Chutes & Ladders—ChenMed appoints new CEO

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.


Christopher Chen
Chris Chen (LinkedIn)

ChenMed, a primary healthcare provider that operates more than 130 senior medical centers in 15 states, has named Steve Nelson as CEO. Former CEO Chris Chen will transition to executive chair of the board.

In an outgoing statement, Chen pointed to Nelson’s skill in “executing against a value-based care model” as a key driver in why he believes Nelson in the new role. Nelson previously worked as CEO of Duly Health and Care and spent 12 years with UnitedHealthcare.

"Having spent more than thirty years in healthcare, my time within this company this past year has enabled me to witness what true value-based care looks like, and how it can improve peoples' lives and transform healthcare in this nation," said Steve Nelson in a statement.


Suki, a leader of voice artificial intelligence for healthcare, has appointed an advisory board of six executives to help make healthcare tech “assistive and invisible,” according to a news release.

Michael Maus
Michael Maus (LinkedIn)

The company is also tapping Michael Maus as chief revenue officer. He previously served in executive roles for Athenahealth and Iris Telehealth.

Suki’s board consists of a Google Fellow, a chief digital officer, a vice president for ambulatory transformation and innovation, a venture capital firm partner, company co-founders and a chief product officer. It includes Ramanathan Guha, Sameer Badlani, M.D., Marijka Grey, M.D., Bob Kocher, M.D., Frank Naeymi-Rad and Ujjwal Singh.



Michael Reiff
Michael Riff (LinkedIn)

Pelago, a digital clinic partner to health plans for substance use management, has hired Michael Reiff as chief product officer. The company has also promoted Suzette Glasner to chief scientific officer and Ed Daley to chief commercial officer and Paige Swanepoel to chief marketing officer.

Reiff will lead product management, engineering and design, joining Pelago from Experian. Glasner is tasked with overseeing clinical research programs, while Daley will manage commercial and sales strategies. Swanepoel’s work will be dedicated on member growth, positioning and brand identity, according to a press release.

“We’re proud to have built such a talented team. These strategic moves are already positioning us for the next phase of expansion, enabling businesses and health plans to prioritize their populations’ access to clinically validated, cost effective, substance use management,” said Yusuf Sherwani, M.D., CEO and co-founder of Pelago.

> Humana has hired David Dintenfass to a newly-created role of president of enterprise growth, reported Fierce Healthcare.

In other insurer news, Centene has appointed Michael Carson as president and CEO of Wellcare, reported Fierce Healthcare.

> Walgreens Boots Alliance has elected Robert Huffines to its board of directors and on the finance and technology committee.

> Sutter Health, a health system based in Sacramento, California, has named Caren Weakley as senior vice president and general counsel.

> Acorn Health, a provider of applied behavior analysis for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, has appointed Don Borchert as its new CFO.

> EyeCare Partners, a provider of clinically integrated eye care, has hired Chris Throckmorton as CEO, effective Jan. 29.

> PACS Group, a holding company investing in post-acute healthcare facilities and ancillary services, has named Derick Apt as its new CFO, replacing Mark Hancock.

> RUSH University in Chicago, Illinois has selected Robert Higgins, M.D., as president and chief academic officer of RUSH University and chief academic officer and senior vice president of RUSH, reporting to CEO Omar Lateef, M.D.

The New Hampshire Prescription Drug Affordability Board has appointed Kirk Williams, a former healthcare manager for Arnold Ventures, as executive director.

> Oschner Health, a health system serving Louisiana, Mississippi and other gulf states, has hired Amy Trainor as system vice president and chief information officer.

> Mom’s Meals, a provider of home-delivered meals in the healthcare industry, has announced former Optum senior vice president Kathryn Tong as chief commercial officer.

> Ballad Health in Tennessee has tapped Sean Mills as CFO.

> The Coalition for Trust in Health & Science has named Erin O’Malley as executive director.

> AcademyHealth, a national health services and policy research organization, has welcomed Aaron Carroll, M.D., as president and CEO.

> Estella Health, a mobile healthcare services provider dedicated to in-home care, has appointed Brenden Hayden as chief operating officer.

