Board of Directors

CHRT's board includes six members from each of the founding organizations; the positions of Chair and Vice Chair alternate between the two organizations at the beginning of each year.

John E. Billi, MD (chair)

Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Michigan
Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Education, U-M Medical School

John E. Billi

John E. Billi, M.D. is the associate vice president for Medical Affairs of U-M, and professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Education at the U-M Medical School. He has devoted his career to studying and improving health services delivery, including the cost of care, the impact of changing reimbursement systems, evidence-based guideline uses, pharmacy appropriateness, performance-based differential reimbursement, and conflict of interest management. He leads the Michigan Quality System, which applies Lean Thinking to the continuous improvement of health care delivery at U-M. He serves on the board of the Michigan State Medical Society, where he chairs the Committee on Quality, Efficiency and Economics. He co-chairs the Michigan Quality Improvement Consortium, which endorses common evidence-based guidelines across 14 Michigan health plans. In addition, he serves on the board of the Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC) and on the steering committee for GDAHC's Cost-Quality Initiative

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Thomas L. Simmer, MD (vice chair)

Senior Vice President for Health Care Value & Provider Affiliation and Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Thomas L. Simmer

Thomas L. Simmer, M.D. is senior vice president for Health Care Value and Provider Affiliation and chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Simmer is responsible for contracting with more than 20,000 physicians who participate in Blue Cross Traditional and PPO plans, as well as directing medical policy. He is responsible for professional payment policies and programs to improve the quality, cost, and access to medical services. Under his leadership, BCBSM has implemented physician incentive programs to promote collaborative improvement programs for more consistent care for persons with chronic illness, and more cost effective prescribing patterns. Prior to 2006, Simmer was senior vice president for Health Care Programs and Provider Services and chief medical officer. Prior to joining the Blues in 1999, he served as vice president of Health and Medical Affairs and as medical director for the Health Alliance Plan. Simmer also served as associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Henry Ford Hospital and was the recipient of several Distinguished Service awards. He is a member of the Michigan State Medical Society and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

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Susan L. Barkell, MSA

Senior Vice President, Health Care Value, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Susan L. Barkell

Susan L. Barkell is senior vice president of Health Care Value for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Ms. Barkell is responsible for defining and executing strategic direction for health care cost management programs and policies to enhance the delivery of health care value and reduce associated costs. Ms. Barkell is an officer of the company and serves on the president’s Operating Committee which sets BCBSM’s overall strategic direction and manages ongoing performance.

As senior vice president, Ms. Barkell oversees all provider contracting and payment policy activities, utilization management programs and the pharmacy product line. She works in close alliance with BCBSM’s chief medical officer to assure alignment with clinical program components of health care value, such as physician and hospital incentive programs.

Prior to this position, Ms. Barkell held the position of vice president for Group Servicing and Provider Services for BCBSM. In this role she was responsible for inquiry and operational support services for providers as well as all customer segments, and HMO, dental and Individual Business product lines.

Prior to joining the Blues in 1996, Ms. Barkell served in various management positions at the Michigan Osteopathic Association.

Ms. Barkell earned a Master’s of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

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Mark R. Bartlett, CPA (treasurer)

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and President of Emerging Markets

Mark R. Bartlett

Mark R. Bartlett, CPA, is executive vice president, chief financial officer and president of Emerging Markets for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Prior to 2006, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer, and previously as the corporation’s senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Bartlett joined the Blues in August 1989 as director of Financial Accounting. Earlier he was audit manager for a Detroit accounting firm.

Bartlett is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society. He also is a member of the boards of directors for Detroit Investment Fund, Blue Venture Fund, His Mansion, Board of Governors of Van Andel Institute and Spectrum Human Services, and the Michigan Advisory Board of the Moody Theological Seminary. Bartlett was included in the Crain’s Detroit Business list of “40 Under 40” executive achievers and is a graduate of the Leadership Michigan program. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a master’s of divinity from Michigan Theological Seminary.

