George Halvorson Community Health Leadership Award

George Halvorson Community Health Leadership Award

This national award honors an individual’s exemplary leadership in advancing Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our communities. The winner’s work improves community health in one or more of the following ways:

  • Drives for health equity
  • Addresses community health needs
  • Focuses on most underserved and vulnerable populations
  • Is co-designed with communities
  • Integrates with many/all parts of KP to deliver community health outcomes
  • Is (or will be) scaled for greater impact
  • Rigorously uses measurement and evaluation data

The winner gets to identify a charity of their choice to receive a $10,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente .

George Halvorson served as chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente from 2002 to 2013. The award was named after him to honor his leadership and achievements in advancing health care equality at Kaiser Permanente.

The 2018 recipient is Jodie Lesh, Senior Vice President, National Delivery System Strategy, Planning and Design.

Jodie was selected for her passion and leadership around Kaiser Permanente’s upstream community health improvement strategy in Southern California, called Cultivate. The Cultivate strategy has helped imagine other ways that a medical office building can help a community become healthier. In addition to being a place for community members to receive high-quality health care services, a medical building can also positively impact the surrounding community’s social and economic well-being by creating local job opportunities and promoting local small businesses during the facility’s construction and its ongoing operations.


The 2017 award went to Jerry Fleming. Jerry worked for Kaiser Permanente for 38 years before retiring in 2015 from his role as Senior Vice President, Health Care Reform Implementation & Policy.

When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, Jerry was one of the first leaders to champion a larger role for KP in the expansion of coverage to low-income Californians, both through the Exchange and Medicaid. He was also one of the first leaders to understand the new role of Medicaid in the health care system, and that KP had to find a way to participate in a significant and meaningful way. He ensured we figured out how to make it easier for people to transition between employer based coverage and Medicaid when their financial circumstances changed.


Community Benefit Summit 2016

Sharon Levine, MD was the first recipient to receive the George Halvorson Community Benefit Leadership Award.

Sharon Levine, MD, became the first recipient of the award in 2016.  Dr. Levine’s career speaks not only to her unwavering commitment to ensure high-quality, patient-centered health care, but her fidelity to Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of the communities we serve. Over her 40 year career at Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Levine demonstrated her leadership from her efforts to establish an organized Community Benefits program, to her inspiring Kaiser Permanente to take a stand against California’s Proposition 54 which would have made it illegal for state and local agencies to collect data on race or ethnicity, to her sponsorship of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Coordinating Council for Environmental Stewardship