Movers & Shakers: Biden Picks Leader for CMS; New CEOs at Alsana, Tempest

Biden picks new head of CMS

President Biden has tapped Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), according to various media reports.

As of Friday afternoon, Biden had yet to announce the news. Brooks-LaSure’s appointment to the position is contingent upon the Senate confirming her nomination.

CMS oversees Medicare and Medicaid, which is the nation’s largest payer of behavioral health services, as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and state and federal health insurance marketplaces. The $1 trillion agency is the largest within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Brooks-LaSure, if confirmed, is expected to play an integral role in the President’s health care policy agenda, which is expected to focus on issues like mental health parity and addiction treatment.

A former Obama Administration official, Brooks-LaSure currently is a managing director for the consulting firm Manatt Health. Brooks-LaSure also helped the new administration during the election transition period, serving as a co-lead of HHS’ agency review team.

Alsana hires new CEO

The eating disorder treatment provider Alsana has named Gayle Devin as its CEO.

A dietitian by training, Devin most recently served as CEO for the Minneapolis-based medical supply company ActivStyle.

“I admire and embrace Alsana’s guiding principles, which parallel my own personal values, and it is an honor to carry forward the extraordinary culture,” Devin said in a statement announcing her hire. “It is this foundation upon which we will continue to grow and serve more people than ever who want to live a fully recovered life.”

Based in Thousand Oaks, California, Alsana operates residential, day patient, and intensive outpatient programs in California, Alabama and Missouri. It has five locations total and also offers virtual services.

Charlie Health names new chief compliance officer

Charlie Health — a Bozeman, Montana-based virtual provider of mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment for teens and young adults — has named Ellen Boxmeyer as its chief compliance officer.

Boxmeyer comes to the position after having served as the vice president of compliance for the eating disorder treatment provider Eating Recovery Center.

Boxmeyer specializes in compliance, quality management, patient advocacy, utilization review and medical records. In her new position, Boxmeyer will be charged with expanding Charlie Health’s services into new geographies and populations, according to a press release announcing the hire.

Charlie health bills itself as the first-ever virtual intensive outpatient program (IOP) provider. It serves patients in Montana and Wyoming.

Tempest adds tech veteran as CEO

New York City-based alcohol use disorder treatment provider Tempest has hired Ruth Sun as CEO.

With a background in technology, Sun was formerly the director of Watson Health, a subsidiary of IBM. She has also held VP positions for the education technology company Blackboard and the wellness tech company Welltok.

Sun arrives at Tempest after most recently serving as the COO of the digital care platform Force Therapeutics. She also was the president and co-founder of Sun Medical, which was acquired by Hackensack Meridian Health in 2020.

Sun replaces Tempest founder Holly Whitaker, who will move to a newly created role of chief creative officer.

Founded in 2015, Tempest uses holistic methods to treat individuals with unhealthy alcohol issues. The company touts itself as a “modern alternative” to treatments like AA for individuals who do not consider themselves addicted to alcohol. More than 100,000 people have deployed the company’s direct-to-consumer services.

Brookdale Premier Addiction Recovery chooses new CEO, makes executive appointments

Brookdale Premier Addiction Recovery — a Scotrun, Pennsylvania-based inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center — has named Amy Durham as CEO.

Durham most recently was a corporate director for Caron Treatment Centers, a Wernersville, Pennsylvania-based addiction treatment provider that operates centers across the country.

In addition to Durham, Brookdale has announced two executive appointments. Its chief marketing officer, Ed Allen, has been named vice president of operations, and the company’s senior business development director, John Knowles has been appointed as its executive director.

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