James Hereford

Title: Chief Operating Officer

Company: Palo Alto Medical Foundation


James Hereford is responsible for all operations serving over 700,000 patients in the peninsula of the San Francisco Bay area.  The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has a long history of driving innovation in health care and is one of the leaders in delivering high quality health care in the state of California and nationally.  He is also a member of the leadership team of the Peninsula Coastal Region of Sutter Health, an integrated care organization with nearly $10 billion dollars in annual revenues.


Prior to this Hereford was the Executive Vice-President of the Group Health Care Delivery System and was responsible for care provided to roughly 400,000 members in Group Health medical centers in Washington State and North Idaho. In addition, Hereford oversaw one of the region’s largest pharmacy systems, lab and radiology operations, occupational health programs, and behavioral health services, and was responsible for care delivery information technology and for enterprise quality.


Hereford was instrumental as the lean champion in implementing the Group Health Management System while at Group Health.  He also lead the development of one of the largest and most successful patient web portals in the country. He oversaw the implementation of a comprehensive electronic medical record for patients at Group Health–operated medical centers and clinics.

Hereford holds bachelor and master degrees in mathematics from Montana State University and is a faculty member in the University of Washington's Master of Health Administration program. He also is a member of several local and national organizations and boards, including the Healthcare Value Leaders Network and was the past chair of the Washington State Health Care Authority Health Information Infrastructure Board and One Health Port, a health care security service located in Washington State.