THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Kurt Tamaru, MD, MBA, FAAFP
Vice Chair, The Heart Touch Project
Dr Kurt Tamaru joined the Memorial HealthCare IPA and the OptumHealth Collobarative Care division as the newly appointed Chief Medical Officer for the Long Beach organization in October 2011. “ I joined the organization to change the way we deliver healthcare in our community and I am confident that Optum is on the transforming edge of improving the care and affordability for all concerned”. In June of 2012 he was appointed to the Chief Executive Officer role for the IPA and led the organization through a time of marked change and uncertainty. He led the integration activities of MHIPA into Monarch IPA to form a more single Southern California network presence. In April 2013, Dr Tamaru moved to a new role providing leadership over the strategic direction of clinical operations & programs for Optum Local Care Delivery networks. As Senior VP for Clinical Effectiveness and Innovative Care Delivery, he is accountable for leading the development of national standards and identifying and implementing programs with local markets to support physicians in providing the most effective and highest quality of care.
Dr Tamaru comes from WellPoint, Inc as the Senior Managing Medical Director for their California health plan, Anthem Blue Cross of California. During his 5 years at Anthem, Dr Tamaru had the responsibility and oversight for the commercial PPO and HMO medical management strategies as well as physician clinical reviews and provider medical group relations. He was responsible for the implementation and development of new innovative approaches to health care issues that impact the overall cost and quality of care for the 8 million insured lives under the California plan. During his tenure, Dr Tamaru was able to reduce administrative costs and improve reviewer efficiency year over year as well as demonstrate success in achievement of health plan initiatives that exceeded cost of care goals over the past 5 years. Under his leadership, Anthem was the first major health plan to deploy a cost efficiency pay for performance program, launch a commercial ACO network, develop a reference based pricing benefit for CalPERS, deploy mHealth/eHealth technology to manage members with chronic disease, as well receive timely capture of hospitalization and ER visits within 24 hours. He is known for his innovative approach to health care issues and understands the provider and payer environment from both perspectives. Prior to his work with Anthem Blue Cross, Dr Tamaru served as a provider with CareMore Medical Group and was recruited as Medical Director for the start up CareMore Health Plan in Cerritos, CA where he developed one of the first visiting home physicians and pre-hospice coordination programs run by a Medicare Advantage Health Plan.
Dr Tamaru received his Bachelor’s degree in biology and Masters degree in business administration at the University of California at Irvine. He completed his medical degree at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago as well as internship in general surgery at UC Davis East Bay and internship and residency in Family Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr Tamaru has extensive clinical background and experience in military operational medicine with the US Navy and Marine Corp, as well as managed care group practice experience having built a successful and busy practice involving ambulatory and and hospital based care. He is board certified in Family Medicine and recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is married to his wife of 15 years with their two boys age 12 and 9 years old and enjoys spending time with family and participating in weekend sports activities.