July 14 | Future of Public Programs: What Oregon’s Budget Crisis Means for Medicaid, Mental Health Care

Explore the future of Oregon’s public programs, specifically the confluence of state budget cuts stemming from the COVID-19 economic crisis and rising demand for state-financed physical and mental health services.


John Kitzhaber was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1978 and then the State Senate in 1980, 1984 and 1988, serving as Senate President from 1985-1993. John is Oregon’s longest-serving governor, holding that office from 1995-2003 and 2011-2015. John served as President of the Estes Park Institute from 2003-2010 and currently holds the Chair of Health Policy at the Foundation for Medical Excellence. As Senate President, he authored the groundbreaking Oregon Health Plan, which challenged federal policy around categorical eligibility and sought to prioritize health services based on social values and clinical effectiveness. During his third term as governor John was the chief architect of Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), the first effort in the country created on a statewide basis to meet the Triple Aim—better health, better quality, lower cost— with a focus on community and population health. Over the past five years Oregon’s new CCO care model has reduced the Medicaid cost trend by two percentage points per member per year, realizing total savings of over $1.1 billion. Today nearly a million people — one out of every four Oregonians and sixty percent of our children — get quality care through a CCO. John is currently a writer, speaker and private consultant on health policy and politics.

John Kitzhaber can be reached at: hdk.lvs27@gmail.com


Jeremy Vandehey, JD, is the Director of the Health Policy and Analytics Division for the Oregon Health Authority, which is responsible for developing and implementing the state’s vision for health reform. His teams’ work includes policy analysis, health care cost and quality reporting, advancing evidence-based care and best practices, spreading the use of electronic health records, advancing payment reform, and purchasing health care for nearly 300,000 public employees. Before joining OHA, Jeremy served as Health Policy Advisor to Governor Kate Brown. Jeremy previously led government relations for Kaiser Permanente’s Northwest Region and served as the legislative director for OHA during the design and implementation of Oregon’s coordinated care organizations.

Jeremy Vandehey can be reached at: JEREMY.VANDEHEY@dhsoha.state.or.us

Ken Provencher serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of PacificSource Health Plans, just the fifth CEO in the company’s 86-year history. Immediately before his appointment to the post in 2001, Ken served as Vice President of Operations. Prior to joining PacificSource in 1995, Ken served as vice president of VHA Upstate New York, a 15-hospital healthcare system. His background also includes experience as administrative director for United Health Services Network and director of finance and operations for HMO of North Carolina, a Blue Cross/Blue Shield subsidiary. Ken has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 30 years. In addition to his post with PacificSource, Ken serves on the Marketplace Advisory Committee, the Alliance of Community Health Plans Board, and the board of the Oregon Health Leadership Council, a collaborative effort of health plans, hospitals and physicians formed to improve quality and reduce costs in Oregon’s healthcare system. Ken also participates on the Oregon State University School of Public Health Community Advisory Council and sits on the Board of Trustees of the OSU Foundation. In addition, he serves as a mentor in the American Health Insurance Plans Executive Leadership Program. He is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist for healthcare issues.

Ken Provencher can be reached at: ken.provencher@pacificsource.com

Jeff Heatherington, LHD (Hon) is the President of FamilyCare Health and The Heatherington Foundation for Innovation and Education in Health Care. In 1984, Jeff and three physicians founded Oregon’s oldest Medicaid managed care health insurance company. From those humble beginnings, FamilyCare led the way as the first Medicaid company in Oregon to fully integrate physical and mental health care, the first to pay Medicaid primary care providers commercial reimbursement rates, and developed a unique, fully integrated customer service program to provide streamlined services to both patients and providers. FamilyCare was named Best Company to Work For five years in a row (2012-2017). As a civic leader, Heatherington has served on many boards including the Oregon Health Council and the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Board. Currently he serves on the Board of the Oregon Symphony and is Treasurer of the American Osteopathic Foundation. In 2008, along with Samaritan Hospital CEO Larry Mullins, Heatherington founded Western University of Health Science’s Northwest College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lebanon, Oregon.

Jeff Heatherington can be reached at: jeffh@foundation.health

Heather Jefferis is the Executive Director for the Oregon Council for Behavioral Health (OCBH). Over the last 23 years of working in Behavioral Health, Substance Use Disorders, and Mental Health, Heather has provided direct services as a master’s level clinician, served as a program director, an executive and a board chair. Heather has developed, implemented, and operated programming within government clinics, non-profit clinic settings and criminal justice programs. In each of these roles, she has typically served individuals who are multisystem involved and frequently with co-occurring concerns. Heather intimately understands Oregon systems that support Oregonians on their path to whole person and family health. As the Executive Director of the Oregon Council for Behavioral Health, Heather has been charged by the OCBH Board to grow this local association representing the statewide integrated continuum of Behavioral Health Care in Oregon. OCBH has over 40 members providing the full continuum of services from prevention through residential services and detox.

Heather Jefferis can be reached at: heather@ocbh.org

Event Slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our Sponsors: