From rising concerns about the mental health of children and teens to the continuing crises in long-term care and nursing, there is no shortage of examples for why health care continues to be as much of a hot-button topic in the halls of power as around the kitchen table.
City & State’s 2023 Health Care Power 100 is a reflection of the importance of the people who are framing, influencing and trying to change the conversation around one of Pennsylvania’s most crucial economic sectors, including public officials, hospital and health care executives, nonprofit leaders, union heads, academics and others. The following profiles were researched and written by City & State staff and freelance writer Hilary Danailova.
At UPMC, CEO Leslie Davis leads Pennsylvania’s largest nongovernmental employer, with nearly 100,000 employees, as well as the region’s largest medical insurer, counting more than 4 million members. To keep up with demand, Davis recently unveiled UPMC’s 1-million-square-foot flagship Presbyterian Hospital and a new cancer clinic, and is preparing for this year’s opening of the health system’s Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital. Davis, who previously led UPMC’s health services division, also launched the commonwealth’s first tele-emergency department.
In his dozen years leading AmerisourceBergen, Steven Collis has grown the Conshohocken-based pharmaceutical company into a multinational powerhouse with $200 billion in annual revenue and a No. 10 ranking on the Fortune 500. Collis is currently steering the corporation’s transition to becoming Cencora, which reflects the global reach of a firm with 44,000 employees spread out across 50 countries. It’s the latest iteration of Collis’ ambition for AmerisourceBergen, where he has grown revenue by 80% through a diversification strategy and key acquisitions.
Based in Pittsburgh, Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg has steered the $22 billion nonprofit health organization – one of America’s largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers – through a period of growth and expansion. His nine-year tenure as president has yielded record revenues, with 37,000 employees working across a care network that has grown to 14 hospitals. Having engineered the financial turnaround of the Allegheny Health Network, which Highmark acquired in 2013, Holmberg is now spearheading Highmark Blue Shield’s expansion into the Philadelphia region.
From just about any angle, CEO Kevin Mahoney has made a sizable impact on the University of Pennsylvania Health System. It’s evident in the Philadelphia campus, which has been transformed through capital projects like the $1.6 billion Pavilion and its new emergency department and the Abramson Cancer Center – and in the digital platform designed to integrate the system online. Mahoney, who joined Penn Medicine in 1996 and became CEO four years ago, served as a health care adviser on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s transition team.
2022 was a busy year for Madeline Bell, who, as CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, oversees a $3.8 billion health system. Bell recently inaugurated the 250,000-square-foot Middleman Family Pavilion, an inpatient hospital on CHOP’s King of Prussia campus, as well as the Center for Advanced Behavioral Healthcare in Philadelphia, which addresses the pediatric behavioral health crisis. She serves on the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s executive committee and numerous boards, and hosts the podcast, “Breaking Through with Madeline Bell.”
At Independence Health Group, CEO Gregory Deavens has focused on equitable and holistic health outcomes, launching initiatives to integrate physical and behavioral health and reduce racial and economic disparities. Under his leadership, Independence Blue Cross recently launched the Advanced Network for Gene-Based Therapeutics with Penn Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – and last year, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation established its $15 million Institute for Health Equity. Deavens recently served on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s transition leadership board.
After joining the Geisinger health system in 2016 as chief medical officer, Jaewon Ryu became CEO two years later, helping three Geisinger hospitals become the first in the nation to earn Comprehensive Heart Attack Center certification from the Joint Commission and American Heart Association. Ryu oversees an integrated network across Pennsylvania with community outreach programs like a nutrition initiative, senior-tailored primary care and services to facilitate elderly independent living. Ryu also serves on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, advising Congress on Medicare policy.
Rob Davis joined Merck in 2014 as CFO and served as president and global services chief before becoming CEO in 2021, adding the board chair title a year later. Under his leadership, Merck has racked up banner sales of its cancer drug, sold as Keytruda, and prioritized corporate inclusivity with the Skills-First initiative, which aims to hire 1 million Black Americans over a decade. Davis also chairs the finance and risk management committee for the Duke Energy Corporation board of directors.
As CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s commercial operations in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Paul Marden leads a team responsible for commercial health benefit products and services aimed at both small and large employers. Marden, a 35-year veteran of the health insurance industry, spearheads strategic initiatives aimed at boosting value, quality and ease of access across Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the CEO Council for Growth for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
Jefferson’s new CEO is Joseph Cacchione, a Hahnemann University-trained cardiologist who returned to Philadelphia last September after a career that took him to the Cleveland Clinic and then Ascension, a $28 billion nonprofit health system. At Ascension, where he was most recently executive vice president for clinical and network services, Cacchione led a financial turnaround at the Michigan division, grew the system’s employed physician enterprise by 25%, helped implement a strategic plan that included streamlining operations, and led initiatives on health equity.
Having steered Western Pennsylvania through the COVID-19 pandemic as director of the Allegheny County Health Department, pediatrician Debra Bogen was recently appointed by Gov. Josh Shapiro to be the commonwealth’s acting secretary of health. In Allegheny County, Bogen coordinated testing and vaccine access and advocated for paid sick leave. Prior to that, she co-founded and volunteered as medical director for the Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank and was a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh.
