Chutes & Ladders—Duke lands a new CEO; Verily hires new CFO following layoffs

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.

Cambia Health Solutions


Tonya Adams has been promoted to the position of chief health services officer at Cambia Health Solutions.

For two decades, Adams has scaled the peaks of health plan business and operations. She joined Cambia in 2019 as the senior vice president of customer experience and operations. In the position, she led strategy and execution for enrollment, claims and provider operations.

Previously, she was vice president of operations for Molina Healthcare in California. She also spent time in vice president positions at Highmark, head of global operations and economics at UnitedHealthcare and staff vice president positions at Wellpoint.

Adams was awarded as one of the 2022 Portland Business Journal’s Women of Influence. She aided the White House in the push to bring COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable populations. She is the executive sponsor of the Women's Employee Leadership Lab, Cambia's employee group focused on nurturing the next generation of female innovators and leaders. 

Duke University Health System

CVS Health
(CVS Health)

Craig Albanese, M.D., has been selected as the newest chief executive officer of Duke University Health System.

Albanese has held the position of vice president and chief operating officer of the health system since January 2022. According to a Feb. 9 news release, he will step into the position at the end of March. The pediatric surgeon joined the system from NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) after working as the NYP 10-hospital system’s group senior vice president and system chief medical officer.

Before his time in New York, Albanese held senior positions at Stanford University and Stanford Health Care, such as vice president of quality and performance improvement at Stanford Children’s Health and director of pediatric surgical services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He taught as professor of surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at the Stanford University School of Medicine where he also held the role of chief of the division of pediatric general surgery.

Albanese succeeds A. Eugene Washington, M.D., who held the position since 2015. During Washington's tenure, Duke University School of Medicine rose from 13th to third in the country for National Institutes of Health funding.

CVS Health

CVS Health's Shari Slate
(CVS Health)

Shari Slate was hired as the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at CVS Health.

Slate will take on the role Feb. 27 and will report to Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer Laurie Havanec. She will lead the provider’s strategic diversity management efforts for its 300,000 employees.

Slate spent over a decade at Cisco where she held the position of chief inclusion and collaboration officer and senior vice president, inclusive future and strategy. During her time at Cisco, she helped create the company’s Inclusive Future Action Office, which held an operating budget of $300 million, according to CVS. Slate also spent nearly three years at the World Economic Forum where she led diversity efforts.

CVS had a notable week with its $10.6 billion bid to buy Oak Street Health. Oak Street includes 600 physicians across 169 medical centers in 21 states and is expected to grow by 300 centers by 2026.



Utpal Koppikar has been tapped as the next chief financial officer of Verily, an Alphabet company.

Koppikar joins from Atara Biotherapeutics, where he held the positions of executive vice president and CFO. In the role, he helped direct the T-cell immunotherapy company’s finances, information technology and investor relations.

Koppikar has held several financial leadership positions including VP of corporate and operations finance and VP of finance for Europe, the Middle East and Australia at Gilead Sciences and executive director of finance at Amgen.

The appointment comes close on the heels of Verily’s move to lay off 15% of its workforce in January, around 200 people. The firings came in conjunction with broader strategic restructuring. Verily’s leadership team also saw the recent additions of Alix Hart as chief marketing officer.

> Johns Hopkins Medicine named April Saathoff as vice president and chief nursing information officer.

> Cottage Health has welcomed Lorenzo Olivarez Jr. as its new vice president of finance.

> SCAN Health Plan has tapped Michael Blea as chief growth officer.

> Avita Care Solutions announced the appointment of Christopher Hall, M.D., as its inaugural chief medical officer.

> CHG Healthcare promoted Lisa Grabl to the role of group president, Brooke Bowers to locum tenens division president and Kerry Norman as executive vice president of operations at the healthcare staffing company.

> VISTA Staffing Solutions announced Andrea Nelson as its new president.

> Lucet, a behavioral health solution for health plans, announced the appointment of Andrew Cylkowski as chief commercial officer.

> DexCare, a data-driven intelligence company, hired Jamie Gier as chief marketing officer.

> Two Chairs, a behavioral health care company, promoted Alfonso Castillo to chief commercial officer and hired Eric Ng as senior vice president of marketing, and Rosemary Jones joined the company as VP of people.

> Adiso Therapeutics appointed Srikar Guntaka, M.D. as its medical director.

> Hyperfine welcomed Brett Hale as chief administrative officer and chief financial officer of the medical device company.

> BioVentrix announced the appointment of Ori Ben-Yehuda, M.D., as chief medical officer of the medical device company. 

> Verisense Health, a digital health software and data management company, today unveiled the four founding members of its board of advisers: William Crown, Paul Hartung, Ronald C. Kessler and Josh Tolkoff.

> The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts announced that David K. Mineta has joined its board of directors.

> Medsphere Systems Corporation, a healthcare IT platform provider, shared that Jeri Judkins is stepping into the role of company chief executive officer. Judkins replaces Irv Lichtenwald as CEO.