Chutes & Ladders—Delta Dental of California promotes first female 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.

Delta Dental of California­

Sarah Chavarria
Sarah Chavarria (LinkedIn)

Delta Dental of California, a Delta Dental Plans Association member company, has promoted Sarah Chavarria as its first female CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2024. She will replace CEO Mike Castro, who is retiring at the end of the year.

The company also announced its new leadership team to support Chavarria which includes: Alicia Weber, Mike Hankinson, Jennifer MacGilvray, Earl Parker, Dominic Titcombe, MohammadReza Navid, Brian Sherman, Kurt Schroeder, Jennifer Cheles and Marianne Ortiz.

Chavarria served as president since 2022 and has led the operations, technology, people, growth, marketing and communications divisions in the last six years. She previously was chief people officer for NANTHEALTH, chief people officer at Optum 360 and vice president of HR and organization effectiveness at Dignity Health.


The Walgreens Boots Alliance confirmed suspicions it would replace CEO Roz Brewer with former Express Scripts CEO Tim Wentworth this week. He will assume the position Oct. 23.

Tim Wentworth
Tim Wentworth (LinkedIn)

Wentworth’s work will be cut out for him, as the company is coming off a rocky several months. Yesterday, the pharmacy giant outlined a $1 billion cost saving plan that would close 60 clinics. Pharmacy workers staged a walkout this week, expressing concerns over working conditions and payroll transparency. This is amid several Walgreens executive departures and underwhelming earnings reports.

He previously served as CEO of Evernorth from Sep. 2020 to Dec. 2021, was president of health services at Cigna from Dec. 2019 to Dec. 2021 and was president and CEO of Express Scripts for nearly six years starting in May 2016.


Jim Rechtin
Jim Rectin (LinkedIn)

Envision Healthcare CEO Jim Rechtin is joining Humana as president and COO on Jan. 8, and then will take charge as CEO in the second half of the year, the company announced this week. Current CEO Bruce Broussard, who has been in the position since 2013, will hand over the reins and remain as a strategic advisor until 2025.

Rechtin previously served as president of OptumCare for six months and held various roles at DaVita Medical Group from 2014 to 2019.

Envision Healthcare filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, attempting to cancel $5.6 billion in debt. That filing was approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court the same day it was announced Rechtin was leaving for Humana, reported Radiology Business.

> Health Assurance Transformation Corporation, a new company unveiled by VC firm General Catalyst at HLTH 2023 focused on helping health systems shift to value-based care, announced Dr. Mark Harrison as the company’s CEO.

> Oschner Health, a health system in Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South, has hired Corwin Harper as CEO of Oschner LSU Health.

> South Shore Health, a nonprofit health system in southeastern Massachusetts, has appointed Stephen Jenney as senior vice president and CFO/treasurer.

> Tampa General Hospital has restructured its senior leadership team to broaden responsibilities across the entire health system. Changes include: Scott Arnold, executive vice president and chief digital and innovation officer; Stacey Brandt, executive vice president and chief administration officer; Peter Chang, M.D., senior vice president, chief transformation officer; Jennifer Crabtree, vice president of corporate communications and chief of staff; Peggy Duggan, M.D., executive vice president, chief physician executive and chief medical officer; Abraham Schwarzberg, M.D., executive vice president, chief of oncology and president of the Tampa General Provider Network; Eduardo Sotomayor, M.D., vice president, executive director of the TGH Cancer Institute; and Steve Short, executive vice president and market president of TGH North.

> Aurora Health Care, a health system in Wisconsin under the Advocate Health umbrella, has hired Gabrielle Finley-Hazle as president, effective Nov. 27.

> Methodist Hospital Westover Hills, under the HCA Healthcare umbrella and part of the Methodist Healthcare System in San Antonio, has named April Tolson as chief nursing officer.

> Orlando Health, a nonprofit healthcare system serving southeastern United States and Puerto Rico, has named Omar Gonzalez as vice president of its Puerto Rico/Caribbean region.

> Parkridge Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee has tapped Walter Kerschl, M.D., as the center’s newest chief medical officer.

> ChristianaCare, a network of private, nonprofit hospitals across Delaware and counties in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, has selected Gregory Ehardt as senior vice president and chief compliance officer.

> The HIV Medicine Association, comprised of more than 5,000 physicians, scientists and other health care professionals, has tapped Allison Agwu, M.D., as its new board of directors’ chair. Anna Person, M.D. will serve as HIVMA vice chair.

> Bon Secours Mercy Health, a Catholic health care system, has hired Brenda Woodcock as president of Southside Medical Center and Southern Viriginia Medical Center, according to a LinkedIn post.

> The Infectious Diseases Society of America, comprised of more than 12,000 physicians, scientists and public health experts, has announced Steven Schmitt, M.D., as its new president, effective Oct. 16. Six new board members will serve with Schmitt including: Maximo Brito, Robin Dretler, Matifadza Hlatshwayo Davis, M.D., Kami Kim, M.D., Ronald Nahass, M.D., Heather Yun, M.D.,

> First Health Advisory, a cyber healthcare IT company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has appointed Rick LeMay as executive vice president of enterprise security and technology.

> Rune Labs, a brain data company developing precision neuroscience therapeutics, has appointed COO Swati Reichmuth, as the company’s CFO. She will hold dual roles.

> Columbia University Irving Medical Center has named Mighty Health co-founder Bernard Chang as associate dean of faculty health and research career development and associate director at the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

> Hyperfine, a medical device company that created the first FDA-cleared portable MRI brain imaging system, has promoted neuroradiologists Edmond Knopp, M.D., and Chip Truwit, M.D., to vice president of medical affairs and vice president of scientific affairs, respectively.