America’s longest-tenured hospital system CEO shows no signs of slowing down. Richard Anderson, who assumed leadership of St. Luke’s Hospital in 1985, has presided over ongoing expansion at the highly ranked regional health system, which has more than 300 locations. In the past few years, Anderson has spearheaded the acquisitions of Eastern Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital and Blue Mountain Health System, and has built several other hospitals. Anderson also partnered with Temple University School of Medicine to open the area’s first medical school campus in 2011.
Six years into her leadership, Regina Cunningham is on a roll at Penn Medicine, where she heads the prestigious Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After winning plaudits for the Pavilion – HUP’s highest-profile capital project to date – Cunningham recently opened the new Center for Living Donation at the Penn Transplant Institute and was elected to membership at the National Academy of Medicine. All this helps bolster Penn Medicine’s status as the commonwealth’s top medical institution, reflected in its No. 1 U.S. News & World Report ranking.
At the Lehigh Valley Health Network, which he has headed since 2014, Brian Nester has emphasized a data-driven approach to improving outcomes. It’s an approach one might expect from a physician who also holds a master’s degree and professional training from Penn’s Wharton School – and who has grown Lehigh through a series of acquisitions that include Schuylkill Health, the Pocono Health System and Coordinated Health. Under Nester’s leadership, Lehigh now encompasses 13 hospital campuses, including the area’s only children’s hospital.
Penn State alum Steve Massini has led Penn State Health through a seven-year period of growth, debuting several new facilities as well as a digital patient health service. Under Massini’s leadership, the six-hospital health system now counts nearly 100 outpatient locations and 17,500 employees serving patients across 29 Central Pennsylvania counties. Massini, who previously held leadership roles with Geisinger Health System, has made collaborations a cornerstone of his strategy at Penn State Health – including a partnership with Highmark Health.
Michael Young has served as CEO of Temple University Health System since 2018, leading the organization to a ranking on Newsweek’s 2023 list of the world’s top hospitals. Young’s tenure has yielded numerous accolades for quality and inclusivity at the 979-bed health system, which comprises multiple campuses and partners with Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine. This year, Young announced a partnership with Masimo, a global provider of medical technology, to modernize aspects of care delivery through automation.
As the longtime leader of Main Line Health, Jack Lynch has expanded the regional network, adding an acute care hospital and six health centers. Under his leadership, Main Line now counts four hospitals as well as a home care and hospice network, a research institute and facilities dedicated to rehabilitation and addiction treatment. Last year, Lynch announced Main Line would partner with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on pediatrics and join Accelerate Health Equity, a Philadelphia-area coalition dedicated to eliminating health disparities.
In January, Valerie Arkoosh left the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners to become acting human services secretary for the commonwealth. Her appointment is the latest ascent in a political career that saw the onetime OB-GYN and anesthesiologist become chair of the commisioners in 2016, then fall short in a 2022 U.S. Senate bid. In her eight years with Montgomery County, Arkoosh supervised a $500 million budget and celebrated a $15 minimum wage for Pennsylvania’s third-most-populous county.
After seven years as CEO of Allegheny Health Network, Cynthia Hundorfean assumed the position of chief living health development officer for Highmark Health in January. She now serves as an advocate for the Pittsburgh-based health system’s blended payer-provider model, promoting strategies that are cost-effective and bolster health care quality. Previously, at Allegheny Health Network, Hundorfean led the 14-hospital system through its successful renaissance – including a $1.7 billion capital investment program and major expansion – after Highmark’s acquisition and financial turnaround of the organization.
Throughout the pandemic, Pennsylvania Health Care Association CEO Zach Shamberg was guided not only by the interests of his constituents – long-term care providers and care home residents – but also by his own grandfather, who was one of those residents. Shamberg previously oversaw government affairs for the association – experience that was evident last year when he helped secure the state’s first Medicaid reimbursement rate increase in nearly a decade. He also successfully advocated for higher staffing minimums and first-of-their-kind accountability provisions for nursing homes.
In nine years at Penn Highlands Healthcare – two as the system’s first COO, the rest as CEO – Steve Fontaine grew the system from four to nine hospitals and nearly doubled its workforce.
He also led a $253 million capital reinvestment in infrastructure and health care access sites, introducing specialty centers for cardiology, cancer, orthopedics and more. Fontaine previously served as vice president of hospital operations for Pioneer Health Services in Mississippi, overseeing strategy and finance for a rural 10-hospital system.
Since founding Ocugen in 2013, CEO Shankar Musunuri has steered diversification of the product pipeline at the Malvern-based biotechnology company, where he also chairs the board. Most recently, Musunuri spearheaded Ocugen’s efforts to address COVID-19 as well as rare and common eye diseases using novel gene and cell therapies, biologics and vaccines. Musunuri’s prior experience includes 15 years at Pfizer as well as startups like Nuron Biotech, which he also founded, and his Musunuri Family Foundation, which provides scholarships to high-achieving students.
Throughout the pandemic, Andy Carter advocated for urgently needed resources on behalf of 240 health providers as CEO of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. In this role, Carter leads efforts to ensure quality care for all Pennsylvanians, as well as policy and financial support for hospitals – including a recent reform of Pennsylvania’s insurance prior authorization rules. Carter previously led the VNAA, a national voice for nonprofit, community-based home health and hospice care, as well as the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association.
Last fall, Matt Yarnell celebrated a new contract for 700 SEIU Healthcare PA workers at 22 Pennsylvania nursing homes, with greater investment in wages, safety and staffing levels. That victory followed the longest-ever strike for the union – another win for Yarnell, the union’s president, who had recently helped secure a major increase in state funding for long-term care, as well as higher Medicaid reimbursement rates. Previously, as the union’s executive vice president, Yarnell successfully campaigned for his constituent workers’ $15 hourly wage.
