Chutes & Ladders—AI expert lands new role; Walmart boosts legal team; Noom revamps leadership

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.

UC San Diego Health

Karandeep Singh
Karandeep Singh (UC San Diego)

UC San Diego Health has recruited Karandeep Singh, M.D., as the inaugural chief health artificial intelligence officer, effective Dec. 29. He will also be the chair of digital health innovation at the University of California School of Medicine.

Singh will be tasked with furthering safety and health outcomes in acute and ambulatory settings and integrating AI into clinical workflows, a press release said.

Among his accomplishments, Singh participated in Google Health’s Bioethics Summit, advocating for transparency in Google’s approach to AI. His work has been cited by the White House’s Blueprint for an Artificial Intelligence Bill of Rights, HHS, U.S. Government Accountability Office, the National Academy of Medicine and more.


Beth Collins is joining Walmart as senior vice president and chief counsel for regulatory and specialty legal, according to an internal document shared with Fierce Healthcare. Collins will begin the position on Dec. 18, replacing Jeanine Jiganti.

Beth Collins
Beth Collins (LinkedIn)

She will lead the health and wellness team and regulatory specialties including environmental health and safety, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food safety, product safety and ATF (alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives), among other in-house teams.

Collins has worked in the legal system for the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, as well in the private sector for Boeing, Caterpillar and World Wrestling Entertainment.

Julie Kass has also been promoted to vice president and chief counsel of health and wellness, reporting to Collins. Kass joined Walmart in April 2021 and has served in the Office of Inspector General of Health and Human Services and is currently on the American Health Law Association board.


Mike Tuffin
Mike Tuffin (AHIP)

UnitedHealth Group executive Mike Tuffin has been named president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), succeeding AHIP general counsel Julie Simon Miller who served as CEO on an interim basis since September 2023. He will start in the position on Jan. 8.

Tuffin served as senior vice president for external affairs at UnitedHealth since 2015, previously working as managing director of APCO Worldwide from 2012 to 2015. Before that, Tuffin was executive vice president of communications and public affairs for AHIP for nine years.

“Throughout his career, he has played a pivotal role in advancing the industry’s key priorities in support of more affordable, accessible care for millions of Americans, including ensuring stability and choice for consumers served by commercial plans and public programs, addressing the high cost of prescription drugs and protecting consumers from surprise medical bills,” the press release said.


Digital health company Noom, which helps customers with weight management, has announced a flurry of new hires and a set of promotions.

Jean Clifton
Jean Clifton (LinkedIn)

Pyramid Healthcare CFO Jean Clifton will take the mantle of chief financial officer, while Rich Friedman will serve as chief technology officer and Norman Petty as general counsel. Jim Bugden will join the team as senior vice president of corporate development and partnerships, plus Katerina Kugel will be the new senior director of brand and communications.

Nikhil Jhunjhnuwala will be promoted to chief growth officer, Raj Krishnan to chief product officer, Cody Fair to senior vice president of healthcare sales and services and Manik Dewan to head of people.

In July, Noom hired Geoff Cook as CEO.

> Vanderbilt University Medical Center has promoted James Newman to vice president of finance and divisional chief financial officer for the clinical support services division.

> MemorialCare, a nonprofit Southern California integrated health system, has named David Shavelle, M.D., as chief of cardiology for the health system.

> Hello Heart, a digital preventive heart health company, has drafted P. Jamie McCarthy as the company’s newest CFO.

> Tenet Healthcare, a healthcare services company based in Dallas, has tapped Vineeta Agarwala, M.D., to its board of directors.

> The Federation of American Hospitals is adding Adam Broder as senior vice president of external affairs.

> UP Health System – Marquette, a regional medical center in Michigan, has hired Tonya Darner as CEO.

> UNC Health, an affiliated enterprise in the University of North Carolina, has announced UNC Health Rex chief operating officer Kirsten Riggs will serve as interim president. Ernie Bovio is stepping down in his role as president.

