Commencement
Past Honorary Degree Recipients

2013: John Koster

  • For Commencement 2013, we were pleased to have John Koster, MD, CEO emeritus of Providence Health & Services address the graduate class.

    Dr. John Koster, who served as president and CEO before recently taking on the role of CEO emeritus, will retire from Providence Health & Services this year. He has been responsible for leading one of the largest and most highly regarded Catholic healthcare organizations. Providence is a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves. The system’s services include 32 hospitals, 400 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services. The health system, along with its affiliates, employs more than 65,000 people across five states–Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington–with its system office located in Renton. Providence Health & Services continues a tradition of caring that the Sisters of Providence began more than 157 years ago.

    With Dr. Koster at the helm, Providence has continued its commitment to the communities it serves, especially the poor and vulnerable. For example, in 2012 the system provided $823 million in community benefit and charity care to improve access healthcare. This year, Providence was recognized among the top 20 best-performing systems in the country in Thomson Reuters’ annual rankings.

    Dr. Koster is past chair of the VHA Board of Directors, a nationwide network of healthcare organizations and physicians. Frequently included among the 50 most influential healthcare executives by Modern Healthcare, he placed 20th this year. We are pleased to have him with us for our graduate ceremony.