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Leadership Team

Meet the Sutter Health | Aetna Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors

Steve Wigginton

Chief Executive Officer

Steve Wigginton leads Sutter Health | Aetna, the jointly-owned health care company formed by Sutter Health and Aetna, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is responsible for building a market-leading health care business serving the Northern California market, delivering best in class clinical care, breakthrough consumer and member experiences, and expanded options that make health care easier to access and easier to understand.

Steve is a respected leader with a proven record of accomplishment in driving culture, growth and innovation in the health care industry. He has a passion for creating a better health care experience for members, patients and the providers who deliver care. Most recently, Steve served as the CEO of Valence Health. In this role, Steve doubled revenues, scaled operations internationally and led the cultural and operational integration of the business following the acquisition of Valence by Evolent Health in mid-2016.

Prior to the Valence acquisition, Steve served as Evolent’s Chief Development Officer responsible for driving growth, brand and health system partnerships.

In previous roles, Steve served as the founding CEO of Medley Health, as president of Health Integrated and as Executive Vice President of Neoforma.

Steve has a bachelor’s and master’s degree of business administration from Indiana University.

Sam Asgarian, M.D.

Board Member

Sam Asgarian, M.D., is chief medical officer for the Product and Services division of CVS Health’s Transformation organization, and is vice president of Clinical Practice and Product Management. He is responsible for clinical policy operations, medical management and the Product and Program Development Office, which drives operations and enterprise-wide portfolio coordination to improve consumer convenience and personalized holistic wellness.

Before rejoining Aetna in 2018, Sam was the chief development and strategy officer for axialHealthcare, a startup company focused on mitigating adverse pain management, leading to better health care quality for patients across different segments and geographies.

Prior to that, Sam was vice president of Strategy and Operations for Aetna Consumer Health and Services, where he was responsible for driving the enterprise strategy to transition the organization from a business-to-business health plan to a business-to-consumer health and wellness company. As part of these efforts, Sam successfully led the first-of-its-kind collaboration between Aetna and a best-in-class consumer technology company, resulting in new wellness support for members.

He first joined Aetna in 2015 as deputy chief of staff to the Aetna Chairman and CEO. In that position, Sam helped evolve and execute Aetna’s enterprise strategic roadmap, including acquisitions and new business organization development.

Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s degree in medical sciences from Loyola University Chicago, a medical degree from Tulane University, and a master of business administration from Cornell University. He enjoys traveling both domestically and internationally and combines his love of travel and automobiles by going on extended road trips throughout the United States.

Jeff Gerard

Board Member

Jeff Gerard has been with Sutter Health since 1999. He joined the system as the chief financial officer for the Peninsula Coastal service area, working with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Santa Cruz Medical Clinic and Mills-Peninsula Health Services. Jeff held the position of chief operating officer of Mills-Peninsula Health Services from 2003 until May 2008. He was president of Sutter Health Peninsula Coastal Region from May 2008 until April 2015, when he assumed the position of president of Sutter Health Bay Area. Jeff was appointed senior vice president for strategic services June 1, 2018. The services under his leadership encompass strategy and business intelligence, business development, innovation, marketing, digital strategy, information services, enterprise data management, health plan products and network contracting.

Prior to joining Sutter Health, Jeff was a health care consultant with Deloitte Consulting with a focus on hospital merger integration. Prior to that, he served as the director of business development for Alta Bates Medical Center, as the vice president of corporate affairs for Davies Medical Center and in a variety of roles with outpatient physician practices. (Both Alta Bates and Davies are now Sutter Health affiliates.)

Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University, and his master’s degree in management from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

Phil Jackson

Board Member

Phil’s career has focused on health care transformation through integrated care delivery and financing. He’s held leadership roles in health plans, physician groups, clinical service lines, and strategy. As CEO of Health Plan Products, he oversees Sutter Health Plus, a commercial HMO; SutterSelect, Sutter Health’s self-insured plan for employees; and the Sutter Health | Aetna joint venture.

Phil spent nearly 30 years with Washington-based Providence St. Joseph Health, the nation’s third largest not-for-profit health system that includes a successful health plan covering more than a half-million members. After leadership roles in Providence Health Plan, Phil moved into medical group management. He served as Chief Operating Officer of Providence Medical Group and was promoted to Vice President of Physician Services at the system’s corporate office. Phil concluded his tenure at Providence as the Chief Integration and Transformation Officer for Providence’s California region. Phil served as President and CEO of Oregon’s Health CO-OP, a nonprofit, consumer-oriented and operated health plan, before joining the Sutter team. Phil earned a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Kristen Miranda

Board Member

Kristen currently serves as Aetna’s California Market President and West Region Head, leading a Sales and Network organization that spans eleven states and a P&L in excess of $5 billion. Immediately prior to joining Aetna, Kristen served as Chief Integration Officer for agilon health, an organization founded to drive clinical transformation in provider organizations, a role that leveraged Kristen’s work in health care innovation.

Kristen also served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation for Blue Shield of California, where she helped design and lead its statewide Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program. First implemented in 2010, this ground-breaking program has been described by Health Affairs as “one of the oldest and most successful ACOs in the country." Under Kristen’s leadership, Blue Shield’s ACO program showed consistently impressive results, positioned Blue Shield as a national leader in innovative health plan/provider collaborations, and attracted attention and coverage from a wide range of leading health care organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, Brookings Institution, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the National Health Service in the UK.

Prior to joining Blue Shield, Kristen held leadership positions with Health Net and CIGNA in Provider Contracting and Provider Services. Her experