Gov. Brown selects Dawn Jagger as new senior health policy advisor

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen sent the following email Monday morning, announcing Dawn Jagger as Gov. Brown’s new senior health policy advisor.


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Good morning!

Today I want to share the news that Governor Brown has asked Dawn Jagger, OHA chief of staff and director of the External Relations Division, to serve as her next senior health policy advisor. Dawn steps into her new position on March 9th. I’m excited to continue to work with Dawn in her new role in the Governor’s Office and grateful for everything she’s accomplished at OHA.

Dawn was at the core of the small team of trusted leaders I brought to OHA when I started here more than two years ago. Our immediate goal was to help settle things down, solve our most pressing problems and rebuild relationships with our partners, legislators and stakeholders. Dawn has been essential to the progress we’ve made on all these fronts.

As Chief of Staff, Dawn has been instrumental in breaking down silos in our agency and working across divisions to solve problems. Last year, when we found ourselves in federal court facing a contempt hearing because counties were flooding the Oregon State Hospital (OSH) with homeless people who were mentally ill, Dawn worked with OSH Superintendent Dolly Mattuecci and her team to execute an action plan that resolved the crisis.

As leader of the External Relations Division, Dawn worked with Holly Heiberg (our Government Relations Director) to ensure we were able to achieve our policy goals in the past legislative session, gaining sustainable funding for Medicaid, expanding behavioral health services for youth and families, expanding funds for public health modernization and reforming the aid and assist process to reduce the burden on the Oregon State Hospital from counties sending people who do not need hospital-level care.

Dawn also led the expansion of our Ombudsperson program. When we arrived in 2017, OHA had one ombudsperson (Ellen Pinney) to solve problems for more than a million OHP members. Dawn brought on Sarah Dobra to manage the program and together they’ve built a team that has dramatically expanded our ability to address the needs of OHP members. Dawn also brought Oliver Vera’s Community Partner Outreach Program back to OHA, expanding our capacity to engage underserved communities and improve health equity across the state.

Moving forward

Dawn will take on the role of Governor Brown’s senior health policy advisor following the retirement of Tina Edlund, in March. Tina has been a driving force in Oregon health care. Here at OHA she helped launch health transformation and the CCO system. As the Governor’s senior health policy advisor, she led to process to put Oregon’s Medicaid on firm financial footing for the next 6 years and she ensured CCO 2.0 reflected Governor Brown’s health priorities. I appreciate Tina’s wise counsel and support for our agency – and her commitment to improving the health of all Oregonians.

To fill Dawn’s important role, I’m opening a recruitment process later this week.

In the meantime, Dawn’s leadership has helped put OHA on firm footing. She has a strong team in the External Relations Division, and we will continue to move forward with our strategic plan, CCO 2.0, the State Health Improvement Plan, and building stronger, more transparent and responsive relationships with communities across Oregon.

Please join me in congratulating Dawn. While this is certainly bittersweet news, I’m excited for this opportunity for Dawn, and I look forward to continuing to work with her to eliminate health inequities and transform health care in her new role at the Governor’s Office.