Chutes & Ladders—Permanente Medical Group taps new CEO; BCBS gets new VP of brand strategy

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.

The Permanente Medical Group

The Permanente Medical Groups
(The Permanente Medical Groups)

Maria Ansari, M.D., has assumed the roles of chief executive officer and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) and president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group.

TPMG is the largest physician-led medical group in the nation. Combined, the two medical groups top 11,000 physicians and over 44,000 nurses and staff serving 5.4 million Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

In 2007, she became chief of the cardiology department at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center. Starting in 2014, Ansari served as physician-in-chief and chief of staff at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she held the role of chief medical office liaison to the San Francisco Department of Public Health COVID Vaccine Taskforce.

Ansari is the first woman to lead TPMG.

Alignment Health


Vina Fuentebella has been promoted from senior vice president of financial planning at Alignment Health to market chief financial officer.

Fuentebella spent nearly a decade as SVP of financial planning at the healthcare company. She reported directly to the CFO regarding health plan economics, financial operations and corporate development. In her new position, Fuentebella will be directing Alignment’s financial policies while overseeing all financial functions of Alignment markets.

Deloitte was where Fuentebella cut her teeth, completing eight years at the company as senior manager of audit and enterprise risk services. Next, she spent almost six years at CareMore Health where she was the director of financial planning and analysis and business development.

In March of this year, Alignment also welcomed Tim Moorhead as senior vice president and regional president of North Carolina, Arizona and Texas and Lisa Ferrari as senior vice president and regional president of Nevada and Northern California.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association


Sondra Imperati is the new vice president of brand strategy at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Imperati manages the company’s brands worldwide to support the overall amplification of the brand. She holds two decades of experience leading marketing and brand management. She most recently served as director of brand strategy and integrated marketing at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and held other leadership roles at Superior Plus Energy and Carestream Health, formally known as Eastman Kodak’s Health Group.

“A strong brand serves as an organization’s most valuable asset, representing its values, reputation and integrity,” said Sean Robbins, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at BCBSA, in a press release. “We are excited to have Sondra lead our efforts in driving the success of the BCBS brand in today’s dynamic environment and ensure that we remain a trusted voice in health care.” 

Bicycle Health


Amy Finney has been appointed as the new chief operating officer of Bicycle Health, a telehealth provider of integrated medical and behavioral healthcare for opioid use disorder.

Finney joins Bicycle from One Medical where she served as the vice president of operations and ran the company’s incident response team, launched mobile, drive-through COVID-19 testing sites across core markets and operationalized rapid, in-office testing nationally. She started at One Medical as a lab services manager.

In June 2022, Bicycle announced a $50 million series B fundraising round used to help scale the company’s remote treatment model in six new states, reaching 29 states. The provider partners with 51 payers on the state and national levels. Finney joins the company as the industry shifts out of the COVID-19 public health emergency which allowed for telepsychiatry companies to flourish due to the suspension of the Ryan Haight Act which loosened restrictions on medications for opioid use disorder.

> Englewood Health appointed Matthew Amodeo as its new executive vice president of legal affairs and chief legal officer.

> Cognoa, a pediatric behavioral health company, announced Jeffrey Pollard, M.D., as senior vice president of medical and clinical affairs and Brandon Devennie as senior vice president of commercial strategy.

> Found, a weight care program, added Kyu Rhee, M.D., to its medical advisory board.

> Morgan Lewis welcomed Maarika Kimbrell to its FDA and healthcare practice.

> VITL, a health data company for Vermonters, announced that vice president of finance and chief financial officer Robert “Bob” Turnau will retire. VITL has named Cara Callanan as the organization’s new chief financial officer.

> Medical Guardian, a provider of personal emergency response systems and remote patient monitoring services, unveiled Jim Spencer as its executive vice president and chief financial officer.

> VNA Health Care added Dave Koch and Sylvia Marten to its senior leadership team, with Koch accepting the position of chief operating officer and vice president of operations and Marten joining as vice president of marketing and communications.

> Zephyrus Innovations, a medical device company, appointed David Whitaker as chief technology officer.

> Tenet Healthcare appointed Stephen Rusckowski to its board of directors.

> Commonwealth Care Alliance named Elizabeth Gianini senior vice president of public affairs and David Weader senior vice president and general counsel.