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Health care execs on the move: Two CEOs who champion health equity initiatives

Gabriel Perna | May 12, 2021

In this recurring article, we track the career moves of the Health Evolution community. For this version of the column, we’re looking at who’s been on the move in March, April and May. If you recently made a career change, let us know here.   

Craig Samitt, MD

Payers 

Craig Samitt, MD, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and a member of the Health Evolution Leadership Committee, left his longtime position on May 3. Samitt was President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota for nearly three years and spent a number of years in executive roles for both health systems and payer organizations. Taking over in the interim is Kathleen Blatz, Former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice. She is serving until the board selects a permanent replacement for SamittSamitt was one of the first health care executives to declare racism as a public health crisis, and he made racial and health equity the cornerstone of Blue Cross’ equity initiatives. 

Read more: For health care leaders, a fork-in-the-road moment in addressing health inequity 

UnitedHealth Group named Brian Thompson as its new CEO of UnitedHealthcare, its health benefits business, on April 7. Thompson joined UnitedHealth Group in 2004 and most recently was CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s government programs including the Medicare & Retirement and Community & State businesses. “Brian’s experience, relationships and values make him especially well-suited to help UnitedHealthcare improve how health care works for consumers, physicians, employers, governments and our other partners, leading to continued and sustained long-term growth,” said Andrew Witty, CEO of UnitedHealth Group. 

Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) announced James Springfield has been named president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX). 3/25 

MetroPlusHealtha health plan based in New York, announced the appointment of Lauren Leverich Castaldo as CFO. 3/31  

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana promoted Bryan Camerlinck from chief financial officer to the newly-created role of executive vice president (EVP) and chief operations officer, and promoted Adam Short to senior vice president (SVP) and CFO. 4/7 

Oscar Health named Okiki Louis, MD as the new President of Oscar Medical Group (OMG). 4/14 

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield appointed Tich Changamire, MD as its new Chief Medical Officer. The Baltimore-based insurer also appointed David Schwartz as the new Vice President, Public Policy & Federal Affairs. 4/26 

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announced that James Reed has been appointed CEO of the $6.2 billion health plan and its parent company, The Lifetime Healthcare Companies. 5/4 

Centene hired Drew Asher as executive vice president and CFO replacing Jeffrey Schwaneke. 5/10  

 

Peter Slavin, MD

Providers 

Massachusetts General Hospital President Peter Slavin, MD announced his retirement after 18 years with the Boston-area hospital. Post COVID, Slavin said it was a fitting time to “call upon a new captain for the ship, someone with new energy and new ideas, who can ably steer this great hospital forward.” Under his leadership, Mass General championed health equity initiatives, including the establishment of the MGH Disparities Solutions Center, an effort to identify and eliminate racial and ethnic inequities in health. He also saw the creation of a broad-based strategy to address structural racism within and outside the hospital. Slavin will stay on until a new president is identified and in place. 4/7  

Walmart CMO Tom Van Gilder, MD left the organization. 3/31 

Banner Health COO Becky Kuhn announced her retirement. 4/2 

Hackensack Meridian Health named Linda McHugh chief experience and people officer. 4/6  

Kaiser Permanente named Diane Comer as the CIO of the organization after serving on an interim basis. 4/7 

VillageMD announced Ellen Donahue-Dalton has joined the organization as its Chief Marketing Officer. 4/7  

Bill Arnold was appointed the President and CEO at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. 4/8 

The Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Board of Trustees announced Hollie Harris Phillips will be the health system’s new President and CEO. 4/12 

Michael Fisher, CEO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, announced he intends to retire after leading the health care system for nearly 12 years. 4/20 

Baptist Health CEO and President Brett McClung announced his resignation. 4/20  

Ken Levitan was appointed President and CEO of Einstein Healthcare Network. Levitan has been serving as the Network’s Interim President and CEO since January 1. 4/30 

Michael Scherneck, president and CEO of Southeast Georgia Health System, intends to retire in early 2022. 4/30 

Elsie Taveras, MD, has been named the inaugural Chief Community Health Equity Officer for Mass General Brigham. 5/3 

Prospero Health, a physician-led home-based medical care provider, hired Kris Smith, MD as Chief Clinical Officer and Theresa Soriano, MD as Associate Chief Clinical Officer. 5/6  

 

Life Sciences 

Michelle Carnahan, formerly of Sanofi North America, was named the president of Thirty Madison, a digital pharmacy4/8 

David Guyer, MD, stepped down from the executive chairman role of Iveric. 4/5  

Eli Lilly named former Apple executive Diogo Rau as its new chief information and digital officer. 4/13 

Immunome appointed Corleen Roche as its CFO. She was previously at BioGen. 4/20 

Edgewise Therapeutics has announced that Joanne Donovan, MD has joined the organization to serve as Chief Medical Officer. 4/27  

Former Merck executive Roger Perlmutter, MD, was appointed CEO at Eikon Therapeutics. 5/5 

Moderna founder Noubar Afeyan launched a new biotech company, Laronde, aimed to create a new class of drugs based on Endless RNA. 5/11 

Attralus Therapeutics announced the appointment of Mark Timney as the company’s CEO and a member of its Board of Directors. Timney was formally with Purdue Pharmaceuticals and The Medicines Company. 5/11  

 

Seema Verma

Tech/Other  

Seema Verma, former CMS Administrator, was named to the Board of Directors for Lumeris, a health tech firm focused on value-based reimbursement. A few weeks later, she was named to the Board of Directors for Monogram Health, a managed care company started by former Senator Bill Frist that uses predictive analytics on behalf of health plans to determine who might need dialysis. 4/12  

Read more on MonogramThe switch to value-based care is driving unique partnerships 

Cerner announced the departure of Brent Shafer as CEO. Shafer will continue serving as chief until the health IT company finds a replacement. “The board believes that now is the right time to identify a successor who will lead Cerner through its next chapter of growth and shareholder value creation,” said William Zollars, the lead independent director of the Cerner board. 5/5 

Clover Health, a tech-enabled Medicare Advantage insurer, named William Robinson, President of Broadgate Human Capital and Former HR Executive at General Electric Company, to its board of directors. Clover also named former CMS deputy administrator Demetrios Kouzoukas to its board. 3/31  

Owlet Baby Care, a health tech firm, announced the appointment of Zane Burke, former CEO of Livongo and President of Cerner, to its Board of Directors. 4/1  

Ludi, a health tech firm that helps health systems track and audit physician payments, announced the addition of Mark Rodgers to its leadership team as CTO. 4/8 

Lark Health appointed Anita Nair-Hartman to the role of Chief Strategy Officer. 4/22  

Teladoc Health named Claus Jensen as chief innovation officer to lead the research and development team. 4/26  

Verily, Alphabet’s healthcare company, announced the appointment of Lisa Greenbaum to the newly-created role of chief revenue officer. 4/27  

Uber named Caitlin Donovan as the general manager of its health business taking over for Dan Trigub, who left in September of last year. 4/29 

Biofourmis, a Boston-based virtual care and digital therapeutics company, named Maulik Majmudar, MD, a cardiologist and digital health transformation expert, as its chief medical officer. 5/10 

CareCentrixa health-at-home solutions company, announced the addition of Jennifer Schneider, MD, as a strategic advisor. Schneider was formerly President of Livongo. 5/11 

About the Author

Gabriel Perna, Senior Manager, Digital Content

Gabriel Perna is the Senior Manager of Digital Content at Health Evolution. He brings 10+ years of experience in covering the intersection of health care and business. Previously, he was at Chief Executive, Physicians Practice and Healthcare Informatics. You can reach him via email at gabrielp@healthevolution.com or on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna