Chutes & Ladders—Sutter Health recruits first diversity and inclusion officer

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.

Sutter Health

Dana Beckton
Dana Beckton (Sutter Health)

Northern California integrated nonprofit health system Sutter Health has hired Dana Beckton as its first chief diversity and inclusion officer, working closely with Sutter Health President and CEO Warner Thomas to develop DEI programming.

Thomas emphasized the importance of DEI initiatives “at a time when some companies are scaling back their commitment,” he said. Beckton will work to build trust and understanding between staff, physicians and clinicians. She will also oversee efforts to enhance diversity in recruitment, training and development, according to a press release.

Previously serving in similar roles for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and ChristianaCare, she most recently was the chief diversity officer for Sentara Healthcare for nearly five years.


Wellthy, a care concierge platform individuals have access to through Best Buy, Cisco, Meta and other health plans and employers, has named Ellen Rudy, M.D., as its first head of population health.

Ellen Rudy
Ellen Rudy (Wellthy)

In the new role, Rudy will lead programming and research efforts that measure the company’s impact on family caregivers, as well as expanding concierge solutions to improve outcomes, according to a release. The hire comes as Wellthy surpasses more than 120,000 caregiving projects for families.

Rudy served as a senior epidemiologist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health before working nearly 11 years for Molina Healthcare. Her most recent role was as head of research and social impact for Papa, a curated companionship network for providers to address loneliness, transportation and other social determinants of health.


Brandon Charles
Brandon Charles (Curative)

Curative, a healthcare services company that celebrates its first-of-its-kind employer-based insurance plan, has hired Brandon Charles, M.D., as its new chief medical officer.

Available to employers in Texas and Florida and their employees nationwide, Curative’s plan features $0 copays, $0 deductibles for in-network care and $0 prescription medications for many conditions. CEO Fred Turner said Charles will be an “invaluable asset” to the company’s mission.

A former senior vice president and chief operating officer at Johns Hopkins HealthCare, Charles also has experience at McKinsey and spent more than seven years at Anthem. He practiced as an OB/GYN for 17 years in the Baylor Health Care System.

> The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced that Melinda Hatton is retiring from her role as general counsel and secretary. The AHA will promote Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Chad Golder to her position on Jan. 1.

> Dan Unger, the senior vice president and general manager of financial transformation at Health Catalyst, a provider of data and analytics technology for healthcare organizations, announced in a LinkedIn post that this is his last week at the company after nearly 10 years, saying that he and the company are no longer aligned.

> LucidHealth, a clinically integrated network of community-based radiology practices, has named former HCA divisional president Steve Corbeil as CEO, effective Nov. 13.

> Emory Healthcare, a health system in Georgia with 11 hospitals and more than 250 provider locations, has selected Sandra Wong, M.D., as chief academic officer and the next dean of the Emory University School of Medicine. She will succeed interim dean Carlos del Rio.

> Families USA, a national nonprofit advocating for affordable healthcare, has tapped Naomi Fener as director of population health.

> Duke University Health System has snatched Gregory Pauly from Massachusetts General Hospital to become group president of Acute Care Services for Duke University Health System, president of Duke University Hospital and vice dean for clinical and academic integration at the Duke University School of Medicine, effective Jan. 31.

> University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, has appointed Steven Webber, M.D., as executive vice chancellor and dean of the college of medicine, effective Mar. 1.

> Evergreen Health, a community-owned hospital system in Buffalo, New York, has named Ettore Palazzo, M.D., as CEO following the retirement of Jeff Tomlin, M.D., effective Dec. 10.

> Edifecs, a health IT solutions company, has named former McKesson executive Stephen Ayers as its CFO and fifth change to the company’s leadership team this year.

> Bassett Healthcare Network, an integrated health system in central New York, has announced that CEO Tommy Ibrahim, M.D., will leave the organization. The board will appoint current executive vice president and chief operating officer Staci Thompson as his replacement in the interim beginning Jan. 1.

> UW Medicine, an integrated clinical, research and health system in Seattle, Washington, has decided on Timothy Dellit, M.D. as the system’s CEO, the dean of the UW School of Medicine and the executive vice president for medical affairs, positions he’s held on an interim basis since July 2022.

> Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN), Michigan’s state designated health information exchange, has elected Senior Program Director of the Mid-Michigan Community Health Access Program (CHAP) Janee Tyus as chair of the board of directors.

> Berkshire Health Systems has named four individuals to its new North Adams Regional Hospital leadership team including Laurie Lamarre as vice president, Robert Boebert as senior director of clinical operations, Jennifer Dowling as operational manager of the emergency room and medical/surgical inpatient care and Lynsey Wilk as operational manager for perioperative services.

> St. Mary’s Health Care System, a regional health ministry of Trinity Health, has named Eric Schuck, M.D., as chief medical officer.

> Magnolia Regional Medical Center, an acute care facility in Arkansas, has appointed William Van Noy as CFO.

> Summerville Medical Center, a 124-bed acute care hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, has welcomed Stephen Chandler as CEO.

> VITAS Healthcare, a provider of end-of-life care, promoted three leaders this month including Patty Husted to executive vice president of patient and family services, Jennifer Nygaard to senior vice president of operations for the northern and central regions of Florida and Mark Hayes to senior vice president of operations for the southern region of Florida as well as Atlanta, Georgia.

> Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, a national federation of independent, community-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, has elected CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield President and CEO Brian Pienick as chair of the board of the directors, effective Nov. 15.

> K4Connect, a software company in North Carolina integrating solutions to providers for older adults and people with disabilities, has promoted COO Mike Weller to CEO. Former CEO Scott Moody will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors.

> Lovelace Health System, a health system in New Mexico, has opted to rehire Troy Greer as president and CEO, succeeding David Schultz. Greer served as CEO for various Lovelace hospitals from 2007 to 2020.

> Vanderbilt University Medical Center has appointed Sondra Hornsey, the interim chief compliance and privacy officer for Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Hospital, as chief privacy officer, effective Dec. 4.

> Duke Regional Hospital has selected Jason Carter as chief operating officer after serving in a similar role for the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

> PeriGen, a Halma company offering AI-based maternal-fetal early warning software solutions, has tapped John Parker, M.D., as the company’s newest chief medical officer.

> Key Benefit Administrators, a benefits consulting company that reduces healthcare costs, announced the hire of Derek Moore as senior vice president of hospital DTE partnerships last month.