MED MOVES: UnitedHealth Group names first chief sustainability officer, and more

In other news, UPMC hires a new chief lobbyist, HCA Healthcare names a new leader of a Florida hospital, and more.

Patricia Lewis has been named UnitedHealth Group’s first chief sustainability officer.

The company announced Lewis would take the role on Feb. 17.

Andrew Witty, UnitedHealthGroup’s CEO, said in a statement sustainability has become an even greater priority for the organization.

“It’s increasingly important to ensure that we are charting a long-term and lasting enterprise environmental, social and governance strategy,” Witty said.

“Patricia’s experiences combined with her relationships and keen understanding of the challenges, complexities and opportunities of our own enterprise give her a unique vantage point to pursue this work as she helps define the strategy and key areas of focus within our walls and connects our company with external partners across the health sector and beyond.”

Lewis said the company is merging its climate, health equity and philanthropic efforts with the company’s diversity equity and inclusion work.

She joined UnitedHealthGroup in 2019. Previously, Lewis held a key leadership role at Lockheed Martin, where she was senior vice president and chief human resources officer. She also held leadership roles at IBM and DuPont.

“In many ways, this role feels like the culmination of what I’ve been working toward for the past 30 years. From operations to aerospace to health care, my work has always been about systems and people – helping make people’s lives better today and intentionally building toward a more sustainable tomorrow,” Lewis said in a post on LinkedIn.

“While this is a new function for our organization, sustainability has always been core to our mission. We can’t help people live healthier lives without addressing how the climate crisis impacts health outcomes. We can’t help the health system work better for everyone without tackling inequities at their roots.”

UPMC hires former Pa. health official as chief lobbyist

Alison Beam has been hired as UPMC’s vice president of government affairs and chief government relations officer.

Beam formerly served as Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of health, where she received credit for accelerating the state’s distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. She also previously served as chief of staff in the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance. Beam also was director of public policy and associate counsel for Independence Blue Cross.

“It is an honor to take on this role, as I have experienced first-hand UPMC’s firm commitment to serving the community and advocating for optimal health care for citizens of the state and beyond,” Beam said in a statement.

Beam succeeds Scott Baker, who has served at UPMC for 10 years and is retiring June 30. He previously worked for former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and former U.S. Sen. John Heinz.

During the transition, Baker will continue to work with UPMC in an advisory role.

New president named at symplr

Nicole Rogas has been named president of symplr, the Houston-based firm whose services include healthcare governance and software solutions.

The firm touted Rogas as an industry veteran with nearly two decades of experience in healthcare information technology and revenue cycle management.

Previously, Rogas served as chief commercial officer for Experian Health, formerly known as Passport Health. At Experian, Rogas led sales and customer teams and the company’s revenue grew 158%.

“As a pioneer in healthcare operations solutions and services, symplr is uniquely positioned to help break down the silos and automate processes in today’s fragmented healthcare environment,” Rogas said in a statement. “symplr stands out in the market for its focus on bringing back-office and mission critical applications together to help organizations run more efficiently.

“I look forward to being part of this dynamic team to help streamline healthcare administrative functions so clinicians can spend more time doing what they do best – caring for patients.”

HCA Healthcare names CEO of Florida hospital

Lisa Nummi has been appointed CEO of Citrus Memorial Hospital, a part of HCA Healthcare West Florida Division.

Nummi currently is the chief operating officer at Blake Medical Center. She will move into her new position on March 21, 2022. She will succeed Ginger Carroll, who is retiring.

Nummi previously served as COO of the 700-bed Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, the largest hospital in Nevada. She began her career as a nurse in pediatrics, pediatric critical care and emergency medicine before moving to adult emergency care and flight nursing. Then she began moving into administrative posts in critical care and emergency nursing.

She also has served adjunct faculty to the University of Tampa and the University of Texas-Arlington.

Ravi Chari, president of HCA Healthcare West Florida Division, cited Nummi’s professional and academic credentials.

“Lisa is a proven leader who brings a strong clinical background, patient focus and collaborative approach to engaging caregivers in transforming the patient experience for optimal quality outcomes,” Chari said in a statement.

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center names CEO

Amy Hart has been named the new CEO of the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in central Minnesota.

Hart has served as interim CEO for the past year and has been Cuyuna Regional’s chief operating officer for the past nine years. She began serving as CEO on Feb. 21. The medical center’s board will search for a new COO.

Previously, Hart worked for HealthEast in St. Paul, Minnesota, Truman Medical Centers and Children’s Mercy Hospital in Missouri, and Unity Health System in Iowa.

“I am honored and proud to serve the patients of the Cuyuna and Brainerd Lakes region and to be part of CRMC’s long standing history of providing high quality health care,” Hart said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to be part of this great, independent healthcare system that remains a model for what can be accomplished in rural health care.”

Cuyuna Regional consists of a 25-bed critical access hospital, four physician clinics and an 85-bed nursing home, among other facilities. The medical center has more than 1,000 employees.

Catherine’s Health Center names new CEO

Megan Erskine has been named the next chief executive officer of Catherine’s Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Erskine will assume the position April 12. She will succeed Karen Kaashoek, who announced her plans to retire last September after 24 years of service to the health center.

Kaashoek will assist with the transition before fully retiring.

“For the past 24 years I’ve had the honor to serve the community at Catherine’s,” Kaashoek said in a news release. “It is my honor to welcome Megan to carry forward the organization’s critical mission and work.”

The center’s board leaders said Erskine brings strong experience and is a compassionate servant leader. Erksine has 12 years of experience in community health.

“I am pleased to be joining Catherine’s Health Center and look forward to collaborating with the wonderful team members to continue building on our reputation for excellence and to expand high-quality care to an even larger patient population,” Erskine said in a statement.

“I believe the key to providing patient-centered care begins with a diverse and inclusive work environment that makes health equity a priority,” she added.