DiversityInc Events: George Halvorson

George C. Halvorson

George C. Halvorson is the Chairman and CEO of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding. He also chairs the First 5 Commission for Children and Families for the State of California. The Institute works on issues of ethnic and racial conflict and is focused on closing the learning gaps in American schools. The Commission works on creating optimal health status and learning opportunities for the children of California under the age of five years.


Halvorson has been the CEO for five health care systems over the past thirty years, with his most recent role as chair and CEO for Kaiser Permanente health systems, headquartered in Oakland, California. Kaiser Permanente is a 50billion dollar company with nearly 200,000care givers and more than 500owned care sites. With a highly diverse work force (more than 59 percent minority) Kaiser Permanente has had some of the highest quality of care scores and service scores in the country from Medicare, Consumer Reports, and JD Powers.

Halvorson was recently honored with the National Action Network Inaugural Health Care Award in recognition of his work to address and eliminate health care disparities. He also recently received the 2013 HISTalk Health Care IT Lifetime Achievement Award as well as America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

He has received the Modern Healthcare/Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) CEO IT Achievement Award and will be given the Modern Health Care Vision award later this year. The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange also awarded him the 2009 Louis Sullivan Award for leadership and achievements in advancing health care quality.

In 2012, he was the social media chair for the Global Health Policy Forum and was named No. 6 on Modern Healthcare’s annual 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list.

Halvorson has served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care, the IOM Task Force on Making America a Learning Health Care Organization, the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Advisory Committee on Health Reform, The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System and the New America Foundation Leadership Council.

He has served on the boards of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP).

Halvorson chaired the International Federation of Health Plans (IFHP) and co-chaired the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care for 2010. In 2009, he chaired the World Economic Forum’s Health Governors meetings in Davos.

Halvorson has written seven health care reform guidebooks, including Don’t Let Health Care Bankrupt America: Strategies for Financial Survival; Ending Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Disparities in American Health Care; Health Care Will Not Reform Itself: A User’s Guide to Refocusing and Reforming American Health Care; Health Care Reform Now!; Health Care Co-ops in Uganda; Strong Medicine; and Epidemic of Care. In 2012, he published KP Inside: 101 Letters to Us at Kaiser Permanente, which is a compilation of letters he has written to KP employees each week since September 27, 2007.

Halvorson served as an adviser to the governments of Uganda, Great Britain, Jamaica and Russia on issues of health policy and financing. His strong commitment to diversity and inter-ethnic healing has led him to his current writing project, a new book about racial and ethnic prejudice and intergroup conflict around the world.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Halvorson was president and chief executive officer of HealthPartners, headquartered in Minneapolis, for nearly 18 years. With more than 30 years of health care management experience, he has also held several senior management positions with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Health Accord International.

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