhaber saying.

A former board member at OHSU, Yaden expects the new president to be named by July.   

DJ Wilson, who runs State of Reform, called Kitzhaber the perfect candidate to replace Joe Robertson, who’s stepping down at the end of this academic year.

“It’s time to find a visionary leader that can take OHSU out onto the statewide and national stage. OHSU needs a president that will be in the community, has credibility with healthcare leaders, and relationships with policy makers,” Wilson wrote, continuing:

“OHSU needs a president that is adept at building, developing and collaborating on new payment methodologies that reward quality rather than market leverage. The hire needs to have both the confidence of their convictions on this topic and the wisdom of experience to be able to lead into this uncertain space. 

“And, the person needs to be a communicator, someone who can explain the vision for new models of care financing. OHSU needs a president that can navigate state and federal policy conversations with fluency, creativity and credibility.  

“That sounds like John Kitzhaber to me.”

Click to read more about the search to for a new president at OHSU.

Diane Lund-Muzikant can be reached at [email protected].