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Alan R. (Rick) Bossard, MBA

Government Relations Officer, University of Michigan Health System

Alan R. (Rick) Bossard

Rick Bossard is the government relations officer for the University of Michigan Health System. He has represented UMHS in Washington, D.C. and Lansing since 1983. The primary focus of this representation has been the reimbursement and health policy aspects of Medicare/Medicaid. The Veterans Administration is a particular interest, as well.

Bossard received his MBA in 1971 from Western Michigan University. Following a one-year stay at Ford Motor Company, he joined the Michigan House Fiscal Agency, an adjunct of the House Appropriations Committee, where he worked for 10 years until joining the University of Michigan Health System in 1983.


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Darrell A. Campbell, Jr., MD

Chief of Clinical Affairs, University of Michigan Health System
Professor of Surgery, U-M Medical School

Darrell A. Campbell, Jr.

Dr. Campbell received his B.S. degree in zoology from Michigan State University in 1968, and graduated with distinction from George Washington University, receiving an M.D. degree in 1972. Subsequently, Dr. Campbell received his General Surgery training at the University of Michigan Medical School from 1972 through 1979. During this period, he spent two years as an investigator in the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, working in the laboratory of Ronald B. Herberman, chief of Immunodiagnostics. Following general surgery training, Dr. Campbell began his special interest in transplantation, a field which he has pursued and in which he continues to be actively involved. Dr. Campbell spent six months on sabbatical with Professor Sir Roy Calne learning the intricacies of liver transplantation in Cambridge, England, in 1986.

In recent years, Dr. Campbell has become interested in the related subjects of physician wellness and patient safety. He has lectured nationally on the subject of physician burnout, particularly among surgeons, and has more recently linked this interest to how burnout might affect physician performance. Dr. Campbell currently serves as a co-investigator on two NIH-funded grants, "Patient Safety in Surgery" and "The Effect of Health Care Working Conditions on Quality of Care." Dr. Campbell also sits on the executive committee of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

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Paul Castillo, CPA

Chief Financial Officer, University of Michigan Health System

Paul Castillo

Paul Castillo directs the University of Michigan Health System’s integrated financial operations, which includes the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers, the U-M Medical School, the clinical services of the U-M School of Nursing, a shared administrative services division and the Michigan Health Corporation, the legal entity that allows UMHS to enter partnerships. Prior to arriving at UMHS in November 2011, Paul was the chief financial officer and vice president of finance at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presbyterian Shadyside, the flagship hospital of the health system associated with the University of Pittsburgh. Before taking his role at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Paul held top financial positions in the UPMC community physician group, UPMC Corporate Services, and UPMC McKeesport Hospital. In the early 1990s, he was vice president of finance at St. Vincent Health System in Erie, Penn., which he joined after more than a decade with the Arthur Andersen & Company accounting firm. Paul’s expertise includes implementing changes in health information systems, negotiating major contracts, assisting in physician recruitment and retention efforts, and developing financial analysis tools. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University.

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Joseph H. Hohner, MBA

Executive Vice President, Health Care Value, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Joseph H. Hohner

Joe H. Hohner is executive vice president of Health Care Value for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). Mr. Hohner is an officer of the company and serves on the president’s Operating Committee and the Executive Committee of the Operating Committee.

Mr. Hohner leads BCBSM’s healthcare management services including provider relations, provider contracting, wellness & care management, pharmacy, utilization management, revenue management/risk adjustment, healthcare analytics, and the Medicare Advantage Stars program. From strategy through execution, Mr. Hohner helps drive BCBSM’s corporate aspiration to be the leader in health care quality and lower medical costs.

Mr. Hohner also serves on the following:

  • Chairman of NASCO, a company that provides processing services for several Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans. Mr. Hohner also serves on NASCO’s Executive Committee, Finance Committee, and Personnel Compensation Committee.
  • Board member of Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) – a company that operates one of the largest health care data warehouses in the United States and provides strategic solutions to Blue Cross Blue Shield plans nationally.
  • Board member of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT) - a non-profit partnership between the University of Michigan and BCBSM to promote evidence-based care delivery, improve population health, and expand access to health care.

Prior to joining BCBSM, Mr. Hohner was a partner with Ernst & Young where he worked with healthcare companies across the United States.

