Now that the election is over pundits will soon begin to speculate as to who Barack Obama will select for his cabinet. While I’m hardly a pundit, and just a simply country doctor, I thought I’d put in my two cents on health care related appointees before all the real pundits drown me out. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again, I hope the President Elect nominates former Governor of Oregon John Kitzhaber as either Secretary of Health and Human Services or as Surgeon General of the United States. Here’s Dr. Kitzhaber’s brief resume from wecandoit.org:
- Born in Colfax, Washington on March 5, 1947
- South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon in 1965
- Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Dartmouth College, 1969
- Doctor of Medicine, University of Oregon Medical School, 1973
- Internship at General Rose Memorial Hospital in Denver, Colorado, 1974
- ER physician Roseberg, Oregon for 15 years.
- Elected Oregon State House of Representatives, 1978
- Elected Oregon State Senate, 1980
- Elected Oregon State Senate President 1985-1993. Authored Oregon Health Plan.
- Elected to two terms as Governor State of Oregon, 1994-2002.
- President, Estes Park Institute (holds educational conferences for community hospitals), 2003
- Director for the Center for Evidence Based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University
- Holds endowed Chair on Health Care Policy with The Foundation for Medical Excellence, an Oregon based public, nonprofit educational foundation.
- Founder of grass roots health care reform organization, the Archimedes Movement, 2006.
Everyone who seems to hold the office of HHS Secretary or Surgeon General seem to go on to champion health care reform issues. Perhaps we should take someone already doing and give them the job.