COO Rev. Deborah Addo has gone all in at Penn State Health since arriving in 2021 from Virginia, where she was senior vice president of Inova Health System. Addo and her husband, Paul Samuels, established the Penn State Health Staff Morale Endowment, for which they were honored last October when the system named Lancaster Medical Center’s new meditation chapel in their honor. In addition to serving as PSH executive vice president, Addo is also interim president of the system’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Less than a year into his tenure as president of UPMC’s 40 hospitals, Mark Sevco presided over the groundbreaking for the system’s new Oakland flagship – a $1.5 billion, 636-bed facility that will sprawl over nearly 1 million square feet when it opens in 2026. Sevco, who previously led UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, has also guided the completion of the UPMC Mercy Pavilion and the conversion of Montefiore Hospital to an outpatient and rehabilitation center, and is helping to expand UPMC’s global hospital network.
Abhi Rastogi has made a career at Temple University, where he is now president and CEO of Temple University Hospital. Rastogi previously served as Temple’s senior vice president for professional services, headed the university’s project management office and worked in data analysis at the School of Pharmacy. Under Rastogi’s leadership, Temple University Hospital was named an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for four consecutive years.
Veteran banker Sue Perrotty is overseeing the ongoing financial turnaround of Tower Health, the West Reading-based system she joined as CEO in 2021. Perrotty, who has begun netting positive results at Tower, recently announced a partnership with Quest Diagnostics and hopes greater efficiencies will stabilize the system, which has annual revenue of roughly $2 billion. The Albright College alumna and trustee emerita has also been on the boards of United Way of Berks County, the Olivet Boys and Girls Club and the Berks County Community Foundation.
After a successful career in Minnesota – where she rose from oncology nurse to senior vice president at HealthPartners – Roxanna Gapstur came to Pennsylvania in 2019 to head WellSpan Health. Her leadership has emphasized a culture of inclusivity: She implemented WellSpan’s first diversity, equity and inclusion committee and has increased the number of women in senior-level positions by 25%. Gapstur has also spearheaded collaborations with CVS, Capital Blue Cross and General Catalyst, resulting in upgrades to WellSpan’s patient care, logistics and technology.
Last fall, UPMC Health Plan CEO Diane Holder celebrated top ratings for UPMC for Life plans, which consistently rank in the top 5% of Medicare Advantage plans nationally, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Under Holder, such ratings have become routine at UPMC Health Plans, whose Medicaid plans have also been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Insurance. Holder has cut costs and expanded community outreach at UPMC – which, with more than 4 million members, is among the commonwealth’s largest insurers.
Larry Jameson helps steer Penn Medicine, a $9.9 billion organization, alongside America’s first medical school – but the executive vice president and Perelman School of Medicine dean hardly rests on those laurels. He’s currently tackling diversity, partnering Perelman with HBCUs in a summer program and withdrawing the school from U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. Jameson also recently announced a $25 million gift to establish the Center for Epilepsy and Neurodevelopmental Disorders with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and $50 million for the new Colton Center for Autoimmunity.
Neuroscientist Anantha Shekhar is the medical school dean and senior vice chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh, where he oversees six health sciences schools. Under his leadership, Pitt rose from No. 9 to No. 3 in National Institutes of Health research funding – to the tune of $675 million last year – and is launching a specialized biomanufacturing facility, BioForge. Shekhar also co-founded Pitt’s Race and Social Determinants of Equity, Health and Well-being Recruitment and Retention Initiative, and has invested $6.5 million to diversify the health sciences faculty.
After searching the nation for 18 months, Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine found its new dean right at home – appointing its own interim dean, renowned trauma surgeon Amy Goldberg. Goldberg, the daughter of Temple alums, has been with the university since her own surgical training and later directed Temple’s surgery residency program; she has also served as chief of trauma and chaired the surgery department. In addition, Goldberg is a nationally recognized figure for her work in gun violence prevention.
At Drexel University College of Medicine, Dean Charles Cairns is preparing to unveil a 460,000-square-foot health sciences building. The 12-story facility will integrate numerous health-related programs – a metaphor for the multidisciplinary innovation Cairns cultivates at the College of Medicine, where the emergency medicine physician also serves as senior vice president for medical affairs. Under Cairns’ leadership, Drexel has also partnered with St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, opened several new medical campuses and increased research funding by 30%.
Orthopedist Kevin Black has guided the Penn State College of Medicine as interim director since 2019, overseeing its two locations and steering the institution through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Black spearheaded the school’s novel diversity, equity and belonging initiative and has distinguished himself as a fundraiser as well, celebrating a scholarship endowment that has doubled over the past six years. Prior to his current role, Black chaired the orthopedics and rehabilitation department at Penn State Health.
On assuming the presidency of Geisinger last year, Julie Byerley steered the consolidation of the institution’s Commonwealth School of Medicine with Geisinger’s nursing and research divisions. Byerley now heads the integrated Geisinger College of Health Sciences and serves as medical school dean, overseeing service programs and expanding residency training to meet soaring demand. She previously held leadership positions at the University of North Carolina, where she spearheaded the Translational Education at Carolina curriculum and the Office of Rural Health.
