Chairman and chief executive officer
George C. Halvorson was named chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, headquartered in Oakland, California, in March 2002. Kaiser Permanente is the nation’s largest nonprofit health plan, serving more than 8.7 million members.Halvorson has more than 30 years of health care management experience. He is former president and CEO of HealthPartners, based in Minneapolis, and prior to that time held several senior management positions with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
Halvorson is the author of widely acclaimed books on the U.S. health care system, including Epidemic of Care and Strong Medicine. In 2003, philanthropist and investor Warren Buffet wrote that Epidemic of Care was “by far the clearest explanation of how we have gotten to where we are in health care, and what is likely to happen.”
Halvorson is currently writing two new books, one about racial prejudice around the world and one about the need to systematically reform health care in the United States. He has served as an advisor on health policy and financing to the governments of Uganda, Great Britain, Jamaica, and Russia.
In the United States, Halvorson is a frequent lecturer to academics, policy makers, and health industry leaders, including the National Business Group on Health, the Microsoft Annual Health Plan Executive Forum, the National Governors Association, and the World Health Care Congress.
Widely credited with guiding the successful rollout of Kaiser’s multibillion dollar information technology initiative, Halvorson has won several awards for his commitment to health technology, including the Modern Healthcare CEO IT Achievement Award. He has written articles for several publications, including Health Affairs, on subjects ranging from health information technology to the changing marketplace.
Halvorson serves on a number of boards, including those of America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Alliance of Community Health Plans. He is the current president of the board of directors for the International Federation of Health Plans and a member of the Harvard Kennedy School Healthcare Delivery Policy Group. Halvorson also serves on the Institute of Medicine Task Force on Evidence-Based Medicine and on the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.
Executive director, The Permanente Federation
John H. Cochran, MD, FACS, is the executive director of the Permanente Federation, the national umbrella organization for the regional Permanente Medical Groups, which comprise the physician component of Kaiser Permanente. The Permanente Federation Medical Groups employ more than 13,000 physicians who care for approximately 8.7 million Kaiser Permanente members. Dr. Cochran also serves as the CEO and president of The Permanente Company, which carries out the Federation’s business functions.
Prior to becoming the executive director of The Permanente Federation in October 2007, Dr. Cochran served as executive medical director and president of the Colorado Permanente Medical Group (CPMG). Dr. Cochran began his career with CPMG as founder of the Plastic Surgery Department in 1990. He served as CPMG chief of plastic surgery (1990-1997), chairman of the CPMG board of directors (1997), and CPMG executive medical director (1999-October 2007).
Prior to joining CPMG, Dr. Cochran was in private practice in Denver, Colorado. At Saint Joseph Hospital, Dr. Cochran served terms as chief of plastic surgery, chair of surgical services, and president of the medical staff. At Exempla Healthcare, Dr. Cochran served as a board member and as a member and chairman of the Quality Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation and the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence.
Dr. Cochran earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado and served residencies at Stanford University Medical Center and University of Wisconsin Hospitals. He is board certified in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery – and in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Cochran has made several trips to Third World countries to provide reconstructive surgery services. He has been a visiting surgeon and consultant in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Ecuador, Tanzania, and Nepal. He is also past president of C6, a foundation that built a hospital in East Africa.
Senior medical director, The Permanente Federation
Francis J. Crosson, MD, is senior medical director for The Permanente Federation, the national organization of the Permanente Medical Groups, which comprise the physician component of Kaiser Permanente. In this role, Dr. Crosson acts as an advisor for The Permanente Federation, which he helped create in 1997 and led as executive director until 2007.
Dr. Crosson was a member of the California Medical Association Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2005 and is currently on the Board of Directors of the California Medical Association Foundation. He has been a member and a chair of the Governing Board of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA). In 2003, Dr. Crosson founded and now chairs the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), an AMGA affiliate. CAPP is an alliance of 34 of the nation’s largest multi-specialty group practices and strives to promote delivery system improvement in the United States. Dr. Crosson also served a three-year term on the congressional Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) starting in 2004 and was reappointed for a second term in 2007. He is a graduate of the Kaiser Permanente Executive Program at Stanford Business School.
Dr. Crosson received an undergraduate degree in Political Science and, in 1970, a medical degree from Georgetown University. He completed a residency in Pediatrics at the New England Medical Center Hospitals and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. He served in the U.S. Navy for two years at Bethesda Naval Hospital before joining The Permanente Medical Group in 1977, where he practiced pediatrics and distinguished himself in a variety of leadership and administrative positions.
Executive vice president and chief financial officer
Kathy Lancaster, executive vice president of Strategic Planning and chief financial officer, joined Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in 1999.
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Lancaster was vice president of Network Management for the Prudential Insurance Company’s western region. For more than two decades she has partnered with employers, providers, and members in health care delivery, focusing on new product development, network management, and health plan operations.
Lancaster holds a bachelor of science degree from Loyola Marymount University.
Executive vice president, Health Plan Operations
Arthur M. Southam, MD, is executive vice president, Health Plan Operations, of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.
