Blog Post

Announcement: The Loss of Director Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH

May 5, 2023
Intend Health Strategies Blog
Announcement: The Loss of Director Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news and mourn the loss of our beloved board member, Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH. Jonathan passed away on May 1, 2023 in Nepal while on an expedition to climb Mt. Everest. A highly experienced and passionate climber, he succumbed to a medical issue while attempting to reach the summit, which was a lifelong pursuit.

Jonathan was a visionary and deeply committed member of our team, who made invaluable contributions to our evolution, growth, and success.

In addition to serving on our board of directors, Jonathan was senior advisor of Global to Local, a Seattle-based nonprofit that develops programs and interventions to improve health and empower underserved communities across the country. For nearly 20 years, he served as President and CEO of Qualis Health, guiding the organization to national recognition as a leader in improving population health. Jonathan continued to practice one night a week as a physician with the Seattle Indian Health Board where he became the founding site director for a unique family medicine residency program for Native American physicians.

Jonathan held leadership roles in numerous local, state, and national associations, including the Washington Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Physicians Consortium for Performance Improvement. He served as clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Global Health at the University of Washington. During the COVID pandemic, Jonathan volunteered to help administer vaccination programs to the Seattle homeless community. He authored more than 90 papers and book chapters on population health management, primary care practice transformation, health problems of vulnerable populations, and quality of care among Medicare beneficiaries.

Jonathan's insights and expertise will be deeply missed. He was a true leader — his impeccable attention to detail inspired us to strive continually for excellence. His passion and commitment to helping healthcare providers thrive were truly remarkable.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Jonathan's family and share in their grief during this challenging time. We hope that they find solace in knowing that Jonathan made a lasting impact on our organization and on improving the quality of interactions, outcomes, and lives throughout the healthcare ecosystem.

As we mourn the loss of Jonathan, we also celebrate his life and the many contributions he made to our organization and to society. We will forever be grateful for his service and dedication, and his legacy will live on as we continue working to realize the vision he helped us create.

According to an online memorial, gifts in memory of Jonathan may be made to a cause that deeply moved him — the Juniper Fund, an organization that supports and empowers families and communities impacted by the loss of Himalayan high-altitude workers.

Intend Health mourns the loss of our beloved board member, Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, who passed away in Nepal while on an expedition to climb Mt. Everest.

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