Chutes & Ladders—CVS' Omnicare fills its president opening; Sentara Health names next president, CEO

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.

CVS Health

Ahmed Hassan

Ahmed Hassan has gotten the nod to step into the vacant president position at Omnicare, CVS Health’s long-term care business.

Following the reported departure of former President Jim Love in late April, Hassan will take the reins Friday and will work to exceed the Cincinnati-based firm’s goals around service, retention, culture and growth.

Hassan came to CVS Health in 2015 and most recently held the role of vice president and general manager of pharmacy benefit manager care management. He’s also held positions at consulting practices and solutions companies focused on healthcare and life sciences.

Omnicare was acquired by CVS Health in 2015 for roughly $10.4 billion. Its more than 150 locations provide pharmacy services to post-acute facilities, senior living communities and other long-term care providers in 49 states.

Sentara Healthcare

Dennis Matheis
(Sentara Healthcare)

Dennis Matheis is set to succeed outbound Sentara Healthcare President and CEO Howard Kern as the system’s next leader. Kern had been with the organization for more than four decades and announced his retirement earlier this year.

Matheis is currently the president of Sentara Health Plans and executive vice president of the 12-hospital system. Since joining in 2018, he headed the payer side’s tech modernization efforts, the implementation of new care models with provider partners and a joint ownership transaction.

He came to the organization in 2018 from Anthem, where he had served as senior vice president and president of its Central Region and Exchanges. He’s also held top roles at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri, CIGNA Health, Humana Health Plan and Advocate Health Care.

Once in the hot seat, Mattheis will be expected to lead the implementation of Sentara’s broader strategic goals. His promotion is set for Sept. 1.


Paul Merrild

Paul Merrild will join provider search and scheduling tech company Kyruus as its first president, effective July 11.

He comes with more than two decades of leadership experience among healthcare IT and healthcare services companies, specifically in sales, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, operations, customer success and product development for provider and payer clients.

His most recent post was a chief growth officer role at Chicago-area Sound Physicians. Preceding that was over seven years at Athenahealth, nearly six at Merge Healthcare and five at GE Healthcare.

At Kyruus, Merrild will be scaling the tech company’s core business operations to better support its provider, payer, federal and digital health market customers. He will report directly to CEO and founder Graham Gardner, M.D.

RWJBarnabas Health

Lewis Rubinson, M.D.
(RWJBarnabas Health)

Lewis Rubinson, M.D., was named as the senior vice president, chief medical officer and chief quality officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

The appointment, announced Tuesday, brings Rubinson over from nearby Morristown Medical Center, where he served as chief medical officer and oversaw the hospital’s COVID-19 response.

The physician executive had previously held several leadership positions in academic medicine, such as the first director of the University of Maryland’s critical care resuscitation unit and a professor of medicine in the School of Medicine’s shock trauma center.

Rubinson has also played key roles assisting local and federal government in disaster responses, serving as a U.S. Public Health Service commander from 2009 to 2013. Of note, he was the chief medical officer for the federal medical response to Super Storm Sandy, a responder to Hurricane Katrina and was clinical lead at an Ebola unit in Sierra Leone in 2014.

The new role with RWJBarnabas Health’s flagship academic medical center will have Rubinson leading nearly 2,000 medical school faculty, medical group physicians and community practice physicians. He’ll also be tasked with improving clinical performance standards and coordinating clinical practices across all service lines.

> Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center named Selwyn Vickers, M.D., as president and CEO.

> Keck Medicine of USC announced Ekta Vyas as chief human resources officer.

> Texas Health Resources announced five promotions to president among its hospitals: Fraser Hay at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, Ajith Pai at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth, Amanda Thrash at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen, Jared Shelton at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Christopher Leu at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne.

> Singing River Health System, in Mississippi, named Tiffany Murdock as CEO.

> Guthrie Clinic saw Donald Zaycosky step into the role of senior vice president and chief legal officer, a first for the organization.

> CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield named Dorothea Henderson as senior vice president and chief digital information officer.

> University of Alabama at Birmingham announced Dawn Bulgarella as interim CEO of UAB Health System as well as Anupam Agarwal, M.D., as interim dean and interim senior vice president of the Heersink School of Medicine.

> United Network for Organ Sharing’s CEO Brian Shepard will be leaving the organization at the end of September. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Maureen McBride.

> Mantra Health, a digital mental health clinic for young adults, appointed Carla Chugani as vice president of clinical content and affairs. Alejandro Foung, former CEO of Lantern Health, also joined as an advisory board member.

> St. Francis Medical Center, in Louisiana, reportedly tapped John Bruchhaus, M.D., as its next chief medical officer.

> Withings, a connected health device maker, unveiled Elizabeth Coleon as chief marketing officer.

> Walgreens’ newly launched clinical trials business came with four new hires: Kendal Whitlock as head of digital optimization, real-world evidence clinical trials; John Campbell as head of decentralized clinical trials; Liam Wood as head of product, clinical trials; and Adam Samson, head of clinical deliver operations, clinical trials.

> Garnet Health appointed Deanna Schultz as manager of development at Garnet Health Foundation – Catskills.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee promoted Alicia Oliver to vice president and deputy general counsel.

Curebase, a clinical study enrollment platform, unveiled Andi Seymour as vice president of people.

HCA Florida announced Keri Pintozzi as chief financial officer of Lake City Hospital and promoted Michael Irvin to CEO of Trinity Hospital.

Wellframe, a digital health management platform, named Madhu Rajagopalan as vice president of engineering.

Iterative Scopes, a precision gastroenterology medicine technology company, added Laura Mantell as vice president of life sciences.