Peter O. Kohler, M.D.
Pete is Vice Chancellor of UAMS-Northwest and President Emeritus of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. He is also former Dean at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He has been active in health policy, research and education at the national level and noted for his advocacy for increased access to health care and quality of life for underserved populations.
Raised in Blacksburg, Virginia, Pete is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Duke Medical School. After post-graduate training at Duke and Georgetown, Pete began his career in medicine at the National Institutes of Health, where he ultimately served as the Head of the Endocrinology Service for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). From the NIH, Pete went to Baylor College of Medicine where he served as Professor of Medicine and Chief of Endocrinology.
In 1977, Pete became Chairman of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. As Chairman and later as interim Dean, he became an active proponent of the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program as one way of improving access to health care in underserved areas. He carried that commitment with him to the University of Texas in 1986, where as Dean of the Medical School in San Antonio he initiated development of an AHEC program for the Rio Grande Valley.
Selected as President of the Oregon Health Sciences University in 1988, Pete became a leader in state health policy and education issues. He helped develop an AHEC program in the state and led efforts to increase the number of generalists being trained. He also served as Chair of the Oregon Health Council. In 1995, Pete led OHSU in a successful effort to establish itself as a freestanding public benefit corporation. He retired as President of OHSU in September 2006 after 18 years of service.
Pete has been Chair of the NIH Endocrinology Study Section and the NICHD Board of Scientific Counselors. He was also Chair of the Endocrinology Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He completed a four-year term on the National Advisory Research Resources Council of the National Institutes of Health. He also served on and as chairman of the Board of the Association of Academic Health Centers and as Chair of the Oregon Health Council.
Pete was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1994. He served on an IOM Task Force evaluating telemedicine, and chaired the IOM Committee on Quality in Long-term Care.
He recently retired from the Board of Directors of Stancorp Financial Group. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Portland Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and First Interstate Bank of Oregon, PACC and iSense. Following retirement, Pete moved back to Arkansas and joined UAMS to help create a regional campus in the northwest region of the state.
Pete and his wife, Judy, have four children and eight grandchildren.