Since taking over leadership of Capital Blue Cross in 2020, Todd Shamash debuted the organization’s newly renovated Allentown headquarters and rolled out the brand’s Connect health and wellness centers. He also partnered with WellSpan Health to provide Medicare Advantage coverage and made Capital Blue Cross the nation’s first health plan to provide low-cost prescriptions through the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Company. Shamash was previously Capital Blue Cross’ senior vice president and general counsel and oversaw health-related matters as deputy chief of staff for the Pennsylvania governor’s office.
For 20 years, lobbyist Katherine Levins has served as the chief public advocate for Temple University Health System, its myriad hospitals and research centers, and its 1,550 physicians and scientists. As vice president for public policy and government affairs, Levins helps ensure Temple gets its $160 million in state funding each year. She has also led Temple Health’s efforts to help those affected by the opioid epidemic, promote health equity for women and families, and collaborate on affordable housing projects.
Penn State’s bountiful health care landscape is tended at the political level by Sheilah Borne, the university’s associate vice president for government health relations (and, until last year, the mayor of Paxtang Borough as well). Borne has represented Penn State for 20 years, cultivating relationships with legislators locally, in Harrisburg and in Washington. She also chairs the government relations committee for the Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and is vice chair of the chamber’s executive committee.
Thirty-six years after Diane Hupp began her career at UPMC Children’s Hospital as a volunteer, she became president last year. In the interim, Hupp, who has a doctorate in nursing from Pitt, served for two decades in clinical and administrative leadership roles, including as chief nursing officer and vice president of operations. She led UPMC to a Magnet designation – the nursing field’s top rating – and spearheaded UPMC’s collaborations with other health systems to expand the pediatric East Coast Transplant Network.
David L. Baiada has headed BAYADA Home Health Care since 2017, when he succeeded his father, company founder and chair Mark Baiada. The younger Baiada – a 20-year veteran of the family business – oversaw the health outfit’s shift to a not-for-profit organization that serves 150,000 clients annually across more than 350 worldwide locations – many of which are in Florida, where Baiada recently joined forces with Manatee Health System to provide in-home care for seniors.
Cheryl Bettigole has served the City of Philadelphia as its health commissioner since 2021, emphasizing violence prevention and health equity. During the pandemic, the family physician played a key role on the Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 team, where she promoted vaccination and testing. Previously, Bettigole was the chief medical officer for Complete Care Health Network, a federally qualified migrant health center in New Jersey, and has served as president of the National Physicians Alliance, where she helped lead a gun violence prevention task force.
Physician Jay Feldstein has steered the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine since 2014. He manages an operation with annual revenue of $170 million, three campuses – including two in Georgia – and several community health care centers. Most recently, Feldstein led the college in a joint acquisition of Chestnut Hill Hospital and in a regional consortium to support St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children – both collaborations that will expand academic and training opportunities. He also served on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s transition advisory committee.
As CEO of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, Martin Raniowski led successful advocacy for state-level legislation reforming two issues that are important to his physician constituents: prior authorization and licensing parity for international graduates. Raniowski also played a key role in last year’s strategic plan for PAMED staff and its physician members, and is overseeing the plan’s three-year implementation. He is also the chair of the American Association of Medical Executives’ State CEO Group.
Whether rallying in Harrisburg to protest unsafe staffing levels or helping Temple University Hospital nurses to negotiate a new contract, Maureen May is the public face of commonwealth nursing. May heads the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, the state’s 9,000-strong union for nurses and health professionals. A Temple University Hospital nurse herself, May leads the fight for secure workplaces, safe staffing numbers, workforce recruitment and increased funding for health care.
Blaise Coleman has played a key role in shaping the evolution of Endo Pharmaceuticals, the Malvern-based company behind Percocet and various specialty drugs. Coleman, a certified public accountant who also holds a master’s degree, held financial leadership roles at Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before joining Endo as CFO in 2016 and assuming the top post in 2020. He has since steered the firm, which earns $3 billion in annual revenue, through successful legal actions and commercial partnerships.
As head of public affairs and government markets for Independence Blue Cross, Stephen Fera advises policymakers and facilitates public-private collaboration to advance health equity and social impact. Under Fera’s leadership, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, IBX’s charitable arm, awarded more than $70 million in grant funding for public health initiatives as of 2022. Fera also spearheaded the foundation’s public awareness campaign and podcast “Someone You Know,” which fights the stigma of addiction.
With behavioral health disorders on the rise since the pandemic, Commissioner Jill Bowen takes a proactive approach to treating trauma at Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services. She recently lauded the city’s opioid settlement-funded drug treatment expansion, with initiatives like mobile methadone clinics, and has championed arts initiatives to engage vulnerable populations, including a collaboration with Mural Arts. A clinical psychologist and the co-author of “Lean Behavioral Health,” Bowen previously held leadership roles at NYC Health + Hospitals.
Newly installed Jefferson Health President Baligh Yehia is back in Philadelphia, where he completed his infectious diseases fellowship along with a master’s in health policy research at the University of Pennsylvania. Yehia, an internist known for his work on HIV and health disparities, most recently garnered laurels as head of Ascension Medical Group – one of the nation’s largest such organizations, with 9,000 clinicians – and was senior vice president at Ascension, a $28 billion nonprofit health system, where he led operations and strategic programs.
