Senate confirms Azar for HHS director and other digital health hires

By Dave Muoio
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The US Senate today confirmed Alex Azar as the next secretary of Health and Human Services. Formerly the Deputy Secretary of HHS under President George Bush, he has spent the past half of a decade as the president of Eli Lilly and Company’s US division. He replaces Dr. Tom Price, who resigned in September amidst federal inquiries involving government-funded private charter flights.

Grand Rounds, maker of an employer-based health technology platform, has announced that Wade Chambers will be the company’s new CTO and SVP of engineering. Chambers has experience working in both early stage startups and larger platforms, including Yahoo and Twitter.

“In Wade, we’ve found a proven engineering leader who embraces our massive technical vision for addressing the most pressing needs of our employer customers,” Owen Tripp, CEO and cofounder of Grand Rounds, said in a statement. “Wade’s experience will accelerate development of the next generation of product and talent needed to create value for our members and customers and to propel growth for the company.”

Greg Novak will take on the role of VP of channel sales at practice management software developer CareCloud. He previously held IT-centric roles at General Electric, Hewlett-Packard Financial Services, Cisco Systems, and Presidio Networked Solutions Group, and will be leading CareCloud’s ongoing relationship with commerce technology company First Data to develop the Breeze platform.

“Patient out-of-pocket payments now account for upwards of 40 percent of an ambulatory medical practice’s revenue,” Juan Molina, VP of strategy and business development for CareCloud, said in a statement. “There is a tremendous appetite for innovative health technology like Breeze that helps provide a better patient experience while also improving a practice’s bottom line. Greg Novak brings a proven track record of IT strategy to expand our relationship with First Data and other partners in the space.”

Healthcare messaging platform maker Medigram has brought on Dean Shold as its new VP of technology. Shold, who has been advising the company since 2014, will be taking control of all technical operations, implementation, delivery capabilities, data center operations, field engineering, and customer support.

"As an advisor I got to help shape the current Medigram Enterprise system which has been engineered for extremely high volumes and tolerant of many types of network and communication failures, thereby making it the most reliable and resilient application of its kind. I look forward to helping lead Medigram into its next stage of growth," Shold said in a statement. "Medigram's integration of data science, communication, and workflow optimized for mobile in complicated network environments will be critical factors to driving hospital revenues and saving lives.”

Healthcare payments network InstaMed has appointed Frank McAnally as chief financial officer. McAnally comes from Fidelity National Information Systems where he oversaw the company’s institutional and wholesale business.

“I am delighted to welcome Frank to InstaMed. His deep experience in financial services and transaction processing will be an asset to the company,” Bill Marvin, InstaMed’s president, CEO, and cofounder, said in a statement. “Throughout his career, Frank has built up extensive operational and corporate development experience with financial services and transaction processing businesses. I believe his perspective and his track record of execution will help us scale and accelerate the growth of our business.”