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A farewell, but not goodbye, to our leader Murray Ross

By Cecilia Oregón, MPP, MPH, Executive Director, Institute for Health Policy

I knew of Murray Ross well before I began my 10-year (and counting) journey at Kaiser Permanente. For the last 20-plus years, Murray has represented Kaiser Permanente in countless health policy conversations on topics ranging from drug pricing to telehealth to value-based care.

He came to each conversation with an open mind, deep experience, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the organization. Since joining the Institute for Health Policy 6 years ago, I have had the opportunity to work side-by-side with him through numerous professional and personal circumstances ranging from the joyous to the unfortunate with everything from wildfires to global pandemics in between.

Through it all Murray has been an ally, mentor, and a friend and I know he has been all this and more to the rest of the Institute’s staff and countless other health policy professionals over the years. In fact, one of his favorite phrases is “learn, do, teach” and he has done just that over the course of his career.

Whether through his engagement with the Society of Health Policy Young Professionals or mentoring the Institute for Health Policy’s interns, Murray has found a way to connect to emerging leaders in the field, encouraging their interests, and nudging them closer to their true potentials.

Reflecting upon his upcoming retirement, I can say that he will truly be missed. His remarkable health policy insight as well as his love of all things Canada (especially hockey) have brought insight and joy to team meetings and one-on-one conversations over the years.

The Institute team takes comfort from the fact that Murray “isn’t going far” and generously offers to be a phone call away. Despite urging him to protect his retirement from folks like me that would insert ourselves into his soon-to-come seven-day weekends, I feel fortunate to know that he will remain close. In addition to saying that I have had an incredible boss over the past 6 years, I can say that I have made a lifelong friend.

On behalf of the Institute for Health Policy and Kaiser Permanente, thank you, Murray Ross, for your dedication and insight.

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