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CareOregon announces a new Chief Equity Diversity & Inclusion Officer and election of a new Board of Directors Chair to lead organizational change

Mar 23, 2021, 07:00 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Today, CareOregon announced a number of organizational changes to further cement its commitment and service to the community. This includes refreshing the non-profit health plan’s mission statement, creating a new Chief level position to lead Equity, Diversity & Inclusion work, and the selection of a new Board of Directors Chair. 

“The challenges of 2020 made it clear that it is time to double down on our mission to make health care work for everyone,” said Eric C. Hunter, President and Chief Executive Officer of CareOregon. “We are ready to lean in and lead this work. You are going to see CareOregon show up in a different way moving forward. I’m excited about these changes and what’s on the horizon for community partnerships in 2021.”

CareOregon is the state’s largest provider of Oregon Health Plan services—putting it on the leading edge of conversations about social determinants of health, ranging from access to housing, healthy foods and childcare for low-income Oregonians.

To reflect its critical role in the community, CareOregon Board of Directors formally approved a new mission statement: To inspire and partner to create quality and equity in individual and community health.

Additionally, the organization took a major step by creating a new Chief Equity Diversity & Inclusion Officer position to lead internal and external efforts to address the ongoing health disparities in the communities it serves.

The organization is proud to announce the selection of Dr. James Mason as its first Chief Equity Diversity & Inclusion Officer. He brings a rich background working across the health care sector and track record of delivering organizational strategies that put equity first.

“I am honored to step into this newly formed role at CareOregon,” commented Dr. Mason.  “This is an indication of how important the organization views the need to ensure that all voices and audiences are heard and not left behind.”

To round out changes at the company, Damien R. Hall has been selected to lead the Board of Directors. Hall joined the CareOregon board in 2014 and serves on its Executive and Community Impact committees.

“I am honored that my fellow board members entrusted me with this leadership role at such an auspicious time,”  said Damien R. Hall. “The challenges around issues such as health, equity and opportunity have become part of the public consciousness in recent years, but CareOregon has always been a leader in this arena. I look forward to working alongside the board and company leaders to keep pushing to drive improvements in community health and meet the CareOregon mission.”

Mr. Hall, a partner at Ball Janik LLP, is also an active participant in community development issues across the region. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc., the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce, while also being appointed by the Portland City Council to the Home Forward Board of Commissioners and the Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission.

For more information about CareOregon’s Board of Directors is available here: HERE