Chutes & Ladders—Baptist Health South Florida nabs Disney exec; Independence Health Group CEO retiring

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.

Baptist Health South Florida

Tony Ambrozie was hired to become Baptist Health South Florida's inaugural senior vice president and chief digital officer.

Tony Ambrozie 
(Baptist Health 
South Florida)

Ambrozie was most recently senior vice president, technology and digital at The Walt Disney Company, where he oversaw digital and core systems and technologies, engineering, data analytics and machine learning for Disney parks, consumer products, games and publishing.

He also previously served as vice president for digital platform technologies at American Express.

He will take on the new role Oct. 1.

“Our digital transformation initiatives, under Tony’s leadership, will revolutionize how patients seek and receive care, as well as how our clinicians are able to deliver that care,” said Brian E. Keeley, Baptist Health’s president and CEO, in a statement

Independence Health Group

Dan Hilferty

Dan Hilferty plans to retire from his role as CEO of Philadelphia-based Independence Health Group.

Greg Deavens, who previously served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer for the health plan, will assume the role of president and CEO effective Jan. 1.

Hilferty was CEO for 10 years, during which the health insurer grew to have more than 11,500 employees. He was credited with establishing the path for AmeriHealth Caritas to become a national leader in Medicaid managed care by expanding coverage to markets outside Pennsylvania, establishing value-based care models and leading the initiative to partner with Comcast in a joint venture to create Quil Health, a consumer-focused healthcare platform. 

Greg Deavens

He will continue to serve in an advisory capacity through the end of 2022, officials said in a release

Deavens directs all financial functions for the company and its subsidiaries. He led the company’s recent purchase of its corporate headquarters building and directed the design/build of the Independence Center for Innovation. He serves as a member of the board for Independence subsidiaries AmeriHealth Caritas and Tandigm Health.

Prior to Independence, Deavens was with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Cambia Health

Marion Couch 
(Cambia Health

Marion Couch was named senior vice president and chief medical officer of Cambia Health Solutions. She will lead clinical enterprise and strategy for Cambia, with a focus on creating innovative provider partnerships. 

Before Cambia, Couch was the senior medical adviser reporting directly to the leader of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She also served as chairwoman of the Indiana University Health Physician Board.

Couch will begin the role Oct. 1.

Strive Health

David Thornton was hired by Strive Health to be chief people officer.

David Thornton
(Strive Health)

Thornton will lead the company's work attracting, developing and retaining talent. He was most recently at Evolent Health, where he served as chief talent officer and helped expand the company from 20 to over 3,500 people. He was also previously with AOL for eight years.

“As Strive continues its mission to transform kidney care, we need a strong team in place to enhance the patient journey,” said Chris Riopelle, CEO of Strive Health, in a statement. “We are growing rapidly, especially our field clinical teams, and need someone to lead this expansion in a way that protects and scales our culture, nurturing our team members as we work to improve patient outcomes and experiences. We are excited to welcome David.”

> Providence signed on Derek Streat and Sean O’Connor as new entrepreneurs-in-residence within its Digital Innovation Group.

FundamentalVR, which uses immersive technology to improve the way surgeons are trained, announced Allan May as company chairman.

> PDI, which produces infection prevention products and solutions, announced the appointment of Michael Yang as senior vice president of R&D.