Chutes & Ladders—CEOs on the move at Cano Health, Ascertain and more

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.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Crystal Denlinger
Crystal S. Denlinger, M.D. (LinkedIn)

Crystal S. Denlinger, M.D., is the new CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), replacing Robert Carlson, M.D., who is retiring after more than 10 years leading the organization.

Denlinger is currently the senior vice president and chief scientific officer for the NCCN. She helped create pilot programs for the Health Equity Report Card, overseeing oncology research grant facilitation. Her promotion will see her oversee a staff of more than 150 employees and maintain the library of NCCN Guidelines.

Currently, she serves as an adjunct medical oncologist for Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she has worked in half a dozen other roles since 2006.

Cano Health

Mark Kent
Mark Kent (Cano Health)

Cano Health’s founder Marlow Hernandez, M.D., is stepping down from the board and interim CEO Mark Kent has been named to the position permanently in a C-Suite shakeup atop the company’s hierarchy. Kent will also serve on the board.

The value-based primary care provider has been caught in a legal dispute with former board members for months, after the company went public through a $4.4 billion special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger two years ago. In March, Cano Health announced it took out a $150 million as cash dwindled, while major financial backers on the board resigned. Earlier this month the company announced it was laying off 17% of their workforce, and they are looking to sell the company.

Prior to joining Cano Health, Kent founded three startup healthcare companies and held executive roles at Women’s Health Care Hospital in Evansville, Indiana and primary care practices now known as Conviva Care Centers.


Mark Michalski
Mark Michalski, M.D. (LinkedIn)

Healthcare AI company creation platform Ascertain has reshaped its leadership team, appointing Mark Michalski, M.D., as CEO and Gregg Fergus to executive chairman.

Both Michalski and Fergus will lead the joint venture of Aegis and Northwell Holdings. The duo worked together at venture studio 4Catalyzer, where Fergus was CEO for nearly six years.

Gregg Fergus
Gregg Fergus (LinkedIn)

Michalski spent the last two years working at Amazon leading strategic development for healthcare and life sciences. He was also executive director of Mass General Brigham Data Science Office, served as chief medical officer for Hyperfine Research and was president and chief medical officer for Butterfly Network. Fergus also serves on the board of Neuvivo and AIQ Solutions and is a strategic advisor for Healthy Minds Innovations.

Kipu Health

Carina Edwards
Carina Edwards (Kipu Health)

Carina Edwards has been named the next CEO of Kipu Health, a technology partner for mental health and addiction service providers.

She will work to empower behavioral health providers, helping them deliver quality patient care, as well as ensuring the company can scale with escalating demand.

Edwards currently sits on the board of BeyondTrust and Kofax, and most recently served as CEO for Quil Health, a digital health joint venture between Comcast NBCUniversal and Independence Blue Cross. She also worked as an executive at Imprivata, Nuance, Zynx Health and Philips Healthcare.

> UC San Francisco is hiring Rachel Nosowsky as its first-ever chief counsel to lead UCSF Health’s team of attorneys.

> Clinton Memorial Hospital in Wilmington, Ohio has named Tom Daskalakis the hospital’s next CEO, replacing interim CEO Tony Young.

> Harris Data Integrity Solutions, a patient data integrity services and software company, has appointed Eric Helbig as vice president of sales.

Cookeville Regional Medical Center has given interim CEO Buffy Key the permanent position after five months temporarily in charge.

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has named Paul Long as the nonprofit health plan’s new chief consumer experience officer.

> The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals will be led by Aimee Daily, the group’s newest president and CEO, effective Nov. 1. She succeeds Teri Nestel, who is retiring after 40 years in philanthropy.

Axionics, a medical equipment manufacturer for bladder and bowel dysfunction products, has hired Kari Keese to replace Dan Dearen as CFO.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has hired Jeffrey Nesbit as assistant secretary for public affairs.

> Pager, a virtual care collaboration and navigation platform, has tapped former Salesforce product lead overseeing Health Cloud Rita Sharma as chief product officer.

LeanTaaS, a software company providing AI-powered capacity management, staffing and patient flow, has hired Ana Sirbu as the company’s newest CFO.

> Norwest Venture Partners, a venture capital and growth equity investment firm, hired Philip Fleischman, as the vice president of the healthcare team.