Samaritan Health Plans Names New CEO

Samaritan Health Plans, a division of Corvallis-based Samaritan Health Services, has named Bruce Butler as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Doug Boysen, Samaritan’s President/CEO, made the announcement this week after a six-month national search.

Butler succeeds the Health Plans’ founding CEO Kelley Kaiser, who became Samaritan Health Services’ Chief Administrative Officer last October.  Kaiser will continue in her dual role until Butler begins his new position in late July.

“We are fortunate that Kelley’s deep experience with our health plans will help facilitate a smooth transition for Bruce,” Boysen said.       

Samaritan Health Plans operates the region’s Coordinated Care Organization (called IHN-CCO) as well as a Medicare Advantage plan for residents of Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties.  It also provides employer group coverage for businesses throughout Oregon including Samaritan Health Services, which is self-insured for its employees and their dependents.

As the Health Plans’ new CEO, Butler brings more than 20 years of experience in health plan leadership, including with health care systems like Samaritan that operate hospitals and physician clinics as well as health plans.  Most recently, he served as CEO of Valley Health Plans in San Jose, Calif., which provides coverage to County of Santa Clara employees, Covered California exchange members, and to Medicaid beneficiaries under a plan similar to IHN-CCO.  Butler has also held leadership roles for Presbyterian Health Plan in Albuquerque and for the University of California’s Division of Health Sciences and Services in Oakland.  

“Bruce is a seasoned health plan leader with extensive experience in various aspects of the insurance industry,” Boysen said.  “This experience will be of great benefit as we continue to strengthen our health plan offerings and our commitment to exemplary member service.”

Butler said he was drawn to the position in part because of Samaritan’s integrated delivery model that encompasses hospitals, clinicians and health plans.

“After seeing how many different health plans operate, I am convinced that the integrated model Samaritan employs offers the best opportunity to achieve the ‘Triple Aim’ of increased quality and outcomes, excellent member satisfaction, and cost containment,” Butler said.  “I look forward to seeing what we will accomplish together.”   

Butler received a Master’s in Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. 

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