Virta Health brings in Jiff's old CEO and more digital health hires

Also: Senseonics and CardinalAnalytx hire new chief medical officers; WithMe Health appoints CEO.
By Jonah Comstock
03:08 pm

Virta Health, the company that controversially claims to reverse Type 2 diabetes using a combination of diet and digitally-powered management efforts, has hired a big name in the digital health space as its new head of commercial: Derek Newell, who served as CEO of Jiff prior to its acquisition by Castlight. Newell stayed on with Castlight as president for a little over a year, according to his LinkedIn, departing the company last August.

Virta also announced the hire of Lucia Guillory as head of people. Guillory previously headed up HR at Patreon.

“The transformational outcomes we are achieving have produced strong demand for the Virta Treatment,” Sami Inkinen, Virta Health CEO and cofounder, said in a statement. “These executive additions allow us to continue our growth trajectory while also focusing on the critical aspects of team building to help us further scale our treatment.”

Implantable CGM company Senseonics has brought Dr. Francine R. Kaufman on board as its new chief medical officer. Kaufman’s 40-year history in the diabetes space includes a stint as CMO at Medtronic Diabetes and a term as president of the American Diabetes Association, as well as clinical work at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“We are pleased to have Fran join the executive leadership team at Senseonics. As chief medical officer, she will be instrumental in helping drive forward our innovation platform and the clinical value proposition of the Eversense system,” Tim Goodnow, president and CEO of Senseonics, said in a statement. “Fran is one of the world’s leading endocrinologists and her deep understanding of the global medical, research and clinical diabetes community coupled with her track record of applying novel technologies to advance diabetes care for patients make her ideally suited for the role.”

Electronic health record vendor Netsmart has hired its first chief people officer, Wendy Hill. Hill’s experience is quite relevant: she most recently served as VP of HR at Cerner.

“In eight short years, we’ve grown from 360 to 1,800 associates,” Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine said in a statement. “A huge part of our success has been in finding the best people and growing them as we grow our company. All leaders see it as their job to develop their teams; however, we have reached a scale where we need a senior executive that drives our people strategies each and every day. Wendy’s deep expertise in human resources will shape our strategies going forward and, as importantly, she will play a major role in leading our associates and culture toward long-term success.”

WithMe Health, a medication guidance company that uses technology and big data to fill the role traditionally held by pharmacy benefit management services, has named Joe Murad as its CEO, taking over for Interim CEO Chris Price. Murad has previously served as COO of Extend Health and CEO and president of PokitDok.

“As a long-time healthcare services and technology executive and entrepreneur, I'm familiar with the uncontrollable costs, opacity, misaligned interests and poor experiences that employers, employees and their families encounter when navigating the current healthcare ecosystem,” Murad said in a statement. “I'm excited to lead WithMe as we build a solution that tackles one of healthcare’s biggest problems with a data-enabled, results-oriented business model that reinvents stale processes.”

Predictive healthcare analytics company Cardinal Analytx has added two new faces to its C-Suite: Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chris DeRienzo and Chief Financial Officer Niall O’Cathasaigh.

A practicing neonatologist, DeRienzo most recently served as chief quality officer at Mission Health, an integrated care delivery service in Asheville, North Carolina. O’Cathasaigh has been serving as consulting CFO at Cardinal for a year and a half.

“We are excited to welcome two individuals of Chris and Niall's caliber to our executive team," Cardinal Analytx CEO Linda T. Hand said in a statement. "Each brings crucial skills and experience at this pivotal point in the company's evolution as our market traction rapidly grows. The value of machine learning in transforming healthcare is clear, and both executives share in our passion for realizing this vision of delivering better care to patients sooner as fast as the market is demanding.”

Chiranjiv Singh, a 13-year veteran of GE Healthcare’s sales and marketing operations, will join healthcare AI company in the role of chief commercial officer. is building AI systems to assist doctors in reading X-rays and CT scans.

“Chiranjiv’s track record of delivering growth in diverse geographies combined with his recent experience of leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to deliver improved patient outcomes, is aligned to’s key objectives,” Prashant Warier, cofounder and CEO of, said in a statement. “Over the last three years, we have been on a mission to deploy our solutions in the emerging markets, including a strong focus on tuberculosis, the leading infectious cause of mortality worldwide. Chiranjiv’s global experience will help us reach new markets and drive adoption globally.”

Digital and in-person benefits marketplace Solera Health announced the hire of four new executives, all of whom come from the health insurance space.

Amy Hogan, former brand strategy manager at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, joins as VP of brand marketing.

Mary Ann Tournoux, former chief marketing officer at Health Alliance Plan, will serve as VP of client services.

Jill Michal, who was VP of business transformation at Independence Blue Cross, will be Solera’s new SVP of digital and community networks.

And Matt Presley, a longtime employee of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, joins as strategic accounts VP.

“Solera’s network model supports patient choice by matching individuals to local and digital providers that are continually innovating. We are always looking for new ways to engage with the community, which is essential to the company’s evolution,” Brenda Schmidt, CEO of Solera Health, said in a statement. “We welcome Amy, Mary Ann, Jill and Matt to our leadership team and look forward to leveraging their deep health plan experience as the company expands our network programs and services within this top-priority market.”


The latest news in digital health delivered daily to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing!
Error! Something went wrong!