> UNC Health has created a team dedicated to opening and operating the North Carolina Children’s Hospital, led by Andy Willis as executive chief planning and development officer, Ian Buchanan as chief project officer and Erin Edwards as vice president of project management. The university also hired Kevin Howell as chief external affairs officer.

> Healthsperien, a national healthcare policy consulting firm, has named Patrick J. Kennedy as partner. He will be tasked with leading a new mental health and addiction policy practice.

> Inszone Insurance Services, a national provider of commercial, personal and benefits insurance has tapped Amy Hieatt as executive vice president - North American Health Care Practice Leader.

> USA Health University Hospital in Alabama has named Josh Snow as CEO.

> CorVista Health, a digital health company dedicated to improving cardiovascular disease diagnosis, has added Anjali Tiku Owens to its medical advisory board.

> Hightop Health, a comprehensive outpatient mental health platform, has tapped Raymond Kotwicki, M.D., as president and chief medical officer of intensive outpatient services.

> AdventHealth, a health system based in Florida, has appointed Michael Cacciatore as chief clinical officer, effective March 4.

> City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment organization, has selected Kristin Higgins, M.D., as chief clinical officer at City of Hope Cancer Center Atlanta.

> CHI St. Vincent, a health system in Arkansas, has named Megan Bonney as president.

> ImagineCare, a joint venture between Spark Pediatrics and CareSource, has named Adam Beam as CEO.

> Emory University has selected Nitu Kashyap as chief health informatics officer, effective Feb. 5.

> ActualMeds, a company that tackles medication reconciliation on demand, has Patricia Neafsey and Brian Bainter appointed to the Pharmacy Quality Alliance.

> St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, Idaho has promoted Kevin Watson to chief operating officer and chief nursing officer.

> Geisinger, a health system in Danville, Pennsylvania, has hired Carla Chandler as vice president and market CFO.

> The Oregon Health Authority, a state agency which advocates for lowering costs and increasing access to care, has named Sejal Hathi, M.D., as interim director, replacing Dave Baden. She will need to be confirmed by the Oregon Senate, reports The Lund Report.

> Clearsense, a platform as a service company that partners with healthcare organizations, has appointed Jason Z. Rose as CEO, replacing founder Gene Scheurer, who will remain on the board of directors and serve as special advisor to Rose.

> First Health Advisory, a digital health risk assurance firm, has formed a six member strategic advisory board that includes Lisa Gallagher, Mac McMillian, Elder Granger, M.D., Drex DeFord, Michael Loria and M.K. Palmore.

> Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock in Arkansas has promoted Mackenzi Clyburn to vice president of hospital operations and David Shenker, M.D., as chief medical officer.

> Holland Hospital in Michigan has named Patti VanDort as CEO, effective Jan. 29.

> Commonwealth Care Alliance, a healthcare services organization offering health plans and care delivery programs, has named Emily Bailey as senior vice president of performance, operations and innovation. CCA also promoted Josh Ruminsky as senior vice president of health plan clinical care, and named Whitney Moyer as vice president of clinical provider integration, adding to her responsibilities.

> Consensus Health, a New Jersey-based healthcare organization with a physician-led medical group and an independent physician alliance, has named Michael Lovett as CEO. He will remain as president.

> Anatomy IT, a healthcare and cybersecurity solutions platform has appointed Patrik Vagenius as chief commercial officer.

> Kyruus Health, a care access platform, has hired former Spring Health CTO Harshit Shah as chief technology officer.

> 1upHealth, a fast healthcare interoperability resource platform provider for claims and clinical data acquisition, has announced Andrea Kowalski as chief product officer.

> Global Health Technologies Coalition, a group of 40 nonprofits advancing policies to accelerate the creation of new drugs, vaccines and health tools, has appointed former CDC senior policy advisor for the Global Health Center Kristie Mikus, M.D., as executive director, effective Feb. 26.

> Providence Health Plan in Portland, Oregon has named Laurel Soot, M.D., as chief medical officer and added three new members to its board of directors: Mike Alexander, Graciela Gomez Cowger and Kimberly Goode.

> Thirty Madison, a specialty care company, has selected Nirveek De as the company’s first chief product officer.