In just a decade, Frank Igwe has made Moravia Health a household name in Philadelphia-area health care – and with Moravia now the Eagles’ official home care agency, that profile will only rise. Igwe founded his startup after working in management consulting and earning a doctorate in information science and technology. Today, Moravia Health provides Medicaid- and Medicare-funded in-home care for 1,500 patients throughout the commonwealth and has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for quality.
Over three decades leading the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Karen Wolk Feinstein has championed myriad health initiatives and promoted Pittsburgh as a global research and innovation hub for patient safety technologies. Feinstein guides the foundation’s three divisions – Health Careers Futures, the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative – and hosts the podcast “Up Next for Patient Safety.” She is also the spokesperson for a national coalition advocating for the creation of a new federal agency overseeing patient safety.
During the five-year tenure of Dean Mark Wolff, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine has added faculty and academic programs, expanded community outreach and upgraded technology for the COVID-19 era. Wolff, who holds a doctorate in oral biology, also has $9 million in research activity to his credit. For orchestrating the post-pandemic collaboration between Penn Dental and Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine in Israel, he was honored with a 2022 Innovation Award from the Shils Entrepreneurial Fund for contributions to oral health.
Dean Amid Ismail has presided over Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry for 14 years, growing the prominence and mission of the nation’s second-oldest dental school. Under his leadership, the Kornberg School was upgraded to an R1 (highest research activity) institution and initiated countless global partnerships, such as high-profile alliances with Al-Quds and Hadassah Hebrew universities. Ismail also spearheaded a community clinic that keeps more than 20,000 local mouths healthy each year in collaboration with Greater Philadelphia Health.
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, Marnie Oakley has served as its interim dean since 2021. She oversaw the development and implementation of Pitt Dental’s Comprehensive Care Program and, in 2010, coordinated the American Dental Association’s accreditation site visit. A former dental officer in the U.S. Navy, Oakley is a graduate fellow and adviser of the American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute, and is a senior consultant for the Academy of Advancing Leadership.
CEO Paul Tufano is closing in on a decade heading AmeriHealth Caritas, a major player in Medicaid managed care, pharmacy benefits and behavioral health programs. This year, Tufano is guiding AmeriHealth Caritas’ expansion across East Coast markets where it already has a Medicaid presence, including Delaware, Florida and the Carolinas. Tufano was previously an executive vice president at Independence Blue Cross and, prior to that, served as general counsel of the commonwealth under then-Gov. Tom Ridge, managing a staff of 500 attorneys.
As CEO of LeadingAge PA, Garry Pezzano coordinates professional activities and advocates politically on behalf of 400 senior-service member-stakeholders. LeadingAge PA’s membership employs health care providers who engage with elderly Pennsylvanians in settings ranging from senior housing to long-term care facilities. A speech pathologist by training, Pezzano previously spent a decade in leadership positions at Genesis Healthcare and Genesis Rehabilitation Services.
Based in Philadelphia, Michael Cole manages commercial business strategy for Aetna throughout the North Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, the rest of the mid-Atlantic and New England. He previously led Aetna Keystone, guiding the insurance company’s business in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. Cole is a three-decade veteran of the health insurance business, having worked for Cigna, overseen health plans for Quest and held leadership positions for over a decade at UnitedHealthcare.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine owes its growth into the nation’s largest medical college to the leadership of co-founder John Ferretti. The internist has led LECOM for most of its three decades, shaping the professional careers of more than 16,000 graduates and guiding an expansion that has included schools of pharmacy and dental medicine, along with branch campuses in Bradenton, Florida; Elmira, New York; and Greensburg, Pennsylvania. This year, Ferretti celebrated the college’s 30th anniversary by inaugurating LECOM’s new school for podiatric medicine.
Seasoned health care administrator Anthony Esposito became CEO of Crozer Health last year, as well as president of Crozer Health Medical Group. Responsible for finances, operations, employees and patient care, Esposito guided the health system’s recent application to convert to become a nonprofit and is working to change Crozer’s Springfield campus to a joint-venture ambulatory surgical center. Now, in response to community demand, Esposito is converting Crozer’s Delaware County campus into a behavioral health hospital.
Veteran health executive John Simodejka is currently the Central Pennsylvania market chief for Select Specialty Hospital, a national network that rehabilitates patients recovering from critical illnesses. He leads operations for Select Specialty Hospitals in Camp Hill, Harrisburg and York, and serves as the Harrisburg location’s CEO. Simodejka studied respiratory therapy before earning a master’s degree and guided the merger of two community hospitals into the Schuylkill Regional Medical Center, where he was CEO.
After 14 years at Pfizer, Michael Goettler left in 2020 to head a Pfizer spinoff – Pittsburgh-based Viatris, created through the merger of Mylan and the former Pfizer division Upjohn, for which Goettler was previously group president. Goettler also initiated Pfizer’s commercial gene therapy program as the company’s global president for rare disease business, one of several international leadership positions he has held. At Viatris, the German-born Goettler leads a firm with three global centers and 40 pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities worldwide.
Next month, Carl June will receive the American Association for Cancer Research’s lifetime achievement reward – a fitting honor for the T-cell therapy pioneer, whose ambition has made the University of Pennsylvania a global hub of research into oncologic immunotherapy. June currently oversees both Penn’s Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Perelman School of Medicine’s Center for Cellular Immunotherapies; with the latter, June recently announced a partnership with the Danaher Corporation, a global biotech firm, to develop treatments based on Penn research.
