Chutes & Ladders—Octave names quartet of leaders

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.

Waltz Health

Jeff Park
Jeff Park (Waltz Health)

Waltz Health, a digital health company seeking to lower drug prices by working with pharmacy chains, payers and PBMs, has named Jeff Park as the startup’s first president.

Park, a former OptumRx executive vice president and COO, joins CEO and co-founder Mark Thierer as the latest former OptumRx executive to join Waltz Health. He also served as interim CEO for Diplomat in 2018 and was chairman and CEO of WellDyneRx from 2019 to 2022. He is still chairman of the audit committee for P3 Health Partners and a director of Progyny.

In his new role, Park will work to realign incentives within the prescription drug supply chain as the company expands its footprint in addition to building “trading partner relationships,” according to a press release.


Octave, a behavioral health practice startup recently honored as one of LinkedIn’s top startups in 2023, has announced four new leadership hires after the company’s $52 million series C funding round in the summer.

Pooja Agarwal
Pooja Agarwal (LinkedIn)

The Octave team now includes Pooja Agarwal as COO, Raul Estrada as vice president of business operations and strategy, Andy Glowalla as vice president of enterprise and Beth Jacobson as general counsel.

“We’re looking to build a company that will raise the bar for mental health care across the system, and to do that, we need leaders who are both deeply experienced in the sector and thinking beyond how it’s been done. I’m excited to welcome these thoughtful, innovative, and proven leaders to our team,” said Sandeep Acharya, co-founder and CEO of Octave, in a statement.  

Oschner Health

Yvens Laborde
Yvens Laborde (Oschner Health)

Ochsner Health, an integrated healthcare system operating across Louisiana and the southeast, has named Yvens Laborde, M.D., as the company’s chief community medical officer for the medical system, a new role for the organization.

Laborde will be tasked with aligned community health equity initiatives with Health State, the system’s collaborative effort with the state government, nonprofits and business organizations to improve health and wellness. He will also train students and professionals on health equity principles.

The new community medical officer joined Oschner in 1995 as an internal medicine physician, most recently serving as medical director of global and community health. He has served as physician adviser during Hurricane Ida, led humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti and pushed for equitable vaccine and testing during the height of COVID-19.

> Envision Healthcare, a medical group that delivers physician and advanced provider services, has named Henry Howe as interim CEO, replacing outgoing CEO Jim Rechtin as he moves to Humana as a president and COO. The company also announced Steve Nelson as chairman of the board of directors.

> Independence Blue Cross, a health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania, has promoted Theresa Lauer to vice president of sales and marketing for Medicare.

> Northwestern Medicine has named Jeff Good as its first ever chief sustainability officer just a few months after naming Dinee Simpson, M.D., as its first chief health equity executive.

> Lifepoint Health, a Brentwood, Tennessee-based healthcare provider with 50,000 employees, has promoted Aaron Lewis as executive vice president and CFO. He will replace current CFO Michael Coggin, who will retire in March 2024.

> Kaleida Health, a healthcare provider in western New York, has chosen Courtney Lewis Starnes as the company’s newest senior vice president and chief information officer, effective Nov. 13. Its executive vice president and COO, Cheryl Klass, is retiring.

> Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, a member hospital of Dartmouth Health, has opted for Robert Laba as CFO after a national search.

Holmusk, a behavioral health company that has developed an electronic health records platform with measurement-based care, has named Eze Abosi as chief growth officer, leading the organization’s commercial team. 

CareSource Kansas, part of one of the largest Medicaid managed plans in the U.S., has announced Chad Moore as president, serving alongside other CareSource HealthAlliance leaders.

> Beth Israel Lahey Health, an integrated health system with more than 4,800 physicians and 38,000 employees, has named Yael Heher, M.D., as the system’s first chief quality officer and Joshua Berkowitz, M.D., as chief medical officer.

> Oceans Healthcare, a behavioral health organization with locations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, has appointed Eric Elliott as CFO.

> ProMedica, a nonprofit organization in Toledo, Ohio, with 12 hospitals, more than 1,000 healthcare providers and a health plan, has tapped Donna Zuk as chief accounting officer.

> Clearway Health, a specialty pharmacy accelerator that partners with hospitals and health systems to improve medication access, has appointed Robert Voreyer as CFO.

> CentralReach, a provider of Autism and IDD Care software, has selected Tom Cady as vice president for operations for CR BillMax, the company’s managed billing services arm.

> University Hospital, an academic medical center and the principal teaching affiliate of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, has decided on Anna Michelle Brandt as its new COO.

> Kalderos, a data analytics company working with providers, drug manufacturers, payers and government agencies to increase transparency, has tapped Jim Sparks as CFO and Sudhakar Velamoor as chief technology officer and has promoted Jim Hundemer from vice president of information security and compliance to become the company’s first chief information security officer.

> Laredo Medical Center, a community healthcare provider with a 326-bed acute care facility, has appointed Marco Lozano as COO. He was promoted to assistant CEO in 2022.

> Valley Health System, a regional healthcare system in northern New Jersey and southern New York, has welcomed Joseph Mathew as chair of medical specialties for Valley Medical Group.

The National Headache Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit that furthers awareness of headaches and migraines as legitimate neurobiological diseases, has named interim Executive Director Susan Lane Stone as CEO and executive director.

> University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) has named Bradley Haws as CEO of UIHC and associate vice president of UI Health Care, after a nearly four-year stint at UI Health Care from 2018 to 2021. The former CFO for Emory Healthcare will begin Nov. 29, taking over for interim CEO Kim Hunter.

> Emtelligent, a developer of clinical-grade natural language processing software for healthcare organizations, has appointed Andrew Walker as executive vice president of customer strategy and operations.

> LRVHealth, a venture capital platform with investors from provider, payer and vendor organizations, has promoted Ellen Herlacher from principal to partner.

> Orlando Health, a nonprofit healthcare organization serving the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico, has picked Minedy Laracuente as assistant vice president of clinical development and integration for its Puerto Rico and Caribbean region.

> Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, a new full-service hospital in Washington, D.C., set to open in the winter of 2025, has selected Anthony Coleman as its inaugural CEO, according to a LinkedIn post.

> Baptist Health, a healthcare organization in Florida with 12 hospitals, has named Lourdes Boue as CEO of Baptist Health Doctors Hospital while serving as CEO of Baptist Health West Kendall Baptist Hospital. The system also named Andrea Eklund as senior vice president, compliance and internal audit and chief compliance officer for Baptist Health of Northeast Florida.

> Flatiron Health, a health tech company accelerating improvements in cancer care and treatments, has announced Nathan Hubbard as its chief business officer.

> Cognivue, a neuroscience company with a risk assessment test that identifies changes in cognitive function that could be indicate of early dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, has hired Ernest Fung as vice president of clinical and medical affairs.