Don Kemper, Healthwise CEO, to retire

Don Kemper, founder and CEO of Healthwise, will retire in 2016. The 69-year-old plans to stay in Boise after his retirement.

Kemper founded Healthwise in 1975 as a nonprofit that produces health-related information and tools. The Boise organization’s workforce has grown from three to 275 employees.

When he started the company, its focus was on health self-care handbooks and workshops. In the 1990s, Healthwise developed online consumer health information. And in 2002, its publication of “Information Therapy” helped doctors to prescribe evidence-based health information to their patients.

A merger in 2014 between Healthwise and the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation “helps ensure an individual’s care plan will include all elements of a healthy life that produce health outcomes that matter to him or her,” according to a news release.

“Healthwise has been a dream come true for me,” Kemper said. “We have advanced the role of the patient and continue to push the boundaries of what everyday people can do to achieve the health and health care goals that they set for themselves.”

Kemper said he announced his retirement a year in advance to allow Healthwise’s board of directors to choose a successor and to ensure an effective transition.

The CEO search committee is chaired by Peggy O’Kane, who is also chair of the Healthwise board and the president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Jim Balkins, Healthwis’s chief financial officer, is providing staff for the committee and is available for inquiries at