Pediatrician Sarah Iriana has been the chief medical officer for Penn State Health’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center since 2020. She joined the center in 1996 and, prior to assuming her current role, was interim chair of its pediatrics department and pediatrician-in-chief at Penn State Children’s Hospital, where she also served on the team guiding its $148 million expansion. Iriana currently serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Clinical Information Technology, as well as its Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine.
Veteran litigator Tom McGough currently serves as chief legal officer for UPMC, where he is also an executive vice president. McGough was previously a partner with the firm of Reed Smith, where he served on the executive committee and chaired the litigation department. Prior to that, McGough worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In the 1980s, he also served as associate counsel to the U.S. Senate committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair.
After graduating from the Reading Hospital School of Nursing, Michelle Trupp worked in that hospital’s emergency department. More than 40 years later, Trupp remains with Reading Hospital, the flagship institution of Tower Health, where she was named COO this year. In between, as chief information officer, she guided the health system’s decade-long transition to Epic online medical records and, as a member of Tower Health’s COVID-19 command team, managed the expansion of virtual care during the pandemic.
Since 1989, Diane Menio has championed the interests of older Pennsylvanians as executive director of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly. Under her leadership, CARIE coordinates a range of social services for the elderly, their families, caregivers and senior care professionals. Menio is also one of the commonwealth’s chief advocates for the geriatric population and senior care facilities, lobbying policymakers for increased funding and safety measures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mike Stancil joined the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health in 2019 and served as its marketing director and COO before being appointed CEO in December. He has led numerous initiatives for the organization, including its signature Bridges 4 Health Equity; a two-year maternal and infant health project; and pandemic programs to provide personal protective equipment and help employers restart their businesses.
As the organization’s director of business relationships, Malcolm Nowlin orchestrates ties and investment between local companies and community health care. Nowlin, a former 16-year employee of Citizens Bank, also operates M Nowlin Enterprise, a motivational speaking business.
Jean-Claude Dubacher’s health care career took him from Puerto Rico to California and Germany before he settled in the Lehigh Valley to lead B. Braun Medical. Dubacher, who holds a doctorate in law from the University of Zurich and a master’s degree from Harvard, heads the American arm of a German medical and pharmaceutical device company. A board member of the German American Chamber of Commerce, Dubacher previously led surgical ophthalmology commercial operations for Johnson & Johnson across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
After 14 years heading the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, Laval Miller-Wilson left this month to become deputy secretary for the Office of Children, Youth and Families at Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services, where he supervises county-operated child welfare and juvenile justice systems. While it’s a departure from his previous role – which included serving as a lead counsel for Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Advisory Committee, advising the commonwealth on Medicaid policy – Miller-Wilson continues his advocacy for vulnerable populations.
From pregnant women to parenting families, Marianne Fray advocates for health, wellness and social mobility as head of the Maternity Care Coalition, a community-based nonprofit. She oversees programs aimed at Philadelphia-area women and families impacted by racial and social disparities – including MontCo Mamas, an award-winning health equity initiative for families of color in Montgomery County. Fray also leads MCC’s advocacy efforts, recently helping to secure postpartum Medicaid coverage in collaboration with the nonpartisan campaign Thriving PA.
Paul DeAngelo Jr. is CEO of Mission Autism Clinics, a three-year-old organization with 13 locations throughout the mid-Atlantic region serving neurodivergent patients. In 2022, DeAngelo oversaw the launch of three new facilities in Pennsylvania, expanding Mission’s reach to more than 200 families throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland. DeAngelo also spearheaded the nonprofit organization Collaborative Autism Movement, which supports children and families with autism through sensory-friendly programming, inclusive sports and mentorship opportunities.
Renowned immunologist Robert H. Vonderheide is the longtime director of Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, which consistently ranks among U.S. News & World Report’s Top 10 American cancer hospitals for its world-class research and care innovations, and treats hundreds of thousands of patients annually. Vonderheide is also a tireless fundraiser for cancer research that supports more than 400 scientists and 600 clinical trials; most recently, he announced a $55 million gift to create the Basser Cancer Interception Institute for the study of hereditary cancers.
Nearly a year after being named interim CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center, pioneering urologic cancer surgeon Robert Uzzo was appointed to the position permanently in 2022. Under his leadership, patient visits at Fox Chase have grown by double-digit percentages, setting volume records in several categories. Uzzo has used the increased revenue to spearhead investments in capital improvements and technologies, enhancing both research and patient care. A fixture on Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Doctors list, Uzzo was the longtime chair of Fox Chase’s surgical department.
Over 43 years of outbreaks, vaccine developments and evolving scientific knowledge – most recently around COVID-19 – Richard Cohen has helmed Philadelphia’s Public Health Management Corporation. Cohen, a social scientist, guides the corporation’s 3,500 employees, 350 social service programs and myriad subsidiary organizations – a public health footprint that has more than tripled since he became CEO in 1980. With maladies on the rise, Cohen’s PHMC initiatives around behavioral health, violence prevention and substance abuse are more needed than ever.
Mary Pao’s career spans medicine, cutting-edge research and the business of health care. Based in Philadelphia, she joined ANI Pharmaceuticals in 2021 as chief medical officer for the rare diseases division, overseeing clinical strategy and development. Pao, who holds both an MD and a doctorate from New York University, previously brought her expertise in oncology and immunology to roles at Genentech, Cephalon and GSK, and also co-founded Arcus Medica, a boutique medical communications and consulting firm concentrating on rare diseases.
