David Lawrence '58: 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient
Dr. Lawrence was named CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in 1991 and Chairman of the Board in 1992. Prior to assuming his current role, Dr. Lawrence served KFHP/KFH as vice chairman and chief operating officer (1990-91); senior vice president and regional manager for Northern California (1988-89); vice president and regional manager in Colorado (1985-88). He also was vice president and area medical director for Northwest Permanente in Portland (1981-85). Dr. Lawrence also served as health officer and director of Human Services in Multnomah County, Oregon; on the faculty of Department of Health Services and Director of MEDEX in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington; as advisor to the Ministry of Health of Chile; and as Peace Corps Physician in the Dominican Republic and Washington, D.C.
Dr. Lawrence is a graduate of Amherst College (BA), the University of Kentucky (MD), and the University of Washington (MPH). He is Board Certified in General Preventive Medicine (Johns Hopkins and University of Washington). He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (Medical Honorary Society) and the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences). He currently serves on the Boards of Agilent Technologies, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Raffles Medical Group of Singapore, The Rockefeller Foundation, RAND Health Advisory Board, the Bay Area Council, and the Hospital Research and Educational Trust (AHA). He previously served as chair of the International Federation of Health Funds and the University of California's President's Board on Research and Economic Development.
Dr. Lawrence is nationally known for his advocacy for improvements in the American health care delivery system. He served as member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Quality of Health Care in America that produced the landmark report on patient safety, "To Err is Human," and the blueprint for improving America's health care system, "The Quality Chasm."
Dr. Lawrence has been active in San Francisco Bay Area community affairs, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Bay Area and chair of the annual campaign for the United Way in Alameda County and the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Lawrence has been recognized as the Outstanding Alumnus of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington (1980); and The Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Medicine, University of Kentucky (1995). He was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni of the University of Kentucky (1995); and has received honorary degrees from Amherst College (Doctor of Science, 1994), and Colgate University (Doctor of Letters, 1995).
Given Kaiser Permanente's vast influence on American medicine, Dr. Lawrence's successful stewardship of his organization constitutes a contribution not only to Kaiser Permanente's 8.4 million members nationwide, but to all Americans. He is to be commended for the positive impact that Kaiser Permanente has had on the quality and affordability of health care in the United States.