Katherine Gottlieb, MBA, DPS, LHD, is a leader in customer-driven health care improvement. For more than 25 years, she served as the president/CEO of Southcentral Foundation, the largest regional tribal health organization in Alaska. When she assumed her leadership role, Alaska Native health care was primarily managed and administered by the Indian Health Service. She led a whole system redesign to transform what was once a slow medical bureaucracy into an agile, customer-owned system of care. Today, she leads a workforce of over 2,000 employees in a redesigned health care delivery system that works together with Alaska Native and American Indian people to achieve wellness. She also served as a director on the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Board of Directors and the Alaska Native Medical Center Joint Operating Board for more than 20 years, on the leadership team of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100 Million Healthier Lives Initiative, served as the chair of the Recover Alaska Steering Committee, current Board member for the Storyknife Writers Retreat, and an elected tribal council member for Seldovia Village Tribe. Other prior affiliations include membership on the National Library of Medicine Board of Regents and Alaska Pacific University Board of Trustees. She was the first Alaskan to be named a MacArthur Fellow (Class of 2004). Recent honors include the 2015 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award from the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the 2016 IHS Director’s Award, and selection to the 2017 edition of Becker’s “Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know” list. Dr. Gottlieb was the first health care president/CEO in history to lead an organization into the receipt of two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards (2011 and 2017).
Dr. Gottlieb speaks, writes and consults on a range of topics, including Primary Care Redesign, Community Strategic Planning, Integrating Culture into Health Care, Behavioral Health – Primary Care Integration, Traditional Healing, Complementary Wellness, Domestic Violence Prevention, Customer- and Mission-Driven Quality Improvement, and Organizational Performance Excellence. She shares her knowledge at Southcentral Foundation’s Learning Institute and has lectured across North America and portions of Europe and the South Pacific.
Dr. Gottlieb received undergraduate (Business Administration), graduate (Public Health Administration), and honorary doctorate (Doctor of Public Service) degrees from Alaska Pacific University, and her second honorary doctorate (Doctor of Humane Letters) from University of Alaska Anchorage.
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