A quarter-century ago, Steve Wolfe took on the challenge of modernizing rural Indiana Hospital for a new era. Today, Indiana Regional Medical Center reflects the CEO’s vision of a full-service community health resource – from the initial fundraising that built an emergency department to $200 million invested in capital projects that include state-of-the-art ICUs, a cardiac catheterization unit and a full operating theater. Under Wolfe’s leadership, IRMC has consistently been named one of Pennsylvania’s best workplaces and received accolades for its safety practices.
As chair of the Pennsylvania Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, Republican state Sen. Michele Brooks has convened hearings on nurse aide credentialing, tick-borne illnesses and COVID-19 testing measures, and celebrated passage of her bill helping seniors to receive care in their homes. Brooks also co-hosted last year’s Senate rural health summit – drawing legislators’ attention to issues faced by, among others, her constituents in Mercer, Crawford and Lawrence counties – and recently announced a $500,000 grant for the Allegheny Health Network to bolster community health services.
Last December, state Sen. Art Haywood announced $10 million in funding for mobile and community clinics across the commonwealth – a measure aimed at fighting disparities in health access. Paid for with state pandemic recovery dollars, the equity initiative was championed by Haywood, a Philadelphia Democrat who serves as minority chair of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee. As a member of then-Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, Haywood fought for vaccine distribution equity and spearheaded the state’s first mobile clinic registry.
Serving Philadelphia’s steadily increasing Hispanic population is the mission of Nilda Iris Ruiz, president and CEO of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha. Ruiz leads a 53-year-old nonprofit that oversees culturally responsive health care and bilingual social services, including early childhood education and workforce assistance, tailored for the region’s Latino population. She also leads the association’s influential community development initiatives, including more than $240 million to date invested in affordable housing.
Since 2021, John J. Herman has headed Penn Medicine’s Lancaster General Health system, continuing what is now Lancaster’s five-year streak on Healthgrades’ list of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and racking up new distinctions in six categories. He oversees a four-hospital, 786-bed network that also includes outpatient and urgent care facilities. Herman came to Pennsylvania from New Orleans, where he was CEO of the North Shore Region for the Ochsner Health System and, prior to that, COO for the system’s flagship Ochsner Medical Center.
As CEO of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, Victoria Elliott is the chief advocate for the commonwealth’s pharmacists. Elliott, who holds a degree in pharmacy, lobbies state and federal lawmakers on policy proposals that would give her constituents greater power to prescribe common medications, administer vaccines and other priorities hastened by the COVID-19 pandemic. A veteran of association management, Elliott previously headed the Association of the Advancement of Wound Care and spent a dozen years in leadership roles at Association Headquarters, a nonprofit consultancy.
According to some experts, Pennsylvania has the nation’s third-worst shortage of nursing staff – and Wayne Reich is among the highest-profile health leaders urging Gov. Josh Shapiro to take action. As CEO of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association and its supporting organization, the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania, Reich is advocating for a state-level chief nursing officer to head a dedicated effort to ease a staffing shortage exacerbated by the pandemic. Prior to assuming his current post, Reich directed the Pennsylvania College of Technology’s undergraduate nursing program.
At Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest health care company, Executive Vice President Jennifer Taubert has grown the Janssen division into the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical business, with $50 billion in worldwide revenue and a portfolio of innovative drugs. Taubert joined J&J in 2005 and currently serves as global pharmaceuticals chair, leading the pharmaceuticals group operating committee. She has both pharmacology and master’s degrees and has been on Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women list for the past seven years.
Valerie Asbury heads LifeScan, a Malvern-based firm that specializes in diabetes care and glucose management products and counts 2,000 worldwide employees. She is responsible for operations and business strategy, overseeing successful products from the popular OneTouch brand of blood glucose monitors to digital health platforms and point-of-care systems used by hospitals and medical providers. Asbury, a nurse by training, previously worked for two decades at Johnson & Johnson in roles that included responsibility for pharmaceuticals and diabetes management.
Years before he became CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, overseeing the development of rare disease treatments, John Crowley’s career trajectory was altered by his children’s being diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disorder. Crowley left Bristol-Myers Squibb to found the biotech startup Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, spearheading a successful treatment before selling the company to Genzyme Therapeutics. He masterminded similar growth at Amicus, which had four employees when he arrived in 2005; when Crowley stepped down as CEO last year, there were 500 workers across 27 countries at the $3 billion company.
As vice president for state and government affairs and policy, Terri Lee Taylor advocates in Harrisburg and beyond for Merck, the multinational pharmaceutical corporation, and for the life sciences and biotech industry. She has also been a forceful voice for diversity, both within Merck and the industry at large. Taylor serves as vice chair of the board of LifeSciences Pennsylvania, on the executive committee of the board of the Urban Affairs Coalition, and as a Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry board member.
Mike Chirieleison heads the health policy consulting practice in Pennsylvania for DeBrunner & Associates, a national health policy consulting and government relations firm where he is a partner. Chirieleison is an expert on Medicaid policy and practices, advising clients on legislative and regulatory strategies. He also directs DeBrunner’s Pennsylvania lobbying; recent victories include legislation to increase state funding for skilled nursing facilities. With extensive relationships throughout state government, Chirieleison is also the executive director of the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania.
