Who We Are

Oregon Healthiest State is a privately led, publicly supported partnership that engages and inspires Oregonians to create and sustain healthy environments to support healthy lifestyles. We want to make our environments healthier – at work, home, school, the doctor’s office, restaurants, grocery stores and everywhere in between.
Oregon Healthiest State is a privately led, publicly endorsed partnership. Founding partners Oregon Health Sciences University, Oregon Business Council, Cambia Health Foundation and Nike launched the effort in 2012 with the full support of former Governor Kitzhaber.

Our main decision-making body, the Executive Steering Committee, includes funding, and non-funding partners. We would like to thank our members for their service, leadership, and commitment in helping Oregon become the healthiest state in the nation.

Executive Steering Committee Members:

Michael Alexander, Retired CEO, Urban League of Portland

In 2015, Mr. Alexander retired from his role of President & CEO of the Urban League of Portland where he had served as the organization’s lead executive since 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Alexander served as Vice President for Account Management at Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield where he was responsible for their design and account management, retention and purchaser satisfaction strategies. Mr. Alexander also served as Chairman of the Board of the Cambia Health Solutions Foundation. Mr. Alexander earned his BA from Lewis University and his MSS from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work. He is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, Portland Coalition of Black Men, the Black Male Achievement Steering Committee, an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow, and the proud parent of Derek, Shannon and Christopher and grandpa to Xavier, Laila and Caleb.

Jorge Casimiro, Vice President and COO, Global Community Impact, Nike

Jorge Casimiro’s bio is coming soon.

Mark Ganz, President and CEO, Cambia Health Solutions

Mark has been a change agent in the ever-evolving health care community his entire life, and health care system transformation has become his personal passion and professional cause. The son of a Spokane, Washington, physician, Mark spent many childhood afternoons at his father’s family practice learning the importance of service, community and family.

Transforming the way people experience health care is the cornerstone of his vision for the industry and Cambia. Since taking the top post in 2003, he has guided the company along a path of re-imagining and reshaping the health care system to one that is accountable to individuals and families. Mark has led the charge to make the system more affordable, understandable, and economically sustainable. At Cambia, that means nourishing game-changing companies such as HealthSparq, while delivering on the promise built over 95 years as a trusted health plan.

Mark has an extraordinary record of involvement regionally and on the national stage, including as chairman of the board for America’s Health Insurance Plans. Mark also serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: Portland General Electric Company; Oregon Business Council (also executive committee member); Greater Portland Inc, a regional economic development corporation; Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; University of Portland Board of Regents; Boy Scouts of America-Cascade Pacific Council; Jesuit High School; and The Conversation Project.

In 2013, he was honored with a Governors’ Gold Award for his lifetime contributions to the state of Oregon in the areas of health care, economic development and leadership through community service. Mark’s commitment to community was also recognized when he was inducted into the Gonzaga Preparatory School Hall of Fame along with his brothers, Rick and Bill. In 2015, the National Eagle Scout Association awarded Mark the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) for his tremendous commitment and leadership within the community and health care industry. Recognition of Mark’s groundbreaking work to personalize health care led Portland Business Journal to name him Healthcare CEO of the Year for 2014.

Mark earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. While an undergraduate, he was a staff member for U.S. Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson (D-Wash). He lives in Portland with his wife, Leslie, and their two children.

Joe Robertson, President, Oregon Health & Science University

Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A., appointed OHSU’s president in 2006, has led numerous initiatives aimed at providing improved health care access to Oregonians. Other professional interests include the development of healthcare delivery systems and the application of cost accounting principles to medical practice, with the goal of reducing expenses for care while enhancing patient outcomes. He began at OHSU as a resident in 1979 and held numerous posts, including director of the Casey Eye Institute, and most recently, dean of the School of Medicine. Robertson is an acclaimed surgeon and researcher who has participated in numerous clinical trials.

Lynne Saxton, Director, Oregon Health Authority

Lynne Saxton is the director of the Oregon Health Authority. She previously held the role of executive director at Youth Villages Oregon, a nonprofit providing results-driven services to youth and families. She is active in community and civic leadership positions, including service on the Early Learning Council, the International Women’s Forum and the Willamette University Board of Trustees. She also served on the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission and as chair of the Metropolitan Family Service Board. She recently received the Gordon and Sharon Smith New Freedom Award from the Oregon Chapter of NAMI. Lynne graduated from Willamette University and attended the University of Michigan Business School Executive Program.

Greg Van Pelt, Director, Oregon Health Leadership Council

Greg’s bio is coming soon.

Duncan Wyse, President, Oregon Business Council

Duncan Wyse is the president of the Oregon Business Council, a private non-profit, non-partisan organization consisting of chief executives from some of Oregon’s largest businesses.  OBC focuses the knowledge and resources of its members on key long-range public policy issues facing Oregon such as economic development, education, health care, transportation, and public finance.  OBC has launched many statewide initiatives, including the Oregon Business Plan and Employers for Education Excellence.

Prior to this position, Wyse was the Executive Director of the Oregon Progress Board, where he developed Oregon Shines, Oregon’s long-range strategy for economic growth, and Oregon Benchmarks, indicators measuring how Oregon is doing as a people, place and economy.  Previously, he spend eight years at the California Public Utilities Commission, serving as advisor to the President and Director for Policy and Planning.

Wyse earned a Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and a Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University.  He grew up in Portland, and is married with three children.

Bobby Cochran, Executive Director, Willamette Partnership

Bobby Cochran is the Executive Director of the Willamette Partnership, a non-profit coalition of business, environmental, and leaders working to enhance the pace, scope, and effectiveness of restoration in the Northwest. It specializes in the design and operation of emerging markets for ecosystem services. Bobby has worked on market-based policies for environmental organizations, a water utility, and international efforts. He received a Ph.D./M.A. in Urban Studies/Conflict Resolution from Portland State University, and his Masters in Public Policy from the University of Southern California.

John Hancock, President, Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington

Bio coming soon

Scott Parrish, President and CEO, A-dec, Inc.

Bio coming soon

Sarah Foster
Executive Director

Sarah’s strong background in collective impact, collaborative governance, and project management builds on her leadership skills to serve as Executive Director of Oregon Healthiest State. Sarah enjoys working on the cutting edge of health innovation and is particularly passionate about working directly with communities to ensure all Oregonians have equitable access to healthy social and built environments.  Sarah has experience working in both Wisconsin and Oregon to coordinate collective impact activities around health initiatives. Past work includes Transform Wisconsin, an initiative aimed at supporting rural communities in Wisconsin to transform their health and well-being and the Wisconsin Obesity Prevent Network, a network with a goal of creating alignment across diverse partnerships including government, communities, advocates, and funders to impact obesity.

Sarah has two Masters degrees in Public Affairs and Public Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When Sarah is not thinking about making Oregon the healthiest state in the nation, she enjoys backpacking in the Pacific Northwest, tending to her small (but mighty) vegetable garden, and spending time with friends and family.

Contact Sarah: sfoster@orbusinesscouncil.org