Biden administration outlines more CMS leadership, Vault adds home-care vet as COO and other digital health hires

Also: Cityblock Health adds former Livongo president to its board of directors; Virta Health's new CFO targets rapid growth.
By MobiHealthNews
02:32 pm
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The Biden administration is continuing to lock in leadership at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with a handful of new appointments.

At the top of the list is the department's new administrator for the Senate's consideration, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. An Obama-era policy official, she was most recently managing director at Manatt Health where she provided policy analysis and strategic advice to healthcare stakeholders across the private and public sectors. She was also deputy director of policy and regulation at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight within CMS, and before that director of coverage policy at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Other new hires unveiled by the department this week included Jordan Hefcart, formerly a member of the Biden campaign's information systems security team, as special assistant at ONC's Office of Technology's Immediate Office; Arielle Woronoff, senior health counsel to the Senate Committee on Finance, as the head of the office of legislation at CMS; and Sonia Chessen, another member of Biden's transition team, as the chief of staff at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


Vault, a startup combining consumer health memberships, at-home testing and virtual consultation, announced that Chris Goldsmith has joined as its new chief operating officer.

He comes from a president and interim CEO position at in-home chronic care provider Landmark Health, and prior to that held roles at Envision Physician Services and Optum. At Vault, he'll be responsible for leading the company's operations, supply chain, customer experience and payer services as it works to grow.

“We are very excited to have Chris join the Vault team," Jason Feldman, founder and CEO of Vault, said in a statement. "Our company, just like the world, underwent many shifts and changes to adapt to [COVID-19] and expanded our services over the past year. Chris will be instrumental in leading our aggressive growth strategy as we continue to scale domestically and globally across healthcare as we stay true to our mission to unlock access to all.”


Cityblock Health, a startup using a tech platform to address health disparities and provide cost-effective care services, has added former Livongo President Dr. Jennifer Schneider to its board of directors.

In a blog post announcing the appointment, she said that she was impressed with the company's mission and its executive team. Highlighting the outsized role women take when making healthcare decisions for themselves and loved ones, and noted the importance of having executive leadership representation to match.

"I am proud to bring my voice, my experience, and perspective to the table," she wrote. "Resourcing, supporting, and celebrating the unique value that women and underrepresented communities bring to business has been an important and significant part of my career. I am thrilled to continue that work with Cityblock."


Earlier this month digital Type 2 diabetes company Virta Health has brought Alok Bhushan onboard as its chief financial officer.

He comes from another chief financial officer position at Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, where Virta said that he headed rapid expansion and the company's eventual M&A. The digital health company is looking for Bhushan to take a similar role as it anticipates additional growth following product expansions and a major funding round.

“Alok’s proven track record of scaling category-leading companies makes him the perfect fit to accelerate Virta’s growth in 2021,” Sami Inkinen, CEO and cofounder of Virta Health, said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to welcome Alok to the team, and confident he will make an immediate impact towards our mission of reversing diabetes in 100 million people.”


Wellstar named Dr. Hank Capps the next executive vice president and chief information and digital officer.

In his new role Capps will lead a digital health team to identify gaps in care and boost consumer engagement for the provider. Capps comes from Novant Health where he served in both clinical and administrative roles.

“Wellstar’s industry leadership in healthcare excellence is grounded in continually and intentionally enhancing both the patient and provider experience,” Capps said in a statement.

“The pandemic has impacted the dynamic of that consumer journey, accelerating technology adoption and exacerbating the need for creative solutions that enable access to quality care. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of the Wellstar team as we leverage emerging technology and innovative thinking to transform the future of healthcare.”

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