Kaiser Permanente Statement on the Passing of State Representative Mitch Greenlick, PhD

Photo of Lucy Savitz and Merwyn (Mitch) Greenlick

Kaiser Permanente mourns the loss of State Representative Merwyn (Mitch) Greenlick, PhD. Rep. Greenlick was the founding director of Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research—a position he held for more than 30 years beginning in 1964.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Mitch Greenlick,” expressed Lucy Savitz, PhD, MBA (pictured at right with Rep. Greenlick in 2017), current Center for Health Research director and vice president of health research for Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

“As founding director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and as a health services scientist himself, Mitch was a powerhouse in the field, and as a state legislator he was a tireless advocate for public health,” said Dr. Savitz. “Knowing that I could play a role in advancing his legacy as one of his successors was one of the driving factors that led me to join Kaiser Permanente in 2017. His huge stature as a public health expert and advocate will be deeply missed.”

Rep. Greenlick understood that dental health must be integrated into whole person healthcare. “Mitch was a visionary and nearly 45 years ago was the first to recognize the value of the Smile to Total Health and Wellness,” said John Snyder, CEO Permanente Dental Associates. “He was the first director of the Kaiser Permanente dental program and his vision has inspired our integrated model to this day.”

Rep. Greenlick was a PhD student at the University of Michigan when he was tapped to be CHR’s first director in 1964. Beginning in 1984, he also served as national vice president for research for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. From 1990 to 2000, he was a professor and chair of the School of Medicine's Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.

Rep. Greenlick’s research activities had been in the areas of large-scale demonstration projects relating to the organization and financing of medical care and behavioral interventions to prevent disease and promote health. He was a co-principal investigator on the Medicare Prospective Payment Demonstration Project, which provided care to more than 7,600 Medicare beneficiaries on a capitation basis. He was the principal investigator on the Social/HMO project, which investigated the financial feasibility of providing a comprehensive range of long-term care services for the frail elderly. In addition to his work with large-scale demonstrations, Rep. Greenlick had extensive experience in clinical trials.

Rep. Greenlick received his PhD in medical care organization from the University of Michigan. He served as research advisor to many projects throughout the country and as an advisor to several foreign government research and medical care projects. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences when it was formed in 1971.