Saxton Out as Head of Oregon Heath Authority

Condemnation was widespread across the state of a communication plan the Oregon Health Authority developed to discredit FamilyCare, a Portland-area coordinated care organization.

Lynne Saxton is being forced out of the Oregon Health Authority by Governor Kate Brown amid a flurry of criticism surrounding a communication plan by the agency that sought to discredit one of its nonprofit Medicaid partners. Her last day will be Aug. 31.

Jeff Heatherington, CEO of FamilyCare, which is engaged in litigation with the OHA and which was the subject to the agency’s communication plan, said that ousting Saxton is not enough.

“I think there needs to be an overall change in most of the leadership in the Oregon Health Authority,” Heatherington said. “If it’s only Lynne Saxton, that’s nothing more than a Band-aid on the problem.”

For her part, the governor said little in an official statement about Saxton’s departure that promised additional announcements about OHA leadership in the coming weeks.

"Today, after discussion with Lynne Saxton, we have agreed that her resignation is in the best interests of the agency," Brown’s statement read. "Lynne has led the Oregon Health Authority through its most challenging times and helped me ensure that every Oregonian has access to the care they need. She is known as a fighter for Oregon's values and I am proud of how she brought that level of commitment to the staff of OHA."

This story will be updated.

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