> WellSpan Health, an integrated delivery system focused on value-based care, has handed over the reins to Alyssa Moyer as president of WellSpan York Hospital, effective Jan. 1.

> Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster, Wisconsin has announced Dave Smith is resigning as CEO, leaving the position at the end of December.

> Holland Hospital, based in Michigan, has announced that CEO and vice chair of the board of directors Dale Sowders will retire Jan. 30.

> Thomas Jefferson University, a doctoral research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has named Said Ibrahim, M.D., as president of the Jefferson University Physicians and dean of the medical college.

> NYC Health + Hospitals health care system has tapped Laura lavicoli as the new chief medical officer for its Elmhurst location and Dave Holson as chief medical officer for its Queens location.

> Healthcare Management Administrators, a Cambia Health Solutions company, has announced Lindsay Harris as chief commercial officer and Aadam Hussain as president and CEO. Cambia chief information officer Laurent Rotival has been promoted to executive vice president.

> Physician360, a digital health innovation company for rural community pharmacies, has named Michael Muchnicki as CEO.

> Amino Health, a digital healthcare navigation company for benefits programs, has appointed John Asalone as CEO.

> Associated Medical Professionals of NY, an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners, has appointed Christopher Pieczonka, M.D., as CEO.

> Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives from various disciplines, has selected Maria Ghazal as president and CEO.

> CodaMetrix, an AI-powered platform for multi-specialty medical coding, has named Lisa Morella as vice president of data and analytics. She worked at Mass General Brigham for 15 years, where CodaMetrix’s technology was first developed.

> Quartz Health Solutions, a health plan management and administrative services company, has appointed Christine Senty to president and CEO on a permanent basis, reports Becker’s.

> Highmark Health, the parent entity of Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and healthtech subsidiary enGen, has named enGen CFO Brian Devine as AHN’s new CFO, while Highmark Health senior vice president Melissa Stephens Williamson will replace Devine in his old role. James Rohrbaugh is leaving AHN to pursue other opportunities, per a press release.

> Sollis Health, a concierge urgent and emergency care provider, has named Jia Jia Ye as its chief operating officer.

> Impact Advisors, a healthcare consulting firm, has added John Lanari and Kristi Lanciotti as vice presidents to the company’s strategic implementation team. The two previously worked together at Nordic Global.

> CoeoRx, a pharmacy benefits navigator, has announced Kiley Ward as president and Cheri Rambo as executive vice president of business development.

The American Clinical Laboratory Association, a trade group representing labs that deliver diagnostic health information, has welcomed Mary Lee Watts as vice president of government affairs and policy and Elyse Oveson as chief of advocacy operations.

> Forge Health, a provider of value-based mental health and substance use care, has appointed VillageMD co-founder Paul Martino as chair of the board of directors, replacing outgoing board chair Tim Wentworth, who joined Walgreens Boots Alliance as CEO.

GE Healthcare president and CEO Peter Arduini has been selected as medical device trade association AdvaMed’s new chair of the board of directors to serve a two-year term, reports Fierce Biotech.

> AMSURG, operating a network of more than 250 surgery centers nationwide, has recently named Susan Byrd as chief human resources officer and Keith Hennegan as chief operating officer.

> CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit Catholic health system based in Chicago, has announced Terika Richardson will join the organization as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer.

> Sinai Health System has tapped Kenneth McGhee as executive vice president of finance and CFO, reported Crain’s Chicago Business.

> Johns Hopkins Medicine has named JHU School of Medicine dean Theodore DeWeese as CEO. He has served on an interim basis since the summer of 2022.

In more Chicago news, Medical Home Network has appointed Henish Bhansali, M.D., as chief medical officer.

> Corewell Health, a nonprofit system in Michigan, has hired Robert Fitzgerald, M.D., as president of the Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

> b.well Connected Health, which leverages a data integration platform to better manage population health, has named Sarah Jones as the company’s chief outcomes officer.

> The COPD Foundation, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, has elected Pamela McShane, M.D., as chair of the U.S. Bronchiectasis and NTM Research Registry Consortium.