SHARON KITZHABER - BIOGRAPHY
Sharon Kitzhaber grew up in Saskatchewan, Canada and graduated in physical therapy from the University of Saskatchewan in 1977.
Sharon first worked in Hawaii as a physical therapist in 1977, then worked for a year in Geneva, Switzerland. She traveled Europe, the Middle and Far East, and the Mediterranean before returning to Maui in 1981. Sharon opened her first private physical therapy practice in 1984, and over the next eight years, she developed, managed and sold a three-clinic physical therapy practice on Maui, Hawaii.
As the wife of Governor John Kitzhaber, Sharon has dedicated herself to working on behalf of Oregon’s children and youth. She is a founder and the honorary chairperson for the Oregon Safe Kids Coalition, which is part of a national organization aimed at reducing preventable childhood injury. She is also deeply involved in the prevention of teen pregnancy through an abstinence-based peer mentorship program called "STARS" (Students Today Aren’t Ready for Sex). Sharon is also a co-chair of a national initiative "Leadership To Keep Children Alcohol Free" aimed at reducing underage drinking.
Sharon is on the board of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Oregon and also is a board member of the Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Oregon Health Sciences Foundation, and she serves on the Giving in Oregon Council. She is an outspoken advocate for the arts and is committed to enhancing young people’s access and experiences with the arts throughout the state.
In her private life, Sharon is an instrument-rated private pilot and the delighted mother of a son, Logan.