A comprehensive and insightful look at the intersection of health care and government.



A book chronicles an ailing public academic health center’s transformation into an independent corporation.

In 1988, Dr. Peter Kohler became the president of Oregon Health & Science University, at the time beleaguered by problems. It was saddled with debt; state funding had all but dried up; its infrastructure was in desperate need of repair; its reputation was less than stellar; and it was divided by internecine disputes. Kohler believed that the way to a brighter future was through a radical reconfiguration of its operating model. This involved liberation from state regulatory manacles, which were prohibitively restrictive as well as nonsensical given the lack of support Oregon provided: “Withering state funding was the chief driver for OHSU to transform, not only because it needed more flexibility to compete in health care, but also because it made no sense to give the state regulatory authority over an institution it was no longer supporting.” Graves (co-author of Poisoned Apple, 1995) details the history of this metamorphosis, ultimately achieved in 1995, and all the hurdles—logistical, financial, and legislative—that had to be cleared in advance of it. Once an independent corporation, OHSU was permitted to raise funds from investors, improve and expand its facilities, attract top doctors and researchers, and bid for higher-paying patients, eventually rehabilitating its name. The author also considers the extent to which OHSU can be understood as a model for others to emulate and a bellwether of the future of academic health centers. Graves has covered health care and education as a journalist for more than 20 years, and his experience can be seen in his remarkably thorough investigative research and unfailingly clear, concise prose. More than just an institutional history, this is an intriguing mélange of profiles, especially the sensitive portrayal of Kohler. Furthermore, it would be impossible to adequately relate OHSU’s tale without also furnishing a history of Oregon’s approach to the financing of health care as well as federal funding, something Graves expertly supplies. But one of the principal virtues of the book—its unremittingly scrupulous attention to microscopic detail—is also its chief vice; there is no factoid so minute that the author considers it unworthy of protracted examination. For example, complex discussions of OHSU’s entry into the bond market, the challenges it faced expanding beyond Portland into outlying rural areas via the construction of a tram, and the resistance its mutation faced from its own faculty are all important parts of OHSU’s history but are also unlikely to grip readers without a professional interest in the subject. Nonetheless, this is an astute peek not just into Oregon’s grappling with the question of how to best provide affordable high-quality health care to its citizens, but also the nation’s encounter with the same issue at large. Despite the accessible language, this is more an academic than popular treatment of the subject and should serve as a valuable resource for those working in the medical field.

A comprehensive and insightful look at the intersection of health care and government.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945398-98-8

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Pacific University Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2017

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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