Before joining Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Southam was president and chief executive officer of Health Systems Design Corporation, a developer of software systems to support health plans and health care providers. From 1996 to 1998, he was vice chairman, president and chief executive officer of Health Net, a large California-based health benefit plan. Before joining Health Net, he was chief executive officer of CareAmerica Health Plans. He is past chairman of the California Association of HMOs.
Dr. Southam was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Quality of Health Care in America, contributing to the widely cited publications, To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm.
Dr. Southam received his medical degree and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University and his bachelor of arts degree in neurosciences from Amherst College.
Executive vice president, Health Plan and Hospital Operations
Bernard Tyson is the executive vice president for Health Plan and Hospital Operations for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. He leads eight presidents in the following regions: Northern and Southern California, Northwest, Colorado, Ohio, Mid-Atlantic States, Hawaii, and Georgia. In addition, he has responsibilities for National Facility Services (NFS), Workplace Safety, Patient Care Services, Archimedes, Inc., and National Health Plan and Hospital Operations.
Until January 2006, Tyson served as senior vice president of Brand Strategy and Management. Over the course of three years, Tyson worked to promote and protect Kaiser Permanente’s brand and reputation by telling the Kaiser Permanente story, and enhancing the organization’s relationship with its key stakeholders. The “Thrive” image advertising campaign launched under Tyson’s stewardship.
Prior to his current role, Tyson was chief operating officer of Regions Outside California (ROC) for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. In this position, he was responsible for the nonprofit health plan’s operations in all regions outside California, which collectively serve 2.8 million members in 16 states and the District of Columbia. He supervised operations in the Mid-Atlantic States, Georgia, Northwest, Colorado, Hawaii, and Ohio regions.
He began his career at Kaiser Permanente in 1985 at the San Francisco Medical Center, where he worked in a number of management positions. In 1992, he was promoted to hospital and health plan administrator at Santa Rosa, California. In 1995, he was promoted to vice president, and later, to associate regional manager for the Northern California Region. In 1996 he assumed the role of senior vice president and East Bay local market leader in the California Division and was then promoted to president of the Central East Division, which includes the Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Ohio markets.
Currently, Tyson is chairman of the board of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in the Mid-Atlantic States and is a member of the board of trustees of the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP). He also serves on the board of the National Committee for Quality Health Care (NCQHC); the Executive Leadership Council Foundation; and the United Negro College Fund, San Francisco Area.
Tyson served on the board of directors of the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Healthcare; AVMED Health Plan of Gainesville, Florida; the Federal City Council; and the American Association of Health Plans; a national association whose 1,000 member plans care for more than 100 million Americans. He also served on an advisory board of the National Managed Health Care Congress.
In 1998 Tyson was one of five health care executives nationwide to win the “International Emerging Leaders in Healthcare Award,” sponsored by The Healthcare Forum and Korn/Ferry International. In 2001 he was awarded the NAACP Freedom Fund Award honoring him for “sensitizing corporate America to the talents of people of color.”
Tyson’s involvement in other civic and professional organizations includes the National Association of Health Services Executives, the NAACP, the Executive Leadership Council, Inc., United Way, and the United Negro College Fund.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services Administration; his master’s of business administration in Health Care Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California; and an advanced leadership degree from Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Senior vice president, Community Benefit
Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, joined Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals as senior vice president for Community Benefit in 2002.
Dr. Baxter leads the activities of KFHP/H to fulfill its social mission, including participation in public health and coverage programs, Kaiser Permanente charitable care and coverage, research and education, Educational Theatre, grant making, and support for community-based organizations.
He is also chief executive officer of KP Cal, LLC, a company that supports the charitable and tax-exempt purposes and activities of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
From May 2004 to February 2005 he also served as interim president for Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Region, serving 3 million members.
Dr. Baxter has earned a national reputation for his work in community health, health systems reform, policy development, organizational change, and strategy. He has worked as an executive, consultant, and researcher with government and the private sector at the local, state, and national levels.
He has more than 30 years of experience managing public health, hospital, long-term care, and mental health programs, including heading the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.
He has written and spoken extensively on the critical issues of health and health care. Dr. Baxter holds a doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.
Before he joined Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Baxter led The Lewin Group, a health research, policy and management consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., where he directed a national initiative for the United Auto Workers and the auto industry to assess and improve local health system performance.
Dr. Baxter served on two Institute of Medicine Committees: the Committee on the Safety Net, which prepared the March 2000 report “America’s Health Care Safety Net: Intact but Endangered” and the Committee on HIV Prevention, whose report “No Time to Lose” was released in September 2000.
In 2001 the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, honored him as a Public Health Hero for his service in the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco.
Senior vice president, Research and Policy Development
Robert M. Crane is senior vice president, Research and Policy Development, of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.
During his 20-year career with Kaiser Permanente, Crane has held leadership positions in the areas of quality management, national accounts, government relations, consulting and business services, and health plan operations. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente in 1983, Crane worked for nearly four years with the New York State Department of Health. This was preceded by eight years of executive and legislative branch experience at the federal level.
Crane holds a master’s degree in business and public administration from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster.