Western University of Health Sciences has named John Kitzhaber, MD, former governor of Oregon, as its inaugural speaker for the Dr. Philip Pumerantz Distinguished Lectureship in Interprofessional Education.

Dr. Kitzhaber’s topic will be “”The Unfinished Business of the Baby Boom Generation: Health Care for the 21st Century.”” His presentation will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009, on the WesternU campus in Pomona.

The lectureship, in honor of WesternU’s founder and president, Dr. Philip Pumerantz, was established earlier this year as part of a $5.1 million pledge to WesternU by Drs. Daljit and Elaine Sarkaria of Orange.

“”I am truly honored and humbled to have this endowed lectureship established,”” Dr. Pumerantz said. “”Dr. Kitzhaber is a perfect choice as our first lecturer, as his extensive background in health-care reform reflects the balance represented in WesternU’s mission: humanistic care combined with scientific excellence.””

The Sarkarias dedicated $100,000 of their pledge to create the lectureship to encourage and foster exemplary medical research, education and quality patient care.

Dr. Kitzhaber has an expansive background in health care reform. He authored and implemented the state’s government-funded Oregon Health Plan during his time as President of the Senate. Following his second term as governor of Oregon, he served as President of the Estes Park Institute, which offers annual educational conferences for community hospitals. He also serves as Director for the Center of Evidence Based Policy at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and holds an endowed chair for Health Care Policy with the Foundation for Medical Excellence, a nonprofit educational foundation.

In January 2006, Dr. Kitzhaber founded The Archimedes Movement, which created the opportunity to channel effective actions for a new health care system.