The Permanente Federation announces new chief legal officer

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Permanente Federation today announced that Katherine Robinson Saral will join the company as chief legal officer effective May 29, 2019. The Permanente Federation is the national leadership and consulting organization for the eight Permanente Medical Groups (PMGs), which with Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospitals (KFHP/H) comprise Kaiser Permanente.

Katherine Saral

Saral will transition from her current role as senior counsel with the KFHP/H Legal Department to join the Federation Leadership Team, leading both the legal and compliance portfolios for The Permanente Federation LLC, Permanente Advantage, and The Permanente Foundation.

“Fulfilling the promise of Permanente Medicine – the person-centered, high-quality care made possible by Kaiser Permanente’s unique structure – requires a top-notch attorney who understands our model and is an accomplished strategic thinker,” said Chris Grant, executive vice president and chief operating officer, The Permanente Federation. “Katherine is exceptionally qualified for this important role. She is also compassionate, caring, and altruistic – personal values that align perfectly with those of the Permanente Medical Groups and the Federation. I’m excited to have her join our leadership team.”

Saral will report to Grant and Geoffrey Sewell, MD, FACP, chair of the National Permanente Executive Committee. She will partner with KFHP/H’s Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer Vanessa Benavides on compliance and Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mark Zemelman on national legal issues.

Saral will succeed Pauline Fox, who will retire in July following a career spanning more than 20 years and two separate terms with The Permanente Federation. During her tenure, Fox oversaw the affiliation of The Permanente Medical Group, the physician-led, multi-specialty medical group practice in Northern California, and its Mid-Atlantic counterpart, which provides care for Kaiser Permanente members in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. She also created the Permanente Quality Board, which provides oversight on quality issues that impact the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program.

“Pauline has been a deeply-valued thought partner and adviser to the Permanente Medical Groups during her time with the Federation,” said Grant. “Her extraordinary legal mind, commitment to upholding the fundamentals of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, abiding loyalty to our patients, members, and to the practice of Permanente Medicine, will have a profound impact on the organization for years to come.”

Saral joined Kaiser Permanente in 2012. In her role as legal counsel for KFHP/H, she provided legal guidance for ongoing operations and care delivery innovations, government regulations, and the regulatory implications of corporate partnerships and acquisitions. She also provided legal guidance for regulatory, compliance, and operational issues arising in hospital, ambulatory, and continuing care settings.

Previously, Saral was with Ropes & Gray, LLP in San Francisco, where she represented community hospitals, academic medical centers, independent practice associations, and other health care providers on a diverse array of regulatory issues and transactional matters.

Saral holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where she graduated with honors. She also holds a Master of Philosophy degree in English from Oxford University, Magdalen College, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Yale University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

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About the Permanente Medical Groups

The Permanente Medical Groups are self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups composed of more than 22,900 physicians. We are dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and communities. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente – an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine to more than 12.3 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide preventive and world-class complex care in eight states – from Hawaii to Maryland – and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation

The Permanente Federation LLC (the Federation) is the national leadership and consulting organization for the eight Permanente Medical Groups (PMGs), which, together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente. The Federation works on behalf of the PMGs to optimize care delivery and spread Permanente Medicine – medicine that is patient centered, evidence based, technology enabled, culturally responsive, team delivered, and physician led. The Federation, based in Oakland, California, fosters an open learning environment and accelerates research, innovation, and performance improvements across the PMGs to expand the reach of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model and to lead the nation in transforming care delivery.