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Moda Health President Dr. William Johnson balances life, work, play

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Articles - September 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013


0913 LWP WilliamJohnson
Moda Health President William Johnson is a self-proclaimed "gym rat." 
// Photo by Adam Wickham

Dr. William Johnson is the first president of Moda Health, formerly known as ODS Health. A thoracic and vascular surgeon, he attended medical school at the University of Southern California and completed a fellowship in thoracic surgery at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Johnson lives in Portland, with his wife, Dr. Nathalie Johnson, and 13-year-old daughter, Noelani. His son, Akhi, is an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. “Our life is made up of one large book, each chapter building on the next,” Dr. Johnson says. “My goal is avoiding the trap of not learning from the previous chapters. If I can accomplish this one tiny objective, the book will undoubtedly have a happy ending. So far, so good!”

“I keep a number of different books at my bedside that I refer back to and re-read. One is A Complaint Free World. Daily we can forget about what incredible opportunities we have and how thankful we should be. Another is The Purpose Driven Life — why are we here and how can we improve? I’m also reading Quiet, about introverts. It resonated with me because I’m a pretty quiet individual.”

“My wife is a breast surgeon in Portland. We met during residency. She was a couple years ahead of me when I was an intern. She invited me over to a dinner party, and I thought a bunch of residents would be there. It turns out I was the only guest; she asked me out on a date! She is my absolute best friend, my soul mate and my confidante. I could not envision my life without her.”

“My wife and I like going for long walks, hiking, mountain biking in Whistler. Because our lives are so busy, we really like to shut out the rest of the world and just spend time with the family. I am an absolute gym rat. However, I do have two deep, dark junk-food weaknesses. Everyone at work knows, because whenever they have to give me bad news, I’ll find Snickerdoodles and dark chocolate Kit Kats on my desk.”

“People always say ‘used to be a surgeon,’ but I laugh about that. I’m still a surgeon. When I applied to USC undergrad as a biology major, my goal was to work for the FDA. As a bio major, everyone assumes you’re pre-med, so that’s how I went down the physician path, which I loved. But the business side of me has always been there. This role has allowed me to use that other talent I had all along.”

“What I love about my job is teaching and helping develop leaders. Our motto is ‘be more, be better,’ and having the ability to help Oregonians improve their lives from a health standpoint is the most important thing. When I practiced surgery, taking care of the patients one at a time was very gratifying, but now taking care of entire populations at a time is incredibly rewarding.”



+5 #1 MsGuest 2013-10-19 03:18:46
Dear Dr Johnson,

I'm so glad Moda is in such good financial shape they were able to pay $40 million to get their name on the Rose Quarter. Was that why my premiums went up? How does this improve my healthcare? Or is that not exactly what Moda is all about?

Just Wondering,

Taizz Medalia RRT
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+2 #2 RE: Moda Health President Dr. William Johnson balances life, work, playGuest 2013-10-19 05:55:15
Dr Johnson -- Please think about "taking care of entire populations" by leaving our sports arenas alone and lowering our health-care costs while improving our health care. That is your job. Please do it, or resign. Thank you.
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+3 #3 I hope he sleeps well at night...Guest 2013-10-29 05:53:47
meanwhile, the company he is president of squanders their profits, kicks disabled children off their insurance plan and denies payment for a medication for a terminally ill cancer patient.
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+3 #4 Once a doctor...Guest 2014-08-13 21:49:41
He now has Moda health denying any new physicians the abililty to contract with Moda. This is the only insurance company in Oregon doing so. As a primary care physician my advice is to avoid Moda Health at all costs and choose another insurance provider. This guy seems to be more about boosting his own ego than taking care of Oregonians.
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-3 #5 ignoranceGuest 2014-10-16 09:04:40
All of these comments are just opinions of folks who have no idea what they are talking about. its a good idea to get the facts before you spout off your mouth
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+1 #6 CheatGuest 2014-12-10 18:48:11
He also was caught cheating on his re certification exam for surgery. Really?

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0 #7 Peter PerlygatesGuest 2014-12-19 04:15:19
Quoting Guest:
All of these comments are just opinions of folks who have no idea what they are talking about. its a good idea to get the facts before you spout off your mouth

Oooh. Deets please. What do you know? What has the article missed? Why do you defend this cheater? Or are you Mr/Dr Johnson? Hmmmm?
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0 #8 Peter PerlygatesGuest 2014-12-19 04:17:43
This guy's actions are out of this world. Even worse, MODA CEO's response -- whaaaa?? If this is o.k. with MODA's CEO, then there's bigger problems here.
Johnson should not be at MODA in 2015. He's not fit to lead. Period.
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0 #9 Ms. Taggart FitzpatrickGuest 2015-08-28 05:48:19
He did cheat and lost his license. He lost privledges at all Portland hospitals. I am a very sad person and he was watching over me while my surgeon went back to get his fellowship. I continued to complain I wasn't well and he suggested we do a cat scan, I called later that afternoon and his med assistant told me there was nothing wrong yet I could hardly move. Two months later I end up with 2 accesses that were never discussed because he never read my cat scan and lied about it. I have so much internal scarring that only a permanent colostomy was the answer but after two months of Feces running around my body almost all of my organs do not work the way they should they were all scarred together. During depositions he would answer only saying my attorney has told me not to answer this question. This man came 4 days after I was admitted
showed up after complaining for 2 months, and after I commented he hasn't been to see me and how do you think I feel and his answer was I had cancer I know how you feel. I was 51 years old with a sons 10 and 14. And our lives were ruined because this person was incompetent and lazy. He said at the deposition he was going to call me and redo the cat scan that he had never read or discussed with the radiologist which he had said they had discussed my case but the radiologist said he had never spoken to Dr. Johnson about me at all. He bought a copy of his board testing and got a 100% the board checked on his score and he admitted he had cheated so by the time we did the
depositions he had already lost his license and his hospital privledges. Then after that he reinvented himself as a business manager. His wife should be ashamed of him but being her second marriage and after losing weight and marrying this great catch and having one child together she chose to ignore what a cheat and liar he is because he probably makes more than his butcher job. I truly am disgusted by what he has done to me and who knows how many others that are either dead or injured. He sits on the floor at the Blazer games and is the man of Moda instead of the butcher who ruined my life and my children's. Until Obama care came into exsistance I could not get any insurance for 4 years so I had nothing but medical bills and colostomy supplies. When I go to the games as I have my adult life and I look at his face and the facade he lives behind and I am a victim of his incompetence and his selfishness and does not deserve this job or any thing doing with medicine. If he can't pass his exams that he had been practicing for years why would he be a great leader for Moda?
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#10 RE: Moda Health President Dr. William Johnson balances life, work, playGuest 2015-09-08 23:17:36
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