MED MOVES: Geisinger appoints first chief wellness officer, and more

Wright Lassiter takes over as CEO of CommonSpirit Health, Northwell Health appoints a new CIO, and Novant Health Enterprises names a chief physician innovation officer.

Susan Parisi has been named the first chief wellness officer of Geisinger in central Pennsylvania.

In this new role, Parisi, a physician, will lead the implementation of a systemwide strategy to improve the mental health and overall well-being of the staff at Geisinger. She’ll also oversee initiatives designed to improve professional satisfaction and promote a culture of professionalism and respect, Geisinger said.

Janet Tomcavage, Geisinger executive vice president and chief nursing officer, said she’s confident Parisi is ideally suited for the role and will help Geisinger improve its focus on staff well-being.

“As we strive to make better health easier for those we serve, we will continue to invest in our employees and create an engaging, supportive employee experience where every person feels motivated and connected to their professional purpose,” Tomcavage said in a statement.

Parisi brings three decades of experience in healthcare. Earlier in her career, she cared for patients in obstetrics and gynecology, and she’s held leadership roles in several organizations. Before agreeing to join Geisinger, she served as the director of well-being for Nuvance Healthcare.

“The crisis of emotional exhaustion and burnout on the healthcare workforce is more important than ever — and it deserves our full attention,” Parisi said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled to join Geisinger in this new role and partner with our Geisinger family to find new and better ways to build a culture that supports the well-being of everyone who commits their lives to this work,” she said. “When we create a culture focused on allowing our teams to thrive personally and professionally, we create a world-class experience for everyone — our employees, our patients, and our members.”

Wright Lassiter takes over as CEO of CommonSpirit Health

Wright L. Lassiter III has started in his new role as CEO of CommonSpirit Health.

Lassiter began in his new role on Aug. 1. He succeeds Lloyd H. Dean, who has retired. CommonSpirit announced the selection of Lassiter as the new CEO in the spring.

“I’m honored to lead this organization, which is a driving force for access to high-quality, essential health services for all,” Lassiter said in a statement. “Among my priorities is supporting the health and well-being of CommonSpirit’s nurses, physicians, and staff, who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to our patients and the CommonSpirit mission through one of the most difficult periods in modern history.”

Lassiter had served as the CEO of Henry Ford Health since 2016. He brings more than 30 years of experience.

At CommonSpirit, Lassiter will lead a system of 140 hospitals and more than 1,500 sites of care across 21 states. CommonSpirit, a nonprofit Catholic system, operates brands including Dignity Health, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, CHI Health, Centura Health, and Baylor St. Luke’s.

Lassiter is the chairman of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees. He’s also a leading advocate for improving health equity.

At the AHA Leadership Summit last month, Lassiter said, “COVID has shined a bright and painful light on deficiencies in our healthcare system."

"We need to do more," he said. "We need to do better.”

Northwell Health names new CIO

Sophy Lu has been appointed as the new chief information officer at Northwell Health.

Lu, a 12-year veteran of Northwell, succeeds John Bosco, who held the post from 2004 until his retirement.

A senior vice president who previously served as deputy CIO, Lu will lead digital information and technology departments with more than 1,900 team members and 3,000 solutions at the fingertips of caregivers and administrators.

Michael Dowling, Northwell’s president and CEO, hailed Lu as the first Asian American/Pacific Islander to serve as a health system CIO in the United States.

“It’s gratifying to be able to promote great candidates from within the health system, and while John Bosco left big shoes to fill, Sophy Lu is an outstanding leader in her field and a logical choice for this key role,” Dowling said in a statement.

Lu joined Northwell in 2010 and became the chief applications officer in 2017. She was appointed deputy CIO earlier this year.

She has more than 20 years of experience in both healthcare and global information technology. Before joining Northwell, Lu helped design and build a liquified natural gas plant in Indonesia, and she also designed several air separation plants for the industrial gas industry.

“Sophy Lu brings a tremendous amount of expertise and leadership, not only as we go through a significant digital transformation, but also as a well-respected and trusted leader throughout the organization working to advance the mission and vision of Northwell,” Joseph Moscola, Northwell’s executive vice president of enterprise services, said in a news release.

Novant Health Enterprises names chief physician innovation officer

Eric Eskioglu has been named the new chief physician innovation officer of Novant Health Enterprises.

Even with the new role, Eskioglu will remain Novant Health’s executive vice president and chief medical and scientific officer. Novant Health Enterprises is an independent business division to develop new technological solutions and support the health system.

In his expanded role, Eskioglu will help accelerate innovations through partnerships with technology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence companies and with investors and entrepreneurs, the system said. He will assemble clinical teams and that will leverage data analytics and AI.

Dean Swindle, executive vice president of Novant Health and president of Novant Health Enterprises, said Eskioglu will “serve as a catalyst, helping to design and innovate scalable solutions for some of the health care industry’s biggest challenges.”

Eskioglu is a practicing vascular neurosurgeon, but he has a background in aerospace engineering.

Novant Health launched the new business division earlier this year. The system says Novant Health Enterprises will find ways to improve patient care and lower costs.

The system says it aims to focus on three areas in the next five years: ​​developing transformational clinical capabilities, expanding into non-acute settings and commercializing digital solutions.

Alaska hospital announces new CEO

David Keith has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, Alaska.

He will begin his new role on Aug. 15, the hospital said in a news release.

Keith is the chief strategy officer for McAlester Regional Health Center in McAlester, Oklahoma. He previously served as the president and CEO for McAlester Regional Health Center since September 2011.

He possesses more than three decades of experience in healthcare leadership experience. He has held executive posts in Alaska at Providence Alaska Medical Center and Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

"I'm honored, and I'm grateful to the board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of dedicated and talented professionals," Keith said in a statement.

“Everyone was so welcoming and accepting during my visit,” he said. “The more I learn about the hospital and the city, the more excited I am to join the team and help bring about positive change. This is a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to moving to Juneau and becoming part of the community.”

Kenny Solomon-Gross, president of the hospital’s board, said Keith brings a clear vision for Bartlett’s future along with valuable experience in Alaska.

“He understands the climate of healthcare in Alaska and is eager to lead our organization through imminent change as we work to improve our delivery of quality care to our community,” Solomon-Gross said in a news release.