Chutes & Ladders—BayCare's top exec announces retirement; OU Health selects its first 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.


Tommy Inzina

Tommy Inzina, CEO and president of BayCare, is set to retire at the end of 2022, the Florida health system announced this week.

Inzina came to the nonprofit from St. Joseph’s Hospitals, which merged with three other local systems to form BayCare in 1997. He was tapped to serve as the new organization’s first chief financial officer and was later named its third CEO in 2016.

The BayCare of today is an integrated provide with 27,700 employees, 15 acute care hospitals, a Medicare Advantage plan and hundreds of other sites of care. Under Inzina’s watch it has been named among the top health systems by IBM Watson Health and one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

BayCare’s board has kicked off a national search for a replacement and plans to name Inzina’s successor later this year.

OU Health

Richard Lofgren, M.D.
(OU Health)

Richard Lofgren, M.D., has been tapped to serve as the first CEO of newly formed integrated, academic health system OU Health.

The 40-year healthcare vet is stepping over to the Oklahoma organization from Cincinnati, where he served as president and CEO of UC Health since 2013. Prior to that he held top executive and clinical roles at University HealthSystem Consortium, University of Kentucky, Medical College of Wisconsin and University of Pittsburgh.

OU Health is a relatively fresh entity, having formed last summer after the merger of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine faculty practice and OU Medicine parent company University Hospitals Authority and Trust.

As its inaugural leader, he’ll continue work to integrate the entities while guiding the organization’s strategic vision, clinical and operational direction, financial performance, growth and other measures.

OU Health said that it has already entered a continuity and transition plan with UC Health and expects Lofgren to at the helm by mid-March.

Sentara Healthcare

Howard Kern
(Sentara Healthcare)

Howard P. Kern shared plans to retire from his role as president and CEO of Norfolk, Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare.

According to the announcement, Kern will stick with the nonprofit integrated system until a replacement is ready to take up the mantle. Sentara said it has begun its search and expects to find its next president and CEO before the end of this year.

Kern began and ended his career with Sentara, first joining Sentara Norkfolk General Hospital in 1980 as an administrative fellow. He held progressively higher positions at the system over the decades, culminating in his promotion to president and CEO in 2016.

The system grew to become the largest health system and second-largest employer with over $10 billion net revenues during his time at the helm. Additionally, he’s credited with creating and achieving clinical quality improvement goals, establishing the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competency and the Department of Health Equity, finalizing the acquisition of Virginia Premier Health Plan, launching a community engagement program and other achievements for the 12-hospital system.

Kern said in a statement that he plans to keep supporting Sentara after retirement through philanthropy, volunteering and roles on boards and committees.

Acadia Healthcare

Debbie Osteen
(Acadia Healthcare)

Debbie Osteen will be delaying her planned retirement from Acadia Healthcare by two months in exchange for an additional $900,000 while the behavior health services provider lines up her replacement, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Osteen was slated to step down by Jan. 31 but will now remain in the CEO role until March 31 “to assist with and ensure a smooth transition of leadership,” per the filing.

The retirement plans were first announced in October. She will still remain on Acadia’s board as planned.

Osteen had joined Acadia in late 2018 with over three decades of behavioral health care industry experience in her back pocket.

Her time at the company saw the execution of a strategic growth plan involving a divestiture from Acadia’s U.K. operations, the acquisition of 14 facilities, nine joint ventures with healthcare systems and the addition of more than 1,000 beds to existing facilities.

> Innovaccer has brought on IBM Watson Health vet Anil Jain, M.D., as chief innovation officer.

> City of Hope named Vince Jensen as its new chief clinical operating officer.

> HCA Healthcare North Florida Division appointed Brian Nunn as CEO of Putnam Community Medical Center. Nearby HCA Florida University Hospital also appointed Steven Vanni as chief of medical staff.

> Veda, a healthcare automation company, appointed John Pharr as chief financial officer, Brian Powers as chief growth officer and Bo Roff-Marsh as chief technology officer.

> Socially Determined, a social determinants of health-focused analytics company, announced Paul Matsui as chief strategy officer and Mike Considine as chief product officer.

> Lumeon, a care delivery automation and orchestration platform, tapped Greg Miller as chief growth officer.  

> Better Health, a startup medical supply provider, appointed Alisha Mecier as vice president of strategic partnerships.

> The American Academy of Physician Associates hired on Phil Bongiorno as senior vice president of advocacy and government relations.

> UNC Health Southeastern will see Lori Dove, its interim chief operating officer since May 2021, step into the role on a permanent basis.

> St. James Hospital in New York will see its president and CEO, Bryan O’Donovan, step down on March 11.

> Epocrates, a digital decision support technology company, brought on Matt Titus as vice president and chief commercial officer.

> Transaction Data Systems, a pharmacy software company, tapped Jody Buchman as senior vice president of delivery and client advocacy.

> Blessing Health System in Illinois announced Brian Canfield as chief operating officer.

> University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System handed Tiesa Hughes-Dillard the role of chief nursing officer after she served in the position on an interim basis.

> Nantucket Cottage Hospital President and CEO Gary Shaw is resigning from the roles on Feb. 28.

> PhRMA, an industry group for the pharmaceutical industry, has named Takeda’s Ramona Sequeira as chair of its board of directors.

> Providence appointed Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Christina Fisher and former Nike Chief Operating Officer Eric Sprunk to its board of directors.

> CareCentrix, a value-based home care solutions company, added Jonathan Gavras, M.D., as a senior strategic clinical advisor.