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Karen Johnson Joins the Alliance as Director of Performance Improvement and Innovation

Please join us in welcoming Karen Johnson, the newest member of the Alliance team. While we had hoped Karen would begin her new role in the office with the rest of us, she is joining us remotely given the current conditions and office restrictions. Karen has jumped in and is actively involved with the team across many important initiatives.

Karen comes to the Alliance as an accomplished leader with experience that spans traditional health care boundaries having worked with employers, health plans, providers, and health systems over her 30+ year career. Understanding the unique perspective of these different stakeholders allows her to serve as a bridge-builder and change agent. Karen believes in the power of “coloring outside the lines and forging unexpected alliances with a singular mission in mind – to make health care work better for more people at a cost they can afford.”

Most recently, Karen was Vice President of Healthcare Insights and Partnerships at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City where she led multiple strategic initiatives to drive innovative health care solutions in the Kansas City market. Her work spanned the development and implementation of value-based strategies, advanced provider payment models, primary care transformation, and clinical data interoperability efforts. Karen also played a key role in the establishment of the KC Health Collaborative, a new multi-stakeholder collaborative focused on the needs of the bi-state Kansas City region. She holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy & Management and a Masters of Health Services Administration.

With her move west, Karen says she is looking forward to being near the ocean, mountains, and her sister whose family has been living in the Seattle area for almost 30 years. She is looking forward to exploring the region by foot and on wheels (hiking and biking), enjoying Sunday dinners with extended family, and in particular, getting to know all of her fellow believers in the possibilities for change when we work together across the state!

We look forward to the opportunity for you to meet Karen in-person, but in the meantime, if you want to welcome her or offer any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to her at kjohnson@wahealthalliance.org or 816.309.6472.

Karen and her sons, Cooper and Finn.

Published: March 31, 2020

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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