Mr. Hohner earned his master’s degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University and his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Michigan Technological University.

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Marc Keshishian, MD

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Blue Care Network

Mark Keshishian

Dr. Keshishian is responsible for providing executive leadership and oversight of all corporate healthcare related activities at Blue Care Network, including medical management, medical policy, quality management and improvement, health education and wellness, behavioral health, pharmacy, medical informatics, corporate credentialing, risk management, and provider enrollment.

He has been a member of the Michigan Quality Improvement Consortium for 10 years and a member of the Michigan Cancer Consortium for three years. In 2006 he was appointed to the State of Michigan Certificate of Need Commission and was selected as chairperson of the New Technology Assessment sub-committee in 2007.

Dr. Keshishian attended medical school at Wayne State University and completed his internal medicine residency at Detroit General/Receiving Hospital. He has been involved with managed care for over 25 years.

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Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, MD

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Michigan
Chief Executive Officer, University of Michigan Health System

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz

On May 11, 2009, Dr. Pescovitz assumed her role as executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Michigan and chief executive officer of the University of Michigan Health System. In this role, Pescovitz is responsible for the leadership and management of the Health System, which includes the Medical School, clinical services of the School of Nursing, the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers, and the Michigan Health Corp.

In her past role in the Dean's office at Indiana University School of Medicine, Dr. Pescovitz oversaw all research. The School generates nearly $260M annually in grants and contracts. She also administered the $155 million Indiana Genomics Initiative (INGEN) and contributed to the creation of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Since 2003, she had overseen the construction of over 700,000 sf of new research space at the School of Medicine. As president and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children, she lead an ambitious and wide-reaching strategic plan that included the fund-raising and construction of a $470M, 675,000 sf addition to the hospital. As interim vice president for research administration for Indiana University, Dr. Pescovitz was responsible for the research infrastructure at all eight Indiana University campuses.

Dr. Pescovitz has published 180 manuscripts and books. She has served as president of the Society for Pediatric Research, the nation's largest pediatric research organization, president of the Lawson Wilkins (North American) Pediatric Endocrine Society, chair of the March of Dimes Grants Review Committee, a member of the Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding, the Board of the Hormone Foundation, the Board of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), and the Board of the Children's Miracle Network. She has served as a sub-editor or as a member of the editorial board of six scientific journals. She also served on numerous committees of the Pediatric Academic Societies, the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, NACHRI and Children's Hospitals Corporation of America.

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Lynda Rossi

Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Lynda Rossi

Lynda Rossi is vice president of Public Policy and Social Mission for BCBSM. In her role, Rossi is responsible for driving BCBSM's social mission strategy: To improve the health status and quality of care for all Michigan residents. Rossi joined BCBSM in 2007 from her position as deputy chief of staff for Strategic Initiatives for Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm. Prior to that, she was chief of staff for Lt. Gov. John D. Cherry, and also was his chief of staff when Cherry was Senate Democratic Leader. Rossi earned a bachelor's degree in international relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University. She is a board member of the Alliance for Advancing Non-Profit Health Care, Michigan's Children, Governor's Residence Foundation, Michigan Health and Safety Coalition and the Michigan Health Insurance Access Advisory Council. She also is a member of the National Coalition for Health Care.

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Douglas L. Strong, MBA

Chief Executive Officer, University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers

Douglas L. Strong

Douglas L. Strong joined the University of Michigan Health System in 1998 as Associate Vice President for Health System Finance and Strategy. In 2002 he was named Interim Chief Financial Officer, and assumed the post permanently in 2004. In October 2005 he was named Interim Chief Executive Officer of the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, and in August 2006 he assumed the post on a permanent basis.

Strong came to the University of Michigan from the University of Chicago, where he served as Chief Financial Officer and Associate Dean of the Pritzker School of Medicine and the Biological Sciences Division. Previously, he was Associate Dean for Administration and Finance at the School of Medicine of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Associate Dean of Planning and Operations at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He also held several positions at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Strong holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Health Care Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Master of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Arts and Sciences

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