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Health Execs on the Move: Walmart, HCA add new leadership

Gabriel Perna | November 16, 2021

(From top left, clockwise: David Carmouche, MD; Tom Skelton; Michael Cuffe, MD; Dana Erickson)

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

Providers 

Walmart added David Carmouche, MD as its new senior vice president of Omnichannel Care Solutions to work alongside Cheryl Pegus, MD and expand the retail giant’s presence in health care. Carmouche comes from Ochsner Health Network where he served as President of the Louisiana-based health system. Carmouche is set to start the new role at the end of November. In the past few months, the company has also hired Kevin Host as senior vice president of pharmacy, Andrea Marks as vice president of clinical performance, and Brian Setzer as CFO of the health care division.  

Read more: Walmart EVP describes how the retail giant is trying to help vaccinate America 

Kim Drumgo will be the first ever chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer title at Geisinger. 10/20 

Michael Cuffe, MD was named chief clinical officer of HCA Healthcare, replacing Jon Perlin, who is leaving to become President and CEO of The Joint Commission. Cuffe has been with HCA Healthcare in 2011 as president and CEO of physician services. Under his leadership, HCA Healthcare has become the largest sponsor of GME programs in the United States, training more than 5,000 residents and fellows across 61 teaching hospitals. “Dr. Cuffe is a respected clinical and operational leader with a deep understanding of HCA Healthcare’s culture and operations,” said Sam Hazen, chief executive officer of HCA Healthcare. 10/25  

The merger between two of the biggest players in the long-term care space, Kindred and Lifepointwill yield a new company, ScionHealth, which will cover 79 hospital campuses in 25 states. Benjamin A. Breier, CEO of Kindred Healthcare, will depart the company upon completion of the transaction. Rob Jay, who currently serves as executive vice president of integrated operations at LifePoint, will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of ScionHealth. 10/26  

Adventist Health named Kerry Heinrich, JD as its new CEO. Heinrich replaces Scott Reiner, who announced his resignation in July. Previously, Heinrich was CEO of the Seventh-day Adventist Loma Linda University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital and Behavioral Medicine Center for more than seven years and served as the organization’s legal counsel for more than 20 years.  10/27 

Duke University Health System named Craig Albanese, MD, as its executive vice president and chief operating officer. 10/29 

Great Plains Health named Ivan Mitchell as its new CEO. Mitchell is set to take over the role on Jan. 1, 2022. 10/30 

Andy Slavitt joined Cityblock Health to chair the office of the CEO as founder and CEO Iyah Romm takes a six-month metal health break. 11/3  

Evaline Alessandrini, MD, will be the next chief operating officer of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. 11/5  

Texas Hospital Association has selected longtime advocacy veteran John Hawkins to lead the organization, replacing Ted Shaw who retires at the end of the year. 11/8 

Denise Basow was named the first-ever chief digital health officer at Oschsner. 11/11 

 

Tech/Other 

The mystery over who will take over the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may have just gotten an answer when President Joe Biden nominated Robert Califf, MD to lead the agency. Califf still has to be confirmed by the Senate. He was previously head of the FDA during the Obama administration. “I am confident Dr. Califf will ensure that the FDA continues its science and data driven decision-making. Dr. Califf had strong bipartisan support in the Senate in 2016, and I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Dr. Califf so he can continue the important work being done at this critical moment,” Biden said in a statement.  

Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton is stepping down from his role at the end of 2022, the e-prescribing company announced. Skelton will continue to lead Surescripts for the next year and will be an active participant with the Board in the search for his successor. Skelton has been at the helm of Surescripts since 2014. He has also held CEO roles at Foundation Radiology Group and Misys Healthcare Systems. 11/11 

Brad Smith, former director of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), is joining CareBridge Health as the company’s executive chairman. Since leaving CMMI, Smith has launched Aspire Health and Russell Street Ventures. CareBridge provides support through digital health platforms to states, health plans and providers who have home care services. 10/20 

Google is hiring Megan Jones Bell to take over as the company’s clinical director of consumer and mental health. Prior to joining Google, Bell was at Headspace Health as the company’s chief strategy officer. 10/26 

Bhaskar Sambasivan was named CEO of payer tech company, CitiusTech. 10/26 

Former HHS deputy secretary Eric Hargan was named an advisory of Amino, a digital health company that works with self-insured employers. He will help them through surprise billing and pricing transparency regulations. 10/26  

Papa hired Craig Ogg as its CTO. 10/29 

The Commons Project named Zhenya Lindgardt as the new CEO. She comes from Uber. 11/2 

FOLX Health made a number of executive hires including Lena Ballantine as Chief Financial Officer, she was most recently CFO/COO of The Trevor Project, Donisha Diagne as Chief People Officer, most recently at Teladoc Health and Rocco Kayiatos as Chief Content Officer. 11/2 

Everly Health, a digital health company, named Cindy R. Kent as its COO. Kent was most recently EVP and President of Senior Living at Brookdale Senior Living, 11/3  

Tabitha Erck was named President of Zipari, a consumer experience technology company. 11/4  

Don Rucker, MD, former National Coordinator for Health IT, was named Chief Strategy Officer at 1Up Health, a Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) platform for health data interoperability. 11/10 

Cleo, a benefits platform, announced that Mike Leonard has been appointed as President and Chief Commercial Officer. 11/5 

 

Life Sciences 

Alex Gorsky, who is leaving Johnson & Johnson in the next few months, was appointed a role on the Apple board of directors. “Alex has long been a visionary in health care, applying his tremendous insight, experience and passion for technology to the cause of improving lives and building healthier communities,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. 11/10 

Alfred Sandrock, who was one of the minds behind Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s disease treatment, Aduhelm, announced that he will retire from the company at the end of the year. Sandrock served on Biogen’s Executive Committee since 2015, as Head of Research & Development since October 2019, and as Chief Medical Officer from 2012 to 2020. 11/15 

Medivir hired Jens Lindberg, a veteran executive at AstraZeneca, as its new CEO. 10/25 

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals’ long-time CEO, John Maraganore, PhD is leaving the company at the end of the year. Alnylam is focused on the “discovery, development and commercialization of RNA interference therapeutics for genetically defined diseases.” Yvonne Greenstreet, the company’s president and chief operating officer, is set to succeed Maraganore. 10/28 

Tal Zaks, MD, PhD joined OrbiMed as a Venture Partner. Zaks was recently the Chief Medical Officer at Moderna, where he led the development of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine. 11/1  

Cara Therapeutics named Christopher Posner, President and CEO. 11/3 

Bayer named Christoph Koenen as the new Global Head of Clinical Development and Operations. 11/4 

Medtronic made some executive moves adding Bob Hopkins, head of global strategy; Mei Jiang, new global digital innovation leader; Harry “Skip” Kiil, President of the Cranial and Spinal Technologies (CST) Operating Unit; and Mira Sahney, President of the Pelvic Health Operating Unit. 11/15  

 

Payers  

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is bringing Dana Erickson aboard as its new CEO. Erickson has been a member of the organization’s senior leadership team since 2019, when she was appointed as senior vice president and president of the Health Services division. Michael Robinson, chair of the Board of Trustees for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota: “After a rigorous national search for our next CEO, we were thrilled to find the strongest candidate right here in Minnesota, with the right choice being inside our Blue Cross family.” 10/27 

Molina Healthcare announced the appointment of Jack Stephenson as plan president of Molina Healthcare of New York. 11/09 

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