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George Isham, M.D., M.S.

Term: January 1, 2013 - August 31, 2016

As Senior Advisor, Dr. Isham is responsible for working with the senior management team of HealthPartners on health and quality of care improvement for patients, members and the community.  Prior to his appointment as Senior Advisor in 2012, Dr. Isham served as HealthPartners' Medical Director and Chief Health Officer, a position he was appointed to in 1993.  Dr. Isham is also Senior Fellow, HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research.  As Senior Fellow, he is responsible for facilitating progress at the intersection of population health research and public policy.

Dr. Isham was a founding board member of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, a collaborative of Twin Cities medical groups and health plans that is improving triple aim outcomes and implementing clinical practice guidelines in Minnesota.  Dr. Isham currently provides leadership to other care delivery systems through service on the board of directors for Presbyterian Health Services in Albuquerque, NM and the External Advisory board of the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, WI.  Dr. Isham is also a board member for Presbyterian Health Plan also in Albuquerque, NM. 

Dr. Isham is active nationally and currently co-chairs the National Quality Forum convened Measurement Application Partnership.  He is former chair of the National Committee for Quality Assurances’ Clinical Program Committee and co-chair of NCQA’s Committee on Performance Measurement.  He is also former chair of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Technical Expert Panel on the National Impact Assessment of CMS Quality Measures and was a member of the Agency for Healthcare Quality’s National Steering Committee for the Development of Measures of Appropriate Clinical Preventive Services for Older Adults.  He is a former member of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Task Force on Community Preventive Services, the Agency for Health Care Quality’s United States Preventive Services Task Force and the Advisory Committee to the Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Dr. Isham served on a 5-member panel that provided a review of the Public Health Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, on the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson funded Aligning Forces for Quality Grant and on RWJ’s advisory panel on the spread of a Culture of Health in the United States.  Dr. Isham was a former member of the board of directors of the American’s Health Insurance Plans, the Alliance of Community Health Plans and the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review at Harvard.

Dr. Isham has chaired the IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy and is currently co-chair of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on Population Health Improvement.  He has served on the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice and has chaired the IOM committees that authored the reports Priority Areas for National Action, Transforming Health Care Quality and The State of the USA Health Indicators.  He was invited to present the Institute of Medicine’s Rosenthal Lecture for 2005 on “Next Steps toward Higher Quality Health Care.”  In addition, he has served on a number of committees, has presented to a number of workshops, and served as a reviewer of reports and workshop proceedings.  In 2003, Dr. Isham was appointed as a lifetime National Associate of the National Academies of Science in recognition of his contributions to the work of the Institute of Medicine and in 2014 was elected as a member of the institute of Medicine

Epidemic of Care, published in April 2003, with co-author George Halvorson, is Dr. Isham’s examination of the health care crisis the in United States with recommendations on ways to solve it.  Dr. Isham is frequently asked to present on topics related to improving quality of care and Health and is often quoted in local and national media.

Prior to his current tenure at HealthPartners, Dr. Isham was medical director for MedCenters Health Plan in Minneapolis and executive director for University Health Care, Inc., in Madison, Wisconsin.  His practice experience as a primary care physician included three years in the United States Navy, eight years at the Freeport Clinic in Freeport, Illinois, and three and one-half years as clinical assistant professor in Medicine at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Isham has a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology and Master of Science in preventive medicine/administrative medicine, University of Wisconsin Madison; Doctor of Medicine, University of Illinois; internship and residency in internal medicine, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, Wisconsin.

About HealthPartners
Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners ( family of healthcare companies serves more than one million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. It is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation, providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community.