John was born in Colfax, Washington, March 5, 1947; graduated from Dartmouth College, 1969; and the University of Oregon Medical School, 1973. Following his internship in Denver Colorado he practiced Emergency Medicine in Roseburg, Oregon from 1974-1989. He was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1978; the State Senate in 1980, 1984 and 1988, serving as Senate President from 1985-1993. He is Oregon’s longest-serving governor, holding that office from 1995- 2003 and 2011-2015.
As Senate President, he authored the groundbreaking Oregon Health Plan, built around a list of health services prioritized on the basis of social values, clinical
effectiveness and a consideration of impact on the health of the entire covered population. Hundreds of thousands of low and moderate-income Oregon families
and their children still have access to health care because of this work. During his third term as governor John was the chief architect of Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations, the first effort in the country created on a statewide basis to meet the Triple Aim—better health, better quality, lower cost— with a focus on community and population health. Over the course of five years, this new care model enrolled over 385,000 more people under the ACA Medicaid expansion; maintained benefits, quality and outcomes; and held medical inflation to just 3.4% per member per year for a cumulative total funds savings of over $1.1 billion.
In 2013 Modern Healthcare Magazine ranked John #2 on list of the “100 Most Influential People in Health Care;” and #1 on the list of the “50 Most Influential
Physician Executives. In 2013, Governing Magazine named John “Public Official of the Year.”
He holds the Chair in Health Policy at the Foundation for Medical Excellence. John is currently a writer, speaker and private consultant on health policy and
He lives in Portland and spends his free time fly fishing and white water rafting on Oregon’s wild and scenic rivers.