Slavitt to lead office of the CEO at Cityblock Health as co-founder takes leave of absence

Former federal policymaker and healthcare investor Andy Slavitt is temporarily taking the reins at Cityblock Health as CEO, and co-founder Iyah Romm is taking a leave of absence.

Romm posted on LinkedIn Tuesday sharing a message that he sent to Cityblock employees that outlined a leadership plan for the next six months as he goes on leave to focus on his mental health.

"Building Cityblock with you all is one of the greatest joys of my life," Romm wrote in his message to employees. "But in order to continue to build our company for scale and for impact, now is the time for me to get healthy, for myself, for my family, my community, and for Cityblock and the members we serve."

Romm's leave of absence begins Nov. 5. The company formed an office of the CEO made up of its executive leadership team and led by Slavitt, who chairs Cityblock's board. 

Slavitt, a former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) acting administrator, founded Town Hall Ventures in 2018 to invest in companies that focus on helping vulnerable populations. Town Hall Ventures is an investor in Cityblock Health.

RELATED: Cityblock Health raises another megaround of cash, boosting valuation to $5.7B

Romm and Toyin Ajayi co-founded the startup in 2017 out of Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs. Cityblock combines primary care, behavioral health and chronic disease management services that address social determinants like transportation, housing and access to healthy food.

Cityblock's strategy is to meet the complex health and social needs of this population by taking care back to the neighborhood level. 

The company has raised about $900 million to date. It most recently raised $400 million in a late-stage funding round that boosted the company’s valuation to $5.7 billion, Stat reported.

Romm wrote that he recognized the ability to step away and prioritize mental health—and potentially be applauded for doing so—is a "privilege that is not equally afforded to all."

"In acknowledging this privilege, I urge us all to redouble our commitment to holding space for each other, for fellow Cityfolx, for our communities today and into the future. And to building systems and ways of being that enable vulnerability, empathy and equity," Romm wrote.