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Reporter Tools - Biographies and photos

Here are brief bios of people who fill high-profile positions in the Oregon Health Authority. If you wish further information, please call 503-945-6691 or you can contact OHA.Communications@state.or.us.

Interim Director

Suzanne Hoffman 

Suzanne Hoffman began her career in public service in the Oregon Department of Justice and then joined the Oregon Department of Human Services where she served in a variety of roles including health services deputy director, human resources director, and chief administrative officer. In 2007, Ms. Hoffman also served as the interim director of the Oregon State Board of Nursing at the request of the Governor during a time of transition. As chief of staff in 2009, her major focus was implementing the internal changes necessary to create the newly established Oregon Health Authority (OHA), including the establishment of shared services functions with the Department of Human Services. She was appointed OHA's Chief Operating Officer in 2011. Ms. Hoffman is a graduate of Portland State University with an undergraduate degree in social sciences and a master's degree in public health.

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Interim Chief Operating Officer

Suzanne Hoffman 

Linda Hammond is interim COO of the Oregon Health Authority. Linda most recently filled the role of deputy COO. She has also held key leadership roles at OHA, community service agencies in Oregon and elsewhere. In the past she has also filled in as the interim administrator of the Oregon Health Authority's Addictions and Mental Health Division, and was the administrator of the Oregon State Hospital Replacement Project. Prior to that, she was the budget administrator for AMH, and she stepped up to be interim budget director for the Oregon Health Authority during the 2011 legislative session. Linda holds degrees in psychology (specializing in child development) and business management.

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Chief of Policy

Leslie Clement  

Leslie Clement has more than thirty years of professional experience working in healthcare organizations, including public health, managed care, long-term care, behavioral health and Medicaid. Leslie is currently serving as the acting chief of policy and leading 2014 implementation efforts to extend Oregon's Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining OHA, Leslie served as the Idaho State Medicaid Director. As one of three Deputy Directors in Idaho's Department of Health & Welfare, Leslie had responsibility for three department divisions including Behavioral Health, Medicaid, and Licensing & Certification. Leslie also lead the development of state managed care strategies including a multi-payer medical home initiative, a behavioral health plan carve-out and a comprehensive benefit plan for people who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. Leslie has extensive policy experience working with executive and legislative branches of state government. Leslie started her health career working for Multnomah County Health Department. Her educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the College of Wooster in Ohio and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Portland State University.

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Chief Financial Officer

Kelly Ballas  

Kelly Ballas is the Chief Financial Officer for the Oregon Health Authority and is also serving as the Interim Administrator for PEBB. He joined the Oregon Health Authority in 2011 to play a role in Oregon Health System Transformation, and led the OHA procurement for Coordinated Care Organizations. He has worked in health care in Oregon for more than 20 years, holding positions in finance, accounting and payer/provider contracting with hospitals, medical groups and health plans. His prior employers include Legacy health System, CareOregon, Adventist Health and most recently, Kaiser Permanente. In his free time, the Oregon native stays active in the great outdoors.

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Director for Addictions and Mental Health

Pam Martin  

Pam Martin Ph.D., ABPP is the director of the Oregon Health Authority's Addictions and Mental Health Division. Prior to joining OHA, she directed behavioral health programs for the University of New Mexico and the State of New Mexico as the Director of the Behavioral Health Services Division and then as the Director of Behavioral Health for juvenile justice facilities. In addition to collaborating on two large studies sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), she has administered Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health plan programs for both local and national plans and has been active in state and national professional organizations and advocacy groups. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Rutgers and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York and a Diplomate in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology.

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Director for Medical Assistance Programs - State Medicaid Director

Judy Mohr Peterson  

Judy Mohr Peterson was appointed assistant director for the Division of Medical Assistance Programs (DMAP) in September 2009. She joined DHS in 1997, and her experience includes eight years in DMAP as a manager of the analysis and evaluation unit and in research. She also has administered the caseload forecasting and actuarial services team. Before working for DHS and OHA, Judy was on a team that researched and reported on children's mental health in Texas. She received her doctoral degree in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Interim Director for Medical Assistance Programs

Rhonda Busek  

Rhonda Busek Rhonda Busek is interim director of OHA’s Medical Assistance Programs. Rhonda has been deputy director of DMAP since January 2012, following more than 15 years of progressive responsibility in health care in Oregon. Before coming to OHA, Rhonda was director of Medicaid Programs and the Healthy KidsConnect Program PacificSource Community Solutions in Lane County. Before that, she was the chief operations officer for Lane Individual Practice Association and senior vice president of government and community services for Trillium Community Health Plan. Rhonda has served on various OHP-related advisory groups including the Medicaid Advisory Committee, and OHP contractors and rates advisory panels. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and health care management, and a bachelor’s in human development and family studies.

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Director for Public Health

Lillian Shirley  

Lillian Shirley is the director of the Oregon Public Health Division. Lillian has been a local and national leader in advancing public health, and a leader in Oregon's effort to transform our state's health care system. Before coming to Oregon Public Health, she led the Multnomah County Health Department and helped launch one of the state's first coordinated care organizations as a member of the governing board of Health Share of Oregon. As vice-chair of the Oregon Health Policy Board, she also played a vital role in the state's move toward a health care system that provides better health and better care at lower cost. Before coming to Oregon, she was director of public health for the city of Boston and the first executive director of the Boston Health Commission. Lillian is also adjunct faculty at the OHSU School of Medicine and has been recognized by Research America as a "public health hero." She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of the State of New York, a master's in public health from Boston University and a master's in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Transformation Center

Cathy Kaufmann, M.S.W., is the director of the Oregon Health Authority's Transformation Center. In 2012, Cathy was OHA's Interim Medical Alignment Director, where she oversaw health policy development and alignment within OHA, DHS, and Cover Oregon, Oregon's health insurance exchange. Prior to that, Cathy served OHA as the Administrator of the Office of Healthy Kids and the Office of Client and Community Services. Healthy Kids was the largest expansion of health coverage in Oregon since the inception of the Oregon Health Plan in 1994 and is currently one of the largest expansions of coverage for children nationally. Prior to her joining OHA, Cathy served as the Policy & Communications Director for Children First for Oregon, a statewide child advocacy organization, and co-chaired the Human Services Coalition of Oregon. Cathy and her husband are the proud parents of two active boys, Ben and Nate.

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Administrator of the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research

Jeanene Smith, MD, MPH  

Jeanene Smith, MD, MPH has been with the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research since 2000. OHPR provides oversight and coordination for all elements of the Oregon Health Plan and state health trends, providing technical and policy support to the legislative and executive branch decision-making on health policy. This includes the work of Oregon's Health Policy Board which is focused on implementing a state health reform plan, the Health Evidence Review Commission, Medicaid Advisory Council Pain Management Commission, Patient Centered Primary Care Home Program, and the Primary Care Office. She graduated from Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) School of Medicine, completed a residency in Family Medicine at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated with a Masters in Public Health from Portland State University in 2001. She has practiced family medicine in both private practice and community clinics for over 15 years, and continues to see patients on a limited basis at an Oregon federally qualified health center.

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