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Health care execs on the move: Abernethy departs FDA, other shakeups in the federal government

Gabriel Perna | March 30, 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 February and March. If you recently made a career change, let us know here.    

Government and tech  

Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD

Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD announced she was stepping down as the Principal Deputy Commissioner & Acting CIO of the ‎U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) after two years in the role. In a series of tweets, Abernethy, a member of Health Evolution’s Leadership Committee, said that she is “going to spend some time with my family and do some brainstorming, reading and writing. I’ll be back at it soon, but in the meantime, I am just so grateful to everyone [at FDA] for trusting me to help advance the agency’s mission.” 3/23 

On their way in, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine, MD, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD were all confirmed to their roles in the Biden administration. Potential CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure is still awaiting confirmation but is expected to pass through. The Biden administration has still not picked a permanent FDA Commissioner, despite pleas from five former FDA commissioners to do so.  

Read more: Chiquita Brooks-LaSure: 5 things to know about Biden’s CMS pick 

Marc Probst, former CIO of Intermountain Health, joined SymphonyRM on its board of directors. Read more: Longtime Intermountain CIO to health care CEOs: ‘Don’t go backward’ with innovation after COVID-19  2/17 

Jennifer Schneider, MD, previously President and Chief Medical Officer at Livongo, joined CityBlock’s board of directors. 1/29 

Speaking of former Livongo executives, Glen Tullman joined Transcarent as CEO. Here’s Tom Sullivan’s interview with Tullman. 3/18 

Hims & Hers Health, a multi-specialty telehealth platform, announced the appointment of Andrea Perez of Nike and Ambar Bhattacharyya of Maverick Ventures to the company’s Board of Directors. Hims & Hers went public in January. 3/10 

Ontrak, an AI virtualized health care company, announced the appointment of CVS Health Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer Jonathan Mayhew as CEO. 3/15 

Complia Health, a health and hospice technology solutions provider, named Rich Berner as its President and CEO. Berner was previously the CEO of MDLive. More: Health Care’s New Front Door 3/25 

Doximitydigital platform for medical professionals, appointed former Surgeon General, Regina BenjaminMD to its Board of Directors. 3/25  

 

Provider 

Cleveland Clinic’s plans to go international are moving full steam ahead. The health system announced Rakesh M. Suri, MD as the president of international operations and Jorge Guzman, MD as the CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Suri will lead Cleveland Clinic’s international strategy and look for development opportunities abroad.  

Shane Strum, previously the chief of staff for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, was named the President and CEO of Broward Health. 2/8 

Huntsville (Ala.) Hospital Health System CEO David Spillers is set to retire in July. 2/18 

PeaceHealth Oregon’s Todd Salnas is transitioning into the role of chief executive of the PeaceHealth Oregon network. 3/1 

University Hospitals in Cleveland appointed Francoise Adan, MD to the new role of chief whole health and well-being officer. 3/4 

Angela Orth, CEO of Asheboro, N.C.-based Randolph Health, is leaving her role this spring. The bankrupt single-hospital system is finalizing an agreement with American Healthcare System to sell its assets. 3/9 

Catholic Health’s Board of Directors appointed Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy, DO as the new president and CEO for Catholic Health, a six-hospital health system in Rochester, N.Y. 3/16 

Kathleen McCollum was named President and CEO for University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center3/21 

The Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas (BHSET) appointed Justin Doss as the health system’s CEO, the first one in 30+ years after longtime CEO David Palmer retired. 3/24 

Mark Ciota, MD will leave his role as CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin, Minn., a role he has held since 2012. 3/26 

 

Martha Wofford Photo credit: BCBSRI

Payer 

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) announced the appointment of Martha L. Wofford, previously group vice president at DaVita, Inc., as the President and CEO of the nonprofit health insurer. Wofford replaces Kim Keck, who went on to become the President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. 

CVS Health named Kelly Munson as the President of the Aetna Medicaid business. 2/18 They later named Verne Brizendine as the CEO of Aetna Better Health of California, a Medicaid plan. 3/24 

Alignment Healthcare, a Medicare Advantage business that recently went public, announced Rajesh Shrestha as its President, New Markets and Chief Business Officer. Previously, Shrestha served as Chief Operating Officer of community-based care at Intermountain Healthcare, where he advanced the company’s care model through innovation. Alignment also announced Rich Powers as Senior Vice President of Business Development; Rob Scavo as Chief Information Officer; Chris Schmaltz as Chief Operations Officer. 2/24 

Centene appointed Brent Layton as the President of U.S. Health Plans, Products, and International. 3/01 

Humana announced that Brian Kane will be transitioning from his role as CFO to pursue broader career goals. 3/22 

WellCare of Kentucky, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene, appointed Joshua Sloop as Plan President and CEO for Centene’s Kentucky market. 3/29 

 

Life Sciences  

The board of directors of Eli Lilly and Company elected Kimberly H. Johnson as a new member, effective February 16, 2021. As a member of Lilly’s board, she will serve on both the Compensation Committee and the Ethics and Compliance Committee. Johnson currently serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Federal National Mortgage Association. Eli Lilly also announced Anat Ashkenazi as its new CFO. 2/16 

Endo International announced that Blaise Coleman, who has served as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2016, as the company’s new CEO. He succeeded in Paul Campanelli in the role. 2/16 

Moderna CMO Tal Zaks, MD, PhD is leaving the company in September. 2/25 

Martha Temple, who recently served as CEO of Optum Behavioral Health, was named to the Coriell Life Sciences board of directors. 3/9 

Delix TherapeuticsCNS-focused drug discovery company, appointed veteran biotech industry executive Mark Rus as CEO. 3/18 

AlloVir, a late clinical-stage cell therapy company, appointed Diana M. Brainard, MD, as CEO. 3/22 

With CEO Ken Frazier prepared to retire, Merck made a few moves in the executive leadership space. IN: Caroline Litchfield as the new CFO, taking over for Rob Davis, who will be the company’s new CEO. OUT: Michael Nally, Chief Marketing Officer for Merck’s human health business, who is leaving the company at the end of March. 3/24 

Moncef SlaouiPhD who led Operation Warp Speed, resigned from his position as Chair of the Galvani Board of Directors, a joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline and Verily, after allegations of sexual harassment emerged. 3/24 

 

Xavier Becerra photo credit: BuildBackBetter.gov

Rachel Levine photo credit: Gov. Tom Wolf, CC 2.0

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