Why 6 payers recently added nontraditional roles to their C-suites

From public health directors to chief equity officers, here's why these payers decided to add new roles to their executive lineup:

Humana's first chief health equity officer:

Nwando Olayiwola, MD, started April 5 as Humana's senior vice president and first chief health equity officer. Dr. Olayiwola will lead Humana's health equity strategy across all business and care delivery lines. Her role includes integration of cultural sensitivities when developing the payer's clinical programs, products, services and member communications. She will also create specific health equity measures and strategies for the company. 

CareFirst BCBS's first public health director:

Djinge Lindsay, MD, was appointed March 24 as the first director of public health at Baltimore-based CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. She spoke with Becker's about how the payer has a "business and moral imperative" to leverage data and industry relationships to improve health equity and outcomes among its 3.5 million members.

UnitedHealth's first chief sustainability officer:

UnitedHealth Group named Patricia Lewis as the payer's first chief sustainability officer in February. Ms. Lewis is focused on the company's environmental, social and governance initiatives. CEO Andrew Witty shared that sustainability and development of long-term enterprise environmental strategies is a key priority for the payer going forward. 

CVS Health swaps human resources with chief people officer:

Laurie Havanec started as CVS Health's new chief people officer Feb. 8 after replacing the company's former chief human resources officer. CEO Karen Lynch said Ms. Havanec will facilitate a "strategic, people-focused human resources strategy" and lead talent and culture initiatives that support the company's business strategy and 300,000 employees.

CVS Health's first chief customer officer:

Michelle Peluso started as CVS Health's first chief customer officer Jan. 25. She is responsible for overhauling the relationship between CVS and its customers and boosting the company's digital strategy through marketing and brand strategy, digital transformation and end-to-end consumer experience. CEO Karen Lynch described the new position as ensuring "a connected health experience across all CVS Health touchpoints."

Guidewell's first chief health equity officer:

Florida Blue parent company GuideWell named Kelli Tice, MD, as the company's first chief health equity officer Jan. 19. The new position aims to address health inequities among members and communities the Jacksonville, Fla.-based payer serves. Dr. Tice has a background in public health and will work with GuideWell's Equity Alliance to address health disparities among Black Americans.

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