Since 2019, Sherri Landis has led The Arc of Pennsylvania, the state’s preeminent advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her efforts to promote health equity include a multi-year COVID-19 project sponsored by the state Department of Health, which brings together various stakeholders around education and service initiatives. Landis currently sits on the boards of The Arc U.S. National Council of Executives and The DREAM Partnership, a nonprofit promoting education for people with disabilities, where she previously served as executive director.
In early 2022, Sultan Shakir took over leadership of the Mazzoni Center, which had been without a permanent leader for three years. As a well-respected community organizer, Shakir brought a sense of mission to the Philadelphia region’s largest LGBTQ health and wellness agency, a $14 million organization. Under Shakir’s leadership, Mazzoni has expanded its reach beyond the 7,000 annual clients it served when he arrived, including sexual education programming for the School District of Philadelphia.
As the Keystone State’s cannabis industry comes of age, Meredith Buettner leads political advocacy for the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition, where she is executive director. Buettner brings a keen understanding of Pennsylvania’s political landscape to the role, having spent more than a decade developing and executing fundraising and political strategy for candidates up and down the ballot. At the coalition, Buettner was instrumental in the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s 2021 passage of Act 44, a comprehensive update to the state’s medical marijuana statute.
As Medicaid consumers face reapplication for the first time since the pandemic paused eligibility determinations, Joanne McFall has a more prominent role than ever. She’s the market president for Keystone First, Pennsylvania’s largest Medicaid managed care organization, where she has grown membership to nearly 600,000. McFall is also responsible for coordinating operations with Keystone First’s parent company, AmeriHealth Caritas, where she was previously a vice president and chief of staff.
As head of the nonprofit organization Puentes de Salud, Orfelina Feliz Payne supports the wellness of Philadelphia’s Spanish-speaking immigrants and combats social injustice through empowerment, education and health services. Emphasizing strategic alignment, capital development, and integration among Puentes divisions, Payne steered Puentes through the pandemic and now aims to expand its reach. She was previously the first Latina senior director and co-chair of disparity mitigation and language access for the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.
A veteran of the personal care and assisted living sectors, Margie Zelenak has headed the Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association since 2016. Her advocacy took on new urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Zelenak successfully lobbied for $100 million in relief funding for her constituency, as well as a $20 million increase in supplemental security income for low-income seniors in this year’s state budget. Zelenak is also a member of the governor’s Long-Term Care Council.
Cheri Rinehart heads the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers, championing nearly 400 clinics that collectively provide affordable health care to one in 13 Pennsylvanians. During the pandemic, as chair of the national Primary Care Association Leadership Committee, Rinehart served as a liaison between health providers and government agencies to ensure testing, vaccine and health care access. A nurse by training, Rinehart is also a graduate of Penn State’s RULE Leadership Program.
From wearable infant protection technology to programs that track wandering grandparents, computer engineer Deric Blattenberger’s passion is creating technology that helps people live healthier lives. At CenTrak, the Newtown-based technology company where he oversees the senior care division, Blattenberger leads a research and development team that produces automated digital products that empower the senior living industry. He oversaw the launch of last year’s TruFinder, a mobile app that uses real-time location system technology to help senior communities keep track of their residents.
Erin Guay and Danna Casserly co-direct the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, a nonprofit legal organization that assists state residents with Medicaid access. Under their acting leadership, PHLP operates a helpline that serves thousands of Pennsylvanians annually and provides advocacy and education for those navigating state health care benefits.
Over nearly 20 years at PHLP, Guay, an authority on Medicare and Medicaid, has advocated for thousands of older, disabled and otherwise vulnerable clients. Casserly, who began her legal career as a staff attorney with PHLP a decade ago, represents primarily children with disabilities, with myriad successful appeals to her credit.
More than 400 million people across the world suffer from so-called rare diseases – and in North America, their champion is Bert Bruce, Pfizer’s regional president for rare disease commercial development. He is responsible for Pfizer’s rare disease pharmaceutical portfolio, its gene therapy pipeline and the research partnerships that make it all possible. Bruce, who joined Pfizer after 16 years with Johnson & Johnson, was recently appointed to the medical advisory board for 3D Systems, which innovates in regenerative medicine.
Over 30 years at GHR Healthcare, the staffing agency he founded, CEO John Quirk has expanded worker placement services throughout all 50 states, supporting health care providers and easing labor shortages. Under Quirk’s leadership, GHR had its best year ever as it helped maintain patient care standards throughout the challenging COVID-19 era – leading Staffing Industry Analysts to name GHR among America’s top largest staffing firms for the past three years. Quirk also serves on the board of The Drueding Center, a homeless advocacy nonprofit.
A year after taking over leadership of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association in 2019, Teri Henning raised $1.5 million in grant commitments to fund pandemic-era initiatives on behalf of 700 home care, home health and hospice agencies across the commonwealth. Henning’s effort paid for PPE distribution to the PHA’s constituent providers; funded a short-term home care program; and supports training, including a new pilot program to credential quality home care agencies. Henning previously led the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services.
Antoinette Kraus has served as founding executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network since 2008, growing the organization into the state’s largest consumer-driven health advocacy group. In this role, she has led numerous campaigns to increase access to health care and advance consumer protections and health reforms across the commonwealth. Kraus served on the transition team for Gov. Josh Shapiro – a role she also held for then-Gov. Tom Wolf – and is a board member of the Pennsylvania Health Exchange Authority.
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