Three questions for Tom Yackel

Thomas Yackel, M.D., MPH, is vice president and chief clinical integration officer for OHSU Healthcare and associate dean for clinical practice in the OHSU School of Medicine.

July 28, 2015

Dr. Tom YackelWhat’s been the most interesting development in your area in the last two years?

It has been inspiring and a bit surprising to see OHSU respond so quickly to the Clinical Enterprise Strategic Plan, especially around the topic of population health. We have traditionally been an organization focused on providing the best specialty care in the state. Organizing to support population health and primary care has come more recently, and I’m excited to see this develop and evolve. Value based care aligns our moral imperative – to provide high quality care in a cost-effective way – with our business imperative – and this creates a powerful engine for change.

What projects are you currently working on and are there opportunities for fellow faculty to participate?

My current work is focused on preparing OHSU for value-based care. This shift from fee-for-service to other payment methods creates a huge opportunity for faculty because our leadership will be required to perform well in this new paradigm. Some current projects include working with Moda on the Oregon-based collaboration now available to public employees, our population health implementation with Propel Health, and implementing a value-based dashboard for inpatient providers. A great place for faculty to engage on these projects is the newly formed Clinical Integration Committee – chaired by Stephanie Halvorson, M.D., and Mary Tanski, M.D.* – both medical directors for clinical integration.

A hypothetical: If you could have one tool that would solve a seemingly impenetrable problem in your work, what would it do? You have unlimited resources to design this tool, so think big.

The most important tool for OHSU in coming years will be an engaged, organized, and energized clinical faculty. We’ve been incredibly successful with our current departmental and center-based practices but our achievements in the future will be based on how well we organize as a multi-specialty group practice that includes providers from OHSU, Salem and other health care institutions. We’ll have to work together, in a coordinated way, to deliver care that is highly reliable and affordable.


  • Dr. Halvorson is associate professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine
  • Dr. Tanski is assistant professor of emergency medicine, OHSU School of Medicine

About Three Questions
This Q&A series features OHSU School of Medicine faculty members talking about their work with the goal of getting to know them and different areas across the school. View more