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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.


Lynne Saxton

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 Services 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.

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Chief Operating Officer

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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Director of Strategic Initiatives

Linda Hammond

Linda Hammond is the director of strategic initiatives and charged with implementing Lean leadership and processes in each division. Linda was most recently the interim COO of the Oregon Health Authority. 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, served as deputy COO 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 health care organizations, including public health, managed care, long-term care, behavioral health and Medicaid. Leslie serves as the chief of policy and leading 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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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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Interim Director for Communications

Susan Wickstrom

Susan Wickstrom began her career with the state as a communications writer supporting the H1N1 influenza pandemic response. She has also worked as a communication specialist for the Oregon Immunization Program and lead communications officer for the Public Health Division. Prior to state service, Susan was an advisor and instructor at Western Oregon University and wrote for publications such as Willamette Week and The Oregonian. She received her bachelor’s degree in writing from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in communications from Stanford University.

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Director for Legislative Affairs and Government Relations

Courtney Westling

Courtney Westling joined OHA in 2013 as the director of Legislative Affairs and Government Relations. Her role allows her to help educate legislators about OHA’s goals and mission as an agency. Prior to OHA, she served as outreach director for the Center for Michigan, a non-profit advocacy organization in Ann Arbor, MI, engaging communities on issues such as early childhood education. From 2009-2011, she served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley in Washington, D.C. Courtney received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a master of public administration (MPA) from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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Director for Local Government Affairs

Bobby Green

Bobby Green has been the director of Local Government Affairs at the Oregon Health Authority since OHA was created in 2010. He has served in multiple roles at the agency over the years including interim deputy chief operating officer, interim director of public health and interim director of the medical assistance programs. Bobby works with state and local officials on moving the health system transformation forward, and holds the distinction of being the first Local Government Affairs Director for the State of Oregon. During his time at OHA, Bobby has also been involved in agency-wide work to transform internally to meet the needs of the changing health care system. He has been a member of the Eugene City Council, the Lane County Commission, and has served as president of the Association of Oregon Counties. During his 13 year service as a commissioner for Lane County, he was a champion for public health in Lane County. Bobby received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon.

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Director for Medical Assistance Programs - State Medicaid Director

Judy Mohr Peterson

Judy Mohr Peterson has been the Director for Medical Assistance Programs of the Oregon Health Authority since September 2009. She’s been leading Oregon Medicaid’s efforts on health system transformation through the creation of Coordinated Care Organizations, and most recently, the Medicaid coverage expansion. In 2010, she was one of six Medicaid Director Fellows in the Robert Wood Johnson’s Medicaid Leadership Institute. She began her career with Medicaid in 1997, and worked eight years as managing the Analysis, Evaluation and Quality Improvement sections. She then spent five years managing caseload forecasting, actuarial services and the DHS/OHA budget. Before working for the Medicaid program, Judy evaluated and reported on children's mental health in Texas. She received her doctoral degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Interim Director for Medical Assistance Programs

Rhonda Busek

Rhonda Busek is the 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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Interim Director for Office of Equity and Inclusion

Leann Johnson

Leann Johnson, M.S., is the interim director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. She joined the Oregon Health Authority in 2010 as an executive manager for the Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights unit. Leann has more than 20 years of leadership experience developing equity, diversity and intercultural programs in the public and non-profit sectors. Past employers include Clark College, the City of Vancouver and the YWCA of Clark County. She also has served as a consultant to multiple agencies and organizations including the Vancouver Police Department, Portland General Electric, Bonneville Power Administration, Hewlett-Packard and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Leann is a qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory and the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory. She holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology with program focus in multicultural organizational development and indigenous psychology. Leann also has a bachelor’s degree in communications management from the University of Portland.

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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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PEBB/OEBB Interim Administrator

Kathy Loretz

Kathy Loretz joined PEBB in 2009 as Deputy Administrator. She continues in that role as well as the PEBB/OEBB Interim Administrator. Kathy will fill both positions until a permanent administrator is selected. Her health care experience includes radiological technology, business manager of a medical clinic, manager with the Division of Medical Assistance Programs and a manager with SAIF Corporation. Kathy enjoys spending time at the coast and with her family.

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OHA Chief Medical Officer - Administrator of the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research

Jeanene Smith, MD, MPH

Jeanene Smith, M.D., M.P.H., is the Oregon Health Authority’s chief medical officer (CMO) and the administrator of the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research (OHPR). As CMO, she provides leadership and alignment of medical policy across OHA, which includes Oregon’s Medicaid program, Public Employees' Benefit Board, Addictions and Mental Health, Public Health and the Transformation Center. For OHPR, Dr. Smith 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 Oregon's Health Policy Board's work to implement 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. Dr. Smith gives clinical advice and guidance for a range of other OHA and statewide efforts as Oregon’s State Innovation Model (SIM) grant’s principal investigator. Dr. Smith also sits on the Oregon Public Employees' Benefit Board and represents OHA on the Oregon Quality Corporation Board. She graduated from Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) School of Medicine, and 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 private practice and community clinics for more than 15 years, and continues to see patients on a limited basis at an Oregon federally qualified health center.

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