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Q&A: Kaiser Permanente's Next CEO Talks Strategy

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 6, 2012

Bernard J. Tyson, a Kaiser Permanente employee and leader for 28 years and its chief operating officer and president for the last two, will take over from retiring chairman and CEO George Halvorson in a series of steps over the next six months.

Halvorson announced in October that he would step down in December of 2013.

Bernard J. Tyson

A resident of Oakland, Tyson, 53, has served as the executive vice president of Kaiser's health plan and hospital operations, and has been senior vice president and COO for Kaiser operations in eight states outside California.  

Kaiser serves nine million enrollees from its nearly three dozen hospitals and generates $50 billion in annual revenue. It has 180,000 employees on its payroll, of which 17,000 are physicians.

In a brief phone interview Monday, Tyson shared his vision and goals for the organization.

HLM: One of the things healthcare leaders may want to know is your vision for Kaiser. Will you follow the path set by George Halvorson or do you have some new ideas you'd like to put forth?

BT: Fortunately, I've had the privilege of working very closely with George. It's a vision and strategy we've worked on together and in the organization.  I believe in it. It's strong and we'll move forward with that work.  At the same time, I'll be looking at the strategic question of  'and what else.' We will continue to build out our strategy as we learn more about the changes that are happening in the healthcare industry.

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