A message from the new executive director of
the Washington Health Alliance,
Dr. Drew OliveiRa

Dear King County Medical Society,

Earlier this month, I became the new executive director of the Washington Health Alliance (WHA), the first time a physician has been in this role. It is a true honor to serve with such a dedicated staff and Board of Directors on the important work to improve the health of our communities. The WHA began in 2004 to bring together all stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem. Today, the WHA is the only independent organization that brings together over 185 purchasers, health plans, government, community organizations, and 48 health systems, hospitals, medical groups, and clinics to convene and facilitate initiatives that promote health and improve quality and affordability for all Washingtonians.   Importantly, the WHA has always engaged physician leaders to determine the system's definitions of quality, effectiveness, waste, and overuse.

At the WHA, we have a number of ways to engage our community. The Quality Improvement Committee, facilitated by Sharon Eloranta, MD, includes two dozen physicians representing medical groups, agencies, and health plans. Working with the QIC, we produce an annual report, the Community Checkup, displaying both quality and costs in Washington. We provide educational content for consumers to help them navigate a complex system at Own Your Health.  We convene purchasers to better understand the economics of healthcare, value-based purchasing, and how best to work with their health plans. Our Health Economic Committee brings together stakeholders to focus on improving transparency related to utilization and costs to reduce unwarranted variations that impact cost trends. Similar to the QIC, physicians are key participants in the HEC. 

Bringing together multiple stakeholders will be the most effective way to positively impact care delivery, access, quality, and costs. Within the coming months, you will see us report increasingly on the impact of healthcare disparities on a variety of clinical measures defined by the QIC.  The impact of income, education, employment, housing, and geography is clearly correlated with health outcomes. Helping our physician groups to better target and outreach to select populations will improve practice efficiency in addition to affecting clinical outcomes such as cardiovascular, cancer, and childhood mortality rates. 

Thank you again to those of you who have supported the work of the Alliance. I look forward to partnering with our physicians in King County and the other state-wide stakeholders to support a high-quality, affordable system for Washington. If there is ever a time you would like to make suggestions, become more involved, or like to learn more, please feel free to reach out to me.

Drew Oliveira, MD
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200 Broadway Suite 200 | Seattle, WA 98122 United States
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