MD Anderson Cancer Center chooses a new diversity officer, WVU Health names a new hospital leader, and more leaders are announced.
Jennifer Bocker is accustomed to taking a big leap.
Bocker has been named the new chief medical officer at HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital. She’s also an accomplished skydiver who has performed thousands of jumps.
Bocker is a board-certified general surgeon with training in level 1 trauma surgery and head and neck surgical oncology.
Bocker spent 10 years at Surgical Specialists of Colorado before heading to Florida.
She received her medical degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. She performed her general surgery residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York and completed her fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Bocker is attempting a world record in skydiving: the women’s head down large formation skydiving record. She was selected as one of eight women to serve as the base for the formation. The effort is part of Project 19, which honors the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Aside from her passion for skydiving, she trains for Ironman triathlons.
MD Anderson Cancer Center announces new diversity officer
Ranna Parekh has been named the new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The center announced the position Monday, April 11. She will begin her new role at the cancer center on May 31.
Parekh is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with more than 14 years of experience leading diversity and inclusion strategies at various health care organizations. She serves as the inaugural chief diversity and inclusion officer at American College of Cardiology in Washington, D.C.
For nearly five years, she worked at the American Psychiatric Association as the deputy medical director and director of the diversity and health equity division. At Massachusetts General Hospital, she was the inaugural director for the psychiatry department’s center of diversity.
“Workforce diversity will be even more critical in the years ahead as complex demographics rapidly change across the country,” Parekh said in a statement.
“As a world leader in cancer care, MD Anderson understands that the heart of our work is people – patients, their families and communities, staff, faculty and a multitude of stakeholders. Creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and can be their authentic self/selves will allow everyone to achieve their full potential.”
WVU Health System names new CEO of United Hospital Center
David Hess has been selected as the new president and chief executive officer of WVU Medicine United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, West Virginia.
Hess will begin his new role on June 10. He succeeds Mike Tillman, who announced his retirement last month. Hess serves as the president and CEO of WVU Medicine Uniontown Hospital in Uniontown, Pa., a position he has held since January 2021.
Until the WVU Health System and the Uniontown Hospital Board of Directors name his successor, Hess will serve as the CEO of both hospitals.
Hess also previously served as president and CEO of WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine Wetzel County Hospital.
“I’m excited to return to my roots and serve the WVU Health System in this new and exciting role and to work with the exceptionally strong team at UHC,” Hess said in a statement.
Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Heath System, said in a statement he has “full faith and confidence in Hess’ ability to lead the system.
“Dr. Hess is an exceptionally talented hospital chief executive and leader with a proven track record of delivering outstanding results,” Wright said.
University of Missouri Health Care announces COO
Katrina Lambrecht has been named the chief operating officer of University of Missouri Health Care.
Lambrecht will take the new role on May 9. She currently serves as COO of Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
Before working with Dignity Health, Lambrecht served for 10 years at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She held a variety of leadership roles, including vice president positions in health system operations, institutional strategic initiatives and as chief of staff.
Prior to entering the healthcare industry, Lambrecht was a practicing attorney specializing in business and family immigration law.
Jonathan Curtright, MU Health Care's chief executive officer, said in a statement Lambrecht will be “an instrumental member of our executive leadership team.”
“As COO, she will oversee day-to-day operations and all professional and support services for our health system,” Curtright said. “Her extensive leadership experience will help her thrive at MU Health Care."
Beth Israel Lahey network selects new president
Beth Roberts has been named president of the Beth Israel Lahey Health Performance Network.
Roberts takes the post May 2. In her new role, she’ll lead the organization’s network of doctors, clinicians and hospitals in delivering care.
She possesses more than 30 years of experience in healthcare, the network said. Most recently, Roberts has served as president of commercial business at Point32Health, a non-profit health insurance company. Her leadership was credited with helping bring about the combination of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s and Tufts Health Plan’s commercial business as Point32 Health.
Previously, she served as senior vice president of commercial business at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. She spent more than 20 years in successive leadership roles at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
“I am delighted and honored to be joining Beth Israel Lahey Health, an organization that shares my commitment to serving patients and communities throughout the region,” Roberts said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the talented teams at Beth Israel Lahey Health, who are dedicated to making patient access to exceptional, world-class health care, easier.”
Kyruus names GM of emerging markets
Gail Airasian has joined Kyruus as the new general manager of emerging markets.
Kyruus provides scheduling and searching solutions for healthcare organizations. The position is a new one for the company. Airasian will be working to develop business beyond the provider and payer markets.
The company said Airasian will lead Kyruus’ business development strategy, including new channels for online appointment scheduling, such as search engines. She will also lead mergers and acquisitions for the company.
“Throughout my career, I have been drawn to opportunities that leverage technology to improve the delivery of care,” Airasian said in a statement.
“Kyruus is uniquely positioned to help power the convergence of care navigation across health plans and health systems,” she said. “Expanding our data and scheduling workflows to other digital health companies will also accelerate the opportunity for other companies and services to deliver real-time access to care for patients throughout the country.”