Alphabet scoops up another former ONC head, Mayo Clinic's first chief digital officer and more digital health hires

Also: Ooda Health's CEO shuffle; CMMI's new director.
By Dave Muoio
03:05 pm
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Dr. Vindell Washington, the head on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT from August 2016 to January 2017, is the latest to jump on board at Alphabet's Verily, according to tweets from fellow ONC vet-turned-Googler Dr. Karen DeSalvo, as well as from Verily’s communications lead. He comes directly from a position as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana’s chief medical officer.


The Mayo Clinic has hired its first chief digital officer with the appointment of Rita Khan, who most recently stood as SVP of consumer digital at UnitedHealthcare. The health system said that in her new role, Khan will be guiding Mayo Clinic's strategy as it prepares for big changes across the digital space, and putting in place a “comprehensive business plan and digital standards that align with Mayo Clinic's culture and values.”

"Mayo Clinic is committed to leading the digital transformation of health care by creating world-class platforms that align with our patients-first culture and values," Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, in a statement. "We must continually innovate and reimagine the delivery of health care, and we are delighted that Ms. Khan, with her diverse experience in consumer-focused digital innovation, will lead this effort.”

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Ooda Health, a startup focused on decreasing waste and inefficiency within healthcare administration, announced today that cofounder and CEO Dr. Giovanni Colella (of Castlight fame) will be stepping into an executive chairman role. He is being succeeded as CEO by the company’s president and cofounder Seth Cohen (who also held a role at Castlight in the past).

"We established OODA with a clear mission of transforming healthcare administration and building an iconic company. I’m extremely proud of the profound friendship, built through years of working together,” Colella said in a statement. “Since day one, we have been laser-focused on delivering value for partners and customers. We successfully launched our first product, OODAPay, which is now in multiple markets in the US. And we built a superb management team along with an extensive network of partners and customers. All of this couldn’t have happened without Seth’s leadership and hard work, and now is the perfect time for Seth to become our next CEO.”


Former Anthem executive Brad Smith has been named the director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Healthcare Finance News reports.

Smith will serve as director of CMMI and as senior advisor to Health and Human Services Director Alex Azar for value-based transformation, according to HHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Smith most recently served as the chief operating officer of Anthem's Diversified Business Group.

"Brad will help HHS and CMS continue and accelerate the value-based transformation work that we have begun under President Trump," Azar said. "Paying for outcomes rather than procedures through CMMI models is an important tool for the value-based transformation of healthcare that President Trump has prioritized. Brad has impressive experience with innovative care delivery and paying for value, and he will help expand Administrator Verma's and CMS's efforts to ensure Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are getting better care, and better health, at a lower cost.”


Predictive health analytics company Lumiata announced three new VP appointments in the drum up to its artificial intelligence platform launch. Suarav Chatterjee, who comes from Asurion and Visa, has stepped in as the company’s new VP of engineering; Shannon Marques, previously of Salesforce, has taken on the VP of sales role; and Jessica McCarthy, who spent nearly seven years at Blue Shield of California, has joined as the VP of marketing. All three have been in their new positions since November, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

"Our Platform accelerates the AI journey by empowering data science teams across healthcare to easily build and deploy a breadth of use cases,” Dilawar Syed, Lumiata's president and CEO, said in a statement. “Shannon, Jessica and Saurav bring decades of enterprise and industry domain experience to propel us into the next phase of our growth.”


Secure healthcare communications firm careMESH has added Edward Marx, Cleveland Clinic’s former CIO, to its Board of Advisors. According to the company, he will be working with the executive team to guide its customer acquisition and growth strategy.

“I look forward to working with the leadership team at careMESH to advance their mission of improving communications and care coordination between healthcare delivery organizations,” Marx said. “Throughout my career I have sought to innovate with the use of technology to better support patient care and outcomes. In careMESH, I see a company willing and able to significantly alter the healthcare communications landscape and I am optimistic about what we can do for hospitals as they tackle today’s health information exchange challenges.”

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