Movers & Shakers: Kaiser Permanente, Adventist Health System

Kaiser Permanente Hire First Chief Community Health Officer 

Kaiser Permanente, a major health care system and non-profit health care plan, has named Bechara Choucair, MD, as chief community health officer and senior vice president of Community Health and Benefit for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.

In this new role, Dr. Choucair will oversee Kaiser Permanente’s philanthropic giving, guiding its participation in government-subsidized programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In addition, as the first officer of this role, he will expand the provider’s legacy of community health by maximizing existing partnerships and coalitions, as well as developing new ones to address broader social issues that impact community and individual health.


“We are delighted to have Dr. Choucair join Kaiser Permanente,” Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson said in a statement. “As a nonprofit organization, we are dedicated to providing a meaningful portion of our revenue to invest in community health and well-being. While we directly care for nearly 11 million Kaiser Permanente members, our commitment is to improve the health of the 60 million people within the areas we serve. Dr. Choucair is the perfect addition to our team to advance Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to deliver on our promise to our members and our communities.”

Choucair brings extensive health care experience to his new role, most recently serving as senior vice president of Safety Net Transformation and community health at Trinity Health in Michigan. He has served as the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health; executive director of Heartland Health Centers in Chicago; and medical director of Crusader Community Health in Illinois.

Former Nurse Named Senior Executive at Horizon 


Mary Ann Christoper has been named vice president for clinical affairs at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Christopher once ran the two largest visiting nurse agencies in the nation, including one that has been the target of investigations, reported.

Christopher joined Horizon in January, before being named vice president for clinical operations and transformation. Part of her role will be to oversee Horizon’s Alliance collaborations to improve care and cut costs with select hospitals and medical practices.

She was formerly CEO of the New Jersey Visiting Nurses Health Group between 2001 and 2011, during which time the agency grew from two counties to a state-wide presence. She became the top executive at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) from 2012 to 2014. VNSNY has been subject to investigations from New York’s Medicaid office and the Medicaid Inspector General. In addition, a former executive from the agency sued the care agency for allegedly billing Medicare for home health services it did not provide, reported.

“We obviously considered all of the aspects of Mary Ann’s exemplary career as a nurse and health care leader, including her tenure as president and CEO of VNSNY, about which she has been completely transparent,” Horizon SpokesmanTom Wilson said in a statement to “Mary Ann’s 35 years of doing critical work with the most vulnerable and disenfranchised patients speak for themselves.”

Adventist Health System Names New President and CEO

Adventist Health System, the parent organization for Florida Hospital, has named Terry Shaw as its new president and CEO, effective immediately. Adventist Health has 46 hospital campuses in 10 states, in addition to urgent care centers, home health and hospice agencies, physician practices and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

Shaw replaces Don Jernigan, who retired Dec. 8 after serving in the position for 10 years. Jernigan is transitioning to a faculty role at the Adventist Health System leadership Institute, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

Shaw has been with Adventist Health for more than three decades. He started his career with the organization as a business intern in 1982, and has been its executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief operations officer since 2010.

PlayMaker CRM Adds Senior Director of Product, New Board Member 

PlayMaker CRM, a sales platform for post-acute care, has added two key roles within the organization. Jennifer Artabane has been named senior director of product, and Wayne Gattinella has been named a board member.

“These additions to our company reflect our continued commitment to bringing together the brightest minds in health care and technology to solve the business growth challenges of the post-acute care space,” John Griscavage, CEO of PlayMaker CRM, said in a statement.

Artabane recently served as VP of products for Brooks Bell, Inc., where she was responsible for leading the organization’s nascent software product strategy, planning and development. Prior to Brooks Bell, she served as the vice president of business operations and marketing for ReverbNation. She also spent six years working on and leading the ChannelAdvisor product management team.

Gattinella will serve as a board member. He was CEO and president of WebMD before he joined DoubleVerify in 2012. Under Gatinella’s 10-year leadership at WebMD, the brand significantly expanded its revenues and profitability into a market cap of over $3 billion. He has previously held management positions at Medco Health Solutions, MCI Telecommunications and People PC.

Simione Healthcare Consultants Names Nursing Leader as Senior Manager

Simione Healthcare Consultants, a consulting group focused on business solutions for home health and hospice organizations, has appointed Anna Alvarez, RN, BSN, MSN, as a senior manager in operations consulting, where she will support clinical activities to meet the needs of clients involved in quality management and operations improvement.

Alvarez has more than 25 years of nursing and leadership experience in home care and hospice operations, consulting, rehabilitation management and acute care, including oversight of multi-site clinical operations. Her responsibilities have ranged from quality and acquisitions to revenue cycle, cross-continuum program development, patient satisfaction and staff development.

She previously served as southeast regional vice president for clinical operations at Kindred at Home, where she lead home health clinical operations for 62 branch locations with revenue responsibilities exceeding $220 million. She also supported integration efforts for numerous acquisitions and led strategic initiatives for outcomes ratings, high-risk patient populations, centralized business functions, clinical staff development and accreditation survey preparation.

Alvarez also served as a senior consultant and regional director for home health and hospice at Health Dimensions Groups in Minneapolis, Minnesota; chief operating officer at Staywell Home Health; home health and DME program manager at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital; and spectrum disease management coordinator for United Health Care.

Written by Amy Baxter

Companies featured in this article:

, , , , , ,