Chutes & Ladders—Biden taps Ashish Jha as COVID czar; Aaron Martin returns to Amazon

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.

White House

profile photo of Ashish K. Jha, M.D.
(Brown University)

Jeff Zients, the management expert who has steered the Biden administration’s pandemic response through successive pandemic waves for more than a year, is leaving the job next month. President Joe Biden has tapped Ashish K. Jha, M.D., dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, to replace Zients as the White House COVID-19 coordinator.

In an announcement, Biden said Jha is "one of the leading public health experts in America, and a well-known figure to many Americans from his wise and calming public presence."

Before becoming dean of Brown University's School of Public Health, Jha led Harvard University's Global Health Institute and previously taught at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as well as Harvard Medical School.

A practicing physician, Jha is recognized globally as an expert on pandemic preparedness and response as well as on health policy research and practice. He has urged an aggressive approach to the pandemic in frequent television appearance and has been a strong advocate for expanding global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

HCA Healthcare

profile photo of Gabe Bullaro
(HCA Healthcare)

HCA Healthcare North Florida Division tapped Gabe Bullaro to serve as chief executive officer of HCA Florida West Hospital, effective April 4.

In his new role, Bullaro will oversee the 515-bed acute care hospital in Pensacola, which has served the Northwest Florida community for nearly 40 years. Bullaro has more than a decade of experience in healthcare having served in various leadership roles at HCA Healthcare.

Bullaro first joined Ocala Health as chief operating officer where he led major hospital expansion projects including the addition of 114 beds, 20 ED bays and six operating rooms. He also led the expansion of the Summerfield Freestanding ER by eight bays and the opening of the Maricamp Freestanding ER in August of 2019, one of the busiest and most successful freestanding ERs in the North Florida Division. 

He currently serves as CEO of HCA Florida West Marion Hospital, where he executed numerous strategic and operational initiatives resulting in the most successful years in the history of the hospital.

Quit Genius

profile photo of Justin Yang, M.D.
(Quit Genius)

Justin Yang, M.D., a Harvard-trained, dual board-certified assistant professor of medicine, was named medical director at Quit Genius, a digital clinic for treating multiple substance addictions.

Prior to joining Quit Genius, Yang was the medical director for a medication-assisted treatment program at Manet Community Health Center where he oversaw the clinical team and clinical operations across seven clinics in the greater Boston area. He also served as the U.S. commercial chief medical officer at Kaia Health, a digital health company focusing on providing digital multimodal pain management programs to members, and was the co-founder and chief medical officer at medical device company MobioSense.

Yang is currently a faculty instructor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University.

He brings to Quit Genius more than 10 years of academic and healthcare industry leadership as well as clinical and research experience in population health and wellness with a focus in addiction medicine, evidence-based clinical strategy and digital health innovation.

Quit Genius executives said Yang's academic and hands-on work experience in addiction care as well as employee health and digital health would be a tremendous asset.


profile photo of Emily Tyson

Relatient, a SaaS-based patient scheduling and engagement company, has expanded its executive team and tapped Emily Tyson as chief operating officer.

The company also announced that Craig McCoy has been brought on as chief growth officer and Josh Byrd as vice president of marketing. The leadership moves come following Relatient's merger with Radix Health, maker of patient access and engagement tools. 

The new leadership will help to drive growth of Relatient's market-leading patient scheduling and engagement platform, the company said.

At Radix Health, Tyson led operations and drove the company’s efforts to scale its technology delivery model while maintaining a flexible operating structure and client-first culture. She also spearheaded the effort to bring Radix and Relatient together as the two businesses merged last fall, leaning on experience from merger integrations with naviHealth and athenahealthNow. Tyson’s leadership will accelerate Relatient’s evolution of its implementation, client engagement, and support models for the combined organization, the company said.

Providence executive Aaron Martin is returning to Amazon to deepen the company's partnerships with medical providers. Martin spent eight years at the Catholic-based health system, serving as chief digital officer and leading the health system's venture capital arm, Providence Ventures. He will start at Amazon later this month as vice president of health, reporting to Neil Lindsay, who oversees Amazon's health initiatives. 

> Steve Berryman is stepping into the role of CEO of SKYGEN, a provider of software as a service and third-party administration solutions for dental and vision benefits management. Craig Kasten is relinquishing his role as CEO and will continue as the managing member of the company. The appointment is part of the company’s succession planning process. Berryman most recently served as president of SKYGEN.

> Healthcare technology and diagnostics company Binx Health appointed Todd Bennett as chief commercial officer. Bennett is an industry veteran, having held multiple executive leadership roles at several high-growth companies including Luminex, Immucor, Roche and Abbott. 

> Healthcare technology company CareCloud promoted Steve Link to chief operating officer, which gives him responsibility for managing CareCloud's growth and optimizing client-service delivery. Prior to CareCloud he worked for athenahealth and Bank of America. The company also promoted/hired several new personnel to leadership positions: Patti Peets to senior vice president of sales, Brian Zelenka as vice president of marketing and Carinda “CJ” Cox as vice president of sales operations. 

> Kevin Schweikert has joined COTA as vice president, life sciences. Prior to COTA, Schweikert worked as area vice president for Veradigm, a provider of healthcare data and technology and a business unit of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions. He also supported business development in healthcare and the life sciences at Aetion, Tempus and OptumInsight.

> Net Health brought Keith Tode on board as its new vice president of clinical research. Tode brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic leadership roles for start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Most recently, he served as vice president of clinical solutions at At Net Health, he will focus on building the company's rapidly growing tissue analytics division.

> Clarius Mobile Health, a provider of high-definition wireless ultrasound systems, tapped Ohad Arazi as president, but he will transition to the CEO role in the second half of 2022, succeeding Laurent Pelissier. Pelissier, founder of Clarius, will take on the position of chief innovation officer. Arazi previously served as CEO of Zebra Medical Vision, a maker of AI imaging products.