Memorial Sloan Kettering taps former CVS Health, Aetna exec as chief digital officer

Memorial Sloan Kettering
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has hired a former CVS Health and Aetna executive to serve as its first chief digital officer and head of technology. (Memorial Sloan Kettering)

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has tapped Claus Torp Jensen, Ph.D., as the organization's first chief digital officer and head of technology.

Jensen joins MSK from CVS Health and Aetna, where he served as chief technology officer and head of architecture for the past four years.

In that role, Jensen led technology innovation, business transformation incubation, architecture planning and design, and digital integration, the New York City-based cancer center said in a press release.

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Jensen's recruitment follows an expansive national search to identify a leader with the vision and experience to lead MSK’s digital transformation, according to the organization.

Claus Torp Jensen
(Memorial Sloan Kettering)​​​​​

Before CVS Health and Aetna, Jensen served in various technical leadership roles at IBM and Danske Bank. A native of Denmark, he holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Aarhus University. Jensen has authored numerous publications and holds 14 patents around integration, application programming interfaces (APIs), and transformation.

ELATED: Kaiser Permanente taps Prat Vemana as first chief digital officer

As the cancer center's new chief digital officer and head of technology, Jensen will oversee the integration of data and technology resources across MSK and develop the data and digital platforms that will enable the organization to meet critical patient care and research objectives. He will also direct the operations of MSK’s departments of information systems, health informatics and data products, as well as other core components of MSK’s information technology ecosystem, comprising some 800 employees.

Reporting to MSK’s Chief Operating Officer, Jensen will work closely with leaders across MSK to design, create and optimize digital solutions that will benefit patients, researchers, clinicians and administrators.

“Claus brings more than 20 years of experience leading large-scale transformation across different industries to the role of Chief Digital Officer, and we are excited to welcome him to MSK,” Kathryn Martin, Chief Operating Officer at MSK, said in a statement. "Under his leadership, this critical work will better enable us to meet patients’ expectations for more convenient, personalized and affordable care. It will also support us in changing how we work across the enterprise by creating greater data integration and computing power, easing the administrative burden and facilitating more-efficient workflows.”

Jensen said in a statement that Memorial Sloan Kettering is an institution "renowned worldwide for its cancer care, research and innovation."

"MSK’s mission to provide the best care for patients diagnosed with cancer both today and in the future resonates with me on a personal level and MSK’s renewed focus on data and digital products will go a long way in supporting this aim," he said.

RELATED: CommonSpirit Health taps Suja Chandrasekaran as first chief information and digital officer

Healthcare organizations have increasingly been adding chief digital officers to their executive teams to manage overall digital strategy. Last year, Ascension, the largest Catholic health system in the country, hired Eduardo Conrado as its first chief digital officer and executive vice president.

Many health systems also have been looking outside of healthcare for executives with deep technology expertise. Providence St. Joseph Health tapped former Amazon executive Aaron Martin as its first chief digital officer in 2014. Novant Health hired Angela Yochem, who spent most of her career in technology leadership roles at BDP International, AstraZeneca, Dell and Bank of America, as its first CDO.

CommonSpirit Health recently hired former Kimberly-Clark Corporation CIO Suja Chandrasekar to serve as its first chief information and digital officer (CIDO). Kaiser Permanente also named an industry outsider, Prat Vemana, for the CDO role. Vemana previously worked at The Home Depot as chief product and experience officer and held leadership roles at Staples and Informed Clinical Sciences Corporation.

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