Bernard J. Tyson

Position: Group president of regions outside California for Kaiser Permanente, covering 16 states and the District of Columbia. Based in Rockville.

Career highlights: Tyson has been with Kaiser since 1985, serving in a number of management positions including president of the eastern group and vice president of the California division. Before that, he was administrative analyst for Vallejo General Hospital in Vallejo, Calif.

Age: 40

Education: Earned a BS in health services management and an MBA in health services administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Personal: Lives in Potomac with his wife, Carla, and their two sons.

What would you say is the biggest challenge facing health care providers? "I think that managed care has taken a lot of negative press over the last couple of years. The biggest challenge is to regain the confidence of Americans in general and to make sure that the [Kaiser] members who are specifically in managed care understand that we are still the highest quality care. I believe in the industry and I believe that's the major challenge. Another major challenge is to make sense out of the wonderful technology and pharmaceutical advances so our members can benefit from them while we still maintain our affordability."

And so, what do you consider to be the most important issue for your members? "The most important thing to our members is assurance that when they need health care we will provide it, and there's nothing administratively blocking or second-guessing a physician to provide whatever care is needed. And, I believe our members want to make sure that we will continue doing this. We've been doing this for over 50 years and we're going to continue to do it. Let our physicians practice medicine."