Chutes & Ladders—AHCA president and CEO to retire

Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please submit the good news—or the bad—from your shop, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Henry Ford Health

Emily Sexton
Emily Sexton (Henry Ford Health)

Detroit-based health system Henry Ford Health and Acadia Healthcare, a standalone behavioral health care company, announced Emily Sexton as CEO of Henry Ford Behavioral Health Hospital. The hospital, spanning 120,000 square feet and comprised of 192 beds, is being built through a joint venture partnership between the two organizations and should open at the end of the year.

“Naming Emily as CEO is a crucial step in the successful opening and operation of this hospital,” said Adnan Munkarah, M.D., president of the care delivery system and chief clinical officer for Henry Ford Health, in a statement. “The need for comprehensive, compassionate behavioral health care is more important than ever. As the demand for behavioral health services within our communities continues to grow, Emily and her team will help to ensure our patients are receiving the best care possible. We are pleased that through our partnership with Acadia, we were able to find an executive of Emily’s caliber with roots in Michigan to lead this hospital.”

Sexton began her career focused on pandemic response and special pathogens. She has also worked as director of hospital operations and nurse executive for Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital.


President and CEO Mark Parkinson is leaving his role leading the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, effective Jan. 15, 2025. The board of directors will begin its search for his replacement.

Mark Parkinson
Mark Parkinson (LinkedIn)

Parkinson will depart the organization and retire after 13 years in charge. He is credited with helping launch the Quality Initiative to improve quality outcomes in long-term and post-acute care facilities and merging with the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, according to a news release.

He previously served as the 45th Governor of Kansas from 2009 to 2011.


Juan Pascual, M.D.
Juan Pascual, M.D. (NewYork-Presbyterian)

A leading pediatric neurologist has been tapped as chief of the Division of Child Neurology in the Department of Pediatrics at New York-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Starting March 1, Juan Pascual, M.D., will oversee the child and neonatal neurology divisions and focus on increasing access to high-quality care, expanding scientific research, recruiting staff and growing the rare brain disorders program, according to a news release.

Pascual earned his medical degree from Universidad de Granada in Spain and joins NewYork-Presbyterian from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

> The Department of Justice has appointed Jonathan Mayer as its first chief science and technology advisor and chief AI officer, advising the department on cybersecurity and emerging technology. He will also serve in the department's Office of Legal Policy.

> Highmark Health, a blended health organization in Pittsburgh, has poached Amanda Van Vleet from the NC Department of Health and Human Services to serve as the company’s director of social determinants of health. She also has experience working for the National Quality Forum, the CMS Innovation Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

> Yale New Haven Health, a healthcare system in Connecticut, has promoted Pamela Sutton-Wallace to president.

> McDonough District Hospital in Macomb, Illinois, has announced Brian Dietz has resigned as president and CEO. The board chose to extend Bill Murdock as interim president and CEO.

> Sharp HealthCare, a health system in San Diego, has named Rita Essaian as senior vice president and chief people officer, effective April 1.

> Independence Blue Cross has announced Peishan Ang as vice president of corporate strategy.

> Chartis, a healthcare advisory firm, has hired Amit Jindal as director in digital transformation.

> Madaket Health, a platform for provider and payer collaboration, has named Megan Schmidt and Tim Suther to its board of directors.

> Accenture, a global professional services company, has named Smriti Kirubanandan as managing director of its healthcare practice.

> DocGo, a provider of mobile health services, has named Yong Kim as vice president of health plan partnerships and Jen McLean as vice president of government and public health programs.

> Hims & Hers Health, a health and wellness platform, has announced Dan Kenger as the company’s first chief design officer.

> Kearny County Hospital in Kansas has selected Marley Koons as CEO, according to a LinkedIn post.

> Cambia Health Solutions, based in Portland, Oregon, has named Stephen Foxley as vice president of state affairs.

> OncoHealth, a platform that manages the cost and complexity of cancer for plans and employers, has appointed Cliff Culver as chief operating officer, Scott Warshaw as CFO and Brett Erhardt as chief strategy and growth officer.

> UChicago Medicine AdventHealth, has selected Monica Reed, M.D., as president and CEO.

> HHAeXchange, a provider of home care management solutions for providers, MCOs and state Medicaid agencies, has named Scott Schwartz as chief operating officer and Lori Harrington as senior vice president of product.

> Dartmouth Health, an academic health system in New Hampshire, has named New London Hospital CEO Tom Manion as chief operating officer for Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in a role switch.

> Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, an integrated professional services firm, has named former CEO of the Children’s Hospital Association Mark Wietecha to its healthcare industry group.

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has hired Simmi Singh as chief people office and executive vice president.

> Cue Health, a health tech company using diagnostic-enabled care, has appointed Rishi Reddy to its board of directors.

> UnitedHealthCare has promoted Michael Baker to chief operating officer.

> Opelousas General Health System in Louisiana has appointed Lance Armentor as president and CEO, effective April 1.

> Ashley Regional Medical Center, an acute care facility based in Vernal, Utah, has named Alan Olive as CEO, according to a Facebook post.

> Mercy Oklahoma has announced Jim Gebhart is retiring as community president at the end of the month, according to a LinkedIn post.

> Fauquier Health, a hospital in Warrenton, Virginia, has named Janelle Padgett as CFO and Toni Maxiwell as chief nursing officer.

> XP Health, a digital-first vision platform, has hired Cynthia Spitalny as chief marketing officer.