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Health Execs on the Move: Kusserow leaving Amedisys after turning the company around

By January 19, 2022August 2nd, 2022No Comments

 In this recurring article, we track the career changes of the Health Evolution community. For this version, we’re looking at who’s been on the move in December and January  


Paul Kusserow is retiring as the CEO of home health, hospice and personal care company Amedisys and Chris Gerard is taking over. Kusserow is leaving on April 15th, 2022. Kusserow assumed the role of CEO in 2014. Under his leadership, Amedisys improved Home Health Quality of Patient Care Star score from 3.5 stars to 4.33 stars. It also grew its market cap from $900 million to over $5.3 billion, while growing revenue by over 74 percent. “Though there is so much to be proud of, I am especially proud of the team we have assembled across the organization which is why I am so confident in a seamless transition to Chris. I’ve had the privilege of working with Chris over the last five years and have seen the value and insights he brings and am excited to see what he will do as CEO,” Kusserow said.  

Read more: Driving diversity to bolster the bottom line: An interview with Amedisys Chairman and CEO Paul Kusserow 

Lisa Shannon was named the CEO of Allina Health, the Minnesota-based health system. She took over the role on Jan 1, 2022 from outgoing CEO Penny Wheeler, MD who retired at the end of 2021. Shannon was previously President and COO of the 11-hospital health system. “Throughout my entire career, I have remained passionate about quality care and elevating the voice and expertise of those who are doing the work to deliver on our caring mission,” said Shannon. “This is more important now than ever as we navigate this critical time in health care. I am deeply honored to have been entrusted to lead such an exceptional organization with a reputation for clinical excellence, commitment to community and redefining systems of care to include all facets of the human experience.” Before joining Allina Health, Shannon held the roles of chief operating officer and president of health system delivery for KentuckyOne Health, the largest integrated health system in Kentucky. 1/1  

UC San Francisco named Suresh Gunasekaran as the new president and CEO of UCSF Health. He is currently the CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, where he oversees the operational, strategic and financial performance of Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center, a more than $2 billion operation with 11,000 employees. Gunasekaran succeeds Mark R. Laret, who retired Dec. 31 after leading UCSF’s clinical enterprise for 21 years. 1/19

Marcus Osborne announced his departure from Walmart Health & Wellness after 15 years of working there, most recently as the senior vice president of Walmart Health. Osborne is one of five Walmart health executives to leave the company in the past couple of years including Sean Slovenski, Karim Bennis, Thomas Van Gilder, MD, and Phil Suiter. 1/4  

Cedars-Sinai named Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, as the executive director of Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s and the David and Meredith Kaplan Distinguished Chair in Children’s Health. 12/17 

Michael Riordan was named Premier Health’s new president and CEO. He takes over the Dayton, Ohio health system’s top job from Mary Boosalis who will retire at the end of January. She will continue to serve as an advisor until April 1. Riordan has nearly 20 years in CEO leadership positions for prominent health systems across the United States, including the University of Chicago Medical Center and Greenville Health System/Prisma Health in Greenville, South Carolina. 12/21  

Abhinav Rastogi has been named President and CEO of Temple University Hospital (TUH), effective January 1, 2022. 1/4 

Altru Health System in Grand Forks, North Dakota announced that Todd Forkel has been selected as new CEO, effective February 28, 2022. 1/4  

Former Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Jim Hinton joined private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. 1/6  

Mercy’s incoming CEO Steve Mackin announced his senior leadership team:  

  • Shannon Sock will move into an expanded role as Mercy’s chief operating officer and chief strategist.   
  • John Mohart, MD will become the first physician to be named president of Mercy Communities. 
  • Cheryl Matejka will become Mercy’s senior vice president and chief financial officer. 
  • Dave Thompson will serve in a new role as senior vice president, strategic integration. 
  • Ajay Pathak will also assume an expanded role of senior vice president and chief strategic ventures officer.  

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announced that Rémy Evard has joined as its new Chief Digital Officer and Head of Technology. 1/13 

UPMC named Randy Jernejcic, MD as its new CEO of its Chengdu, Chinese-based hospital. Since 2017, Jernejcic has been an executive at University Hospitals of Cleveland, most recently as vice president of ambulatory quality and clinical transformation. From 2010-2012, Jernejcic served as chief medical officer of United Family Hospital in Beijing, part of a privately owned health care system with hospitals in six major cities in China. 1/17 

Read more: American health care in China: Where does it stand in the COVID era? 


Former Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has been named the co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. 1/3  

Centene announced that Jim Murray is now Chief Transformation Officer. 1/6  

Cindy Langston has been appointed chief information officer at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the largest nonprofit health insurer in upstate New York. Langston is the company’s first female chief information officer in its 87-year history. 1/6  

Blue Health Intelligence, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s data analysis licensee, hired Mayur Yermaneni as its new Chief Strategy and Growth Officer. 1/12  


Castlight Health, a health care data and navigation company, and Vera Whole Health, which works in advanced primary care, agreed to merge to form a new private enterprise in a deal valued at $370 million. The company promises to integrate Castlight’s market-leading navigation technology with Vera’s advanced primary care model to expand access to care, reduce health care costs, and improve outcomes. Former Aetna CEO Ron Williams has been named Chairman of the combined company. 1/5  

K Health, a digital health startup, announced that Jennifer M. Peña, MD has joined as its first-ever Chief Medical Officer. Peña is a former physician in the White House Medical Unit under both the Obama and Trump administrations. 12/14 

Amazon named Neil Lindsay, a former executive of its Prime division, to oversee the company’s combined health efforts, according to his LinkedIn profile. 12/15 

Happify Health appointed Megan Callahan as Chief Operating Officer. Callahan joins the executive management team with more than 20 years of experience driving growth for health care technology and digital health companies, most recently at Lyft Healthcare. 12/15 

eVisit named Julie Stover as its Chief Strategy Officer. Stover most recently served as Vice President of Virtual Health Strategies at Envision Healthcare, a national hospital-based physician group headquartered in Nashville. 12/29  

Privia Health Group announced that Jeffrey S. Sherman will join the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. 1/6 

Niall Brennan joined Clarify Health as Chief Analytics and Privacy Officer. 1/11 

Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD stepped down as the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). 1/13  

Life Sciences 

Verily announced an expansion of Stephen Gillett’s responsibilities, adding the title of President to his current role as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Gillett has held leadership and advisory roles at Google and across the Alphabet family for the past six years and joined Verily 18 months ago to drive operational, technical, cultural and strategic initiatives across the company. “I’m excited about what is in store for [Verily] in 2022 and look forward to the next chapter of our journey with such a fantastic group of professionals,” Gillett wrote in a tweet. 12/21 

Spruce Biosciences, a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel therapies for rare endocrine disorders with significant unmet medical need, announced that Javier Szwarcberg, MD, been appointed CEO and as a member of the board of directors. Samir Gharib has been concurrently promoted to President and will continue in his role as Chief Financial Officer. 1/5  

ReCode Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company working in disease-modifying genetic medicines using its proprietary LNP (lipid nanoparticle) delivery platform, announced the appointment of Shehnaaz Suliman, MD, as CEO and as a member of the board of directors. 1/10 

Charles River Laboratories International announced a retirement and transition plan for its CFO, David R. Smith, Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. 1/11 

Paige, which has AI-based diagnostic software in pathology, appointed Andy Moye, PhD, as CEO and Jill Stefanelli, PhD, as President and Chief Business Officer. 1/12