William Olson to retire next year

Above: William Olson, chief executive, Providence Oregon. 

Please read this message from Joel Gilbertson, chief executive, Providence Central Division.  

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to announce the upcoming retirement of William Olson, our chief executive of Providence Oregon. William has spent nearly four decades in health care, serving in a variety of leadership positions. We have been fortunate to have him as part of our division’s executive team since 2022, when he played a key role in helping bring the Central Division’s leadership structure together. Since that time, he has been an incredible partner to me and our entire division team in crafting strategies that will extend our Mission throughout our service areas.

William’s dedication to improving the health and well-being of patients, families, and communities across Oregon has been unwavering. In recent years, his leadership was especially instrumental in crafting our DEI commitments. Having helped identify our DEI focus areas, William is serving as a courageous advocate, holding us accountable to pursue the most impactful work, never letting complacency replace the urgency with which we must act. 

Those who know him won’t be surprised to learn that William has committed to remaining in his role until a new leader for Oregon can be named and onboarded. Prior to his departure at the end of next year, I’ll be partnering closely with William to ensure Providence’s Oregon ministries are well positioned for their next chapter. In the coming weeks I’ll share a few details about the process we’ll follow for recruiting Oregon’s next executive leader.

On behalf of the Providence family of organizations, I want to express our deep appreciation for William’s hard work and commitment to excellence. Though we will be blessed by his presence on our leadership team for a while longer, please join me in congratulating William on today’s announcement of his well-deserved retirement and thanking him for his many years of servant leadership. Be sure to read the personal message from William below. 

With gratitude,

Joel Gilbertson
Chief Executive, Central Division

Message from William

Well, how do you begin to say goodbye? 

I’m preparing to transition from my role as chief executive at Providence in Oregon. As I do that, I want to say thank you – thank you for all your hard work, dedication, and commitment to our Mission. It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside such an exceptional team of caregivers. 

Over the past 35 years, I have had the opportunity to work in various roles within Providence, and it has been a true joy to support our ministries and communities. I have been inspired by your unwavering commitment to excellence, and I have learned so much from every one of you. 

I’m especially gratified when I think back on the past two years serving as Oregon’s chief executive. We have faced real challenges and shared incredible successes. Having the honor of leading the 20,000-plus Oregon-based caregivers has been a real capstone on my career. It’s hard to pick out specific highlights, but I’ve been so inspired by the work we are doing in diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m proud that we have committed to improve the health equity challenges in our communities. And while we all want to forget COVID, being part of the leadership of the All4Oregon vaccination effort is a real career standout for me.

I am glad to let you know I will be here during the next year to help with the transition to new leadership. I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and I am confident that the people of Providence will continually innovate and discover new approaches that will help deliver our world-class health care services to those who need them so much. 

Thank you for everything you have done for me and for our communities. It has been an incredible journey, and I will always be proud to have been a member of this Providence team.

William Olson
Chief Executive, Oregon

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