Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH

Board Chairman

An internationally recognized healthcare thought leader and advocate of information technology as an enabler for improving healthcare safety and quality, Dr. Kizer served as president and CEO of Medsphere for several years, retiring in October 2007. He continues as chairman, a position he has held since Medsphere was founded in 2002. Dr. Kizer is also currently the director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis, where he is also a distinguished professor at the School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

From 1994 through 1999, Dr. Kizer served as under secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As the highest ranking physician in the federal government and chief executive of the nation's largest healthcare system—with a $22B budget, 200,000-plus employees and more than 1100 care delivery sites—Dr. Kizer is widely credited with architecting and driving the greatest transformation of VA healthcare since the system was created in 1946. He led the largest electronic health record implementation in U.S. history and pioneered several major IT innovations during his VA tenure.

Prior to joining Medsphere, Dr. Kizer served for six years as the founding president and CEO of the National Quality Forum in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit dedicated to improving American healthcare through endorsement of national voluntary consensus standards for measuring and reporting healthcare quality. Established in 1999, pursuant to a recommendation of a presidential commission, Dr. Kizer took the commission’s uncertain idea and developed NQF into a unique public-private partnership of 300-plus organizations.

Dr. Kizer also served as director of the California Department of Health Services and as the state's top health official for many years prior to joining the VA. Earlier in his career, he was chief of public health and director of emergency medical services for California.

Dr. Kizer is a member the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration, among many accolades and recognitions. 

An honors graduate of Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Kizer is board-certified in six medical specialties or sub-specialties, and has authored more than 400 original articles, book chapters and other reports. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Medical Society, the Delta Omega National Honorary Public Health Society.

A popular speaker and much sought after consultant, Dr. Kizer has been repeatedly named one of the "100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare" (Modern Healthcare), and featured in Time, BusinessWeek, Fortune and numerous other media.