In this episode of the Early Link Podcast, we speak with Dr. John Kitzhaber, a physician and previous governor of Oregon, about ways to improve our health systems and re-frame the national healthcare debate.

Dr. John Kitzhaber is well known in Oregon and across the country for his expertise on health care and health policy. He has practiced as an emergency physician, served for 14 years in the Oregon legislature, and completed three terms as governor of Oregon. Through his service, he authored the Oregon Health Plan and was the chief architect of the state’s Coordinated Care Organizations.

The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) provides health care coverage for low-income Oregonians from all walks of life. This includes working families, children, pregnant women, single adults, seniors, and more.

Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) is a network of all types of health care providers who are working together in their local communities to serve people who receive health care coverage under the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid). CCOs integrate physical, mental, and dental care with the goal of better health, better care, and lower costs. CCOs focus on prevention of illness and disease and improving care. This helps reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and gives people support to be healthy.

Additional Resources

Children’s Institute Health and Learning Initiative

Reframing the 2020 Health Care Debate by Dr. John Kitzhaber

CCO Health Innovations Support Early Learning Goals

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