JOHN A. KITZHABER, M.D. was born in Colfax, Washington. He received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1969 and a medical degree from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1973. He went on to practice emergency medicine in Roseburg, Oregon for thirteen years. His political career included service in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1979 to 1981 and in the Oregon state Senate from 1981 to 1993. He was President of the Senate from 1985 to 1993, overseeing passage of legislation such as the Oregon Education Act for the 21st Century, the Oregon Forest Practices Act, and the Oregon Health Plan, which he authored. In 1992, Dr. Kitzhaber received the American Medical Association's Dr. Nathan Davis Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to health care. He also earned recognition-including the Oregon Environmental Council's Neuberger Award-for for his many accomplishments in the field of environmental stewardship. He served on the faculty of the Estes Park Institute and was a clinical professor at Oregon Health Sciences University from 1989 until his inauguration as governor in 1995. Kitzhaber's gubernatorial administration expanded Oregon's Health Plan, which reduced the rate of uninsured children in the state from twenty-one to eight percent. Through a welfare reform plan, known as the Oregon Option, the Kitzhaber administration reduced the welfare caseload by more than 50 percent, saving $200 million in state funds and putting nearly 20,000 Oregonians to work. Kitzhaber also developed and implemented the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds, a collaborative plan among local, state, and federal officials to work with private landowners in restoring watershed health and recovering endangered salmon species. A centerpiece of Kitzhaber's administration was the assurance of stable education funding, which called for implementation of the Education Act for the 21st Century, which Kitzhaber had helped steer through the state legislature while serving in the Senate, and increased investment in Oregon's higher educational institutions. After leaving office, Kitzhaber was named President of the Estes Institute, a Colorado-based education organization for community hospital and health care leaders.