Chutes & Ladders—Bright HealthCare CEO stepping down; Mass General Brigham names first chief medical 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.

Bright Health Group

Simeon Schindelman
(Bright Health Group)

Simeon Schindelman, CEO of Bright HealthCare, will be stepping down from his position March 11, parent company Bright Health Group reported in a Feb. 11 regulatory filing.

Jay Matushak, Bright HealthCare’s chief financial officer, will be filling the position in an interim role while the company seeks out a replacement CEO.

Schindelman is entitled to receive separation benefits as per the company’s severance plan. The company did not specify a reason for his departure.

Startup insurtech Bright Health Group is comprised of two market-facing businesses, NeueHealth and primary sales generator Bright HealthCare. The latter offers commercial and Medicare coverage to more than 1 million nationwide members.

Bright Health Group went public in June 2021 with a $924 million IPO and later secured another $750 million from Cigna Ventures. The company was hit with an investor lawsuit following poor 2021 performances it attributed to the pandemic but just last month raised its membership guidance for 2022.

Prior to Bright HealthCare, Schindelman had served as the founder and CEO of Create Health Plans, CEO of MagnaCare and CEO of Bloom Health. He’d also held leadership positions at Medica Health Plans and UnitedHealth Group.

Mass General Brigham

Thomas Sequist, M.D.
(Mass General Brigham)

Thomas D. Sequist, M.D., was promoted to serve as Mass General Brigham’s first chief medical officer.

Sequist currently practices as a primary care physician at the health system’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he began his residency back in 1999. He’s taken on various roles within the organization over the years, most recently as Mass General Brigham’s chief patient experience and equity officer.

In that role, Sequist helped develop and deploy Mass General Brigham’s United Against Racism priority alongside other efforts to ensure dignity and better outcomes among all of the system’s patients. He’s also a prominent health policy researcher, particularly in the areas of healthcare quality and equity.

Additionally, Sequist is currently a professor of internal medical and healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School, medical director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Physician Outreach Program with the Indian Health Service and director of the hospital’s Four Directions Summer Research Program.

The new chief medical officer role will give Sequist the reins on Mass General Brigham’s quality, patient safety, pharmacy, community health equity and patient experience, according to the announcement. He’ll also be leading member hospitals’ chief medical officers and chief quality officers to ensure these areas are consistent across the organization.

Sword Health

Valentina Longo

Valentina Longo has joined digital musculoskeletal care company Sword Health as its chief financial officer.

She comes from nearly four years at Cerberus Capital Management, where she served as a managing director tasked with guiding and identifying new financial services industry investments for the private equity firm.

Prior to that came stints at McKinsey & Company and JPMorgan Chase. For the latter, she was the chief financial officer for the firm’s co-branded credit card business in charge of key investment and partnership decisions, among other responsibilities.

The $2 billion digital health company said it is hoping to tap Longo’s experience working in complex and highly regulated industries as it eyes continued future growth. In a statement, Longo said she had a personal connection with Sword’s goal of providing accessible musculoskeletal health services directly in the home.

UH Lake Health

Cynthia Moore-Hardy

Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president of UH Lake Health and its longtime leader prior to integrating with University Hospitals, has announced her retirement.

She is slated to step down March 31 but, according to the announcement, will stick around in a consulting capacity to support the group’s continued integration into University Hospitals, which said it is commencing a search for her successor.

Moore-Hardy entered the industry as a critical care nurse at Cleveland’s St. Luke’s Hospital before joining Lake Health in 1988. Initially an assistant administrator, she claimed the president and CEO positions in 1997 and held it until Lake Health officially joined University Hospitals last spring.

Moore-Hardy led the organization as it grew into a fully integrated healthcare system of 11 facilities, including three acute care hospitals. She was also credited as playing a major role in creating the Lake Health Physician Group and the Integrated Physician Hospital Enterprise with University Hospitals, alongside other partnerships with local community organizations and providers.

Moore-Hardy has held a number of chairs and positions outside of her health system over the years. She was a past chair of the Ohio Hospital Association and co-chair of its diversity and equity task force, a past board chair and trustee of the Center for Health Affairs in Cleveland and served on other local boards inside and out of healthcare.

> UnitedHealth Group has tapped Patricia Lewis to serve as its first chief sustainability officer.

> Capital Rx, a pharmacy benefits manager, added Kristin Begley as its chief growth officer.

> Children’s Specialized Hospital, part of RWJBarnabas Health, will see Lisa Knothe step into the roles of vice president and chief human resources officer.

> SSM Health named Sue Anderson as regional president of its Wisconsin operations.

> Saint Francis Healthcare System in Missouri announced the resignation of Maryann Reese as president and CEO. Chief Financial Officer Justin Davidson will be serving as interim president.

> eMed, maker of a digital, at-home rapid testing platform, brought Michael Cole on board as chief financial officer.

> Eko, maker of a digital stethoscope and electrocardiogram platform, announced Eric Davidson as president and chief operating officer.

> Calibrate, a metabolic health company, named Dave Fielding as chief financial officer, Scott Honken as chief commercial officer and Kim Stephen as general counsel.

> PeaceHealth Medical Group announced Lisa Ivanjack, M.D., as its new chief medical officer.

> Margaret Mary Health in Indiana named Elizabeth Leising as president and CEO.

> Carevive Systems, an oncology health technology company, appointed Aaron Galaznik, M.D., as chief science officer.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance announced Eric Schneider, M.D., has joined as executive vice president of its quality measurement and research group.

> CentraState Healthcare System President and CEO John Gribbin is set to retire from the New Jersey organization in April.

> Transaction Data Systems, a pharmacy market and supply chain products company, appointed Robert Ven as chief technology officer.

> Innovaccer added Brian Silverstein, M.D., as its new chief population health officer.

> Loyola Medical Group announced Alexander Ghanayem, M.D., as chief medical officer.

> Quit Genius, a virtual substance addiction treatment clinic, named Hinge Health co-founder Gabriel Mecklenburg to its board of directors.

> Bon Secours Mercy Health tapped Cassie Lewis as chief nursing and quality officer of its Hampton Roads market.

> Taylor Regional Hospital in Kentucky announced Joe Hugar as president and CEO.

> HSBlox, a value-based administration platform, tapped John Specht as executive vice president of sales and marketing.

> Valley Regional Medical Center, an HCA Healthcare hospital in Texas, named David Irizarry as CEO.

> Guidehouse, a consultancy for public and commercial clients, added outbound CommonSpirit Health CEO Lloyd Dean to its board of directors.

> McGuireWoods brought Kristen McDermott Woodrum to its healthcare practice as a partner.

> Garnet Health Medical Center-Catskills in New York named Leroy Floyd, M.D., as chief medical officer.

> Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis has added Carrie Douglas to its practice.