November 11 2019

Bob’s Blog: Loss of a Giant

Bernard Tyson
Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals
Photo courtesy Kaiser Foundation

Bernard Tyson was a champion for health equity and “health for all” – disguised as a health system executive.

Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson passed away this weekend, and my heart is heavy.

He was a leader among leaders, and carried himself with integrity, compassion, accountability, and humility.

In my most recent meeting with him, our wide-ranging conversation covered topics like how to get more young people of color into health careers, how to spur economic development in distressed communities, how to plot the roadmap to universal health coverage, and the frustrations that come with labor negotiations.  These all sound like heavy topics, but Bernard also had a sharp wit, a great sense of humor, and he was a masterful storyteller.  We shared stories about our children, and we laughed raucously as well.

And — he rose through the leadership ranks to run the largest private sector delivery system in the world.  During his tenure, Kaiser Permanente strengthened its position as the industry leader, and invested more resources to improve the health of underserved communities.

Our California and our nation will miss the leadership of Bernard Tyson.  We keep his family and the Kaiser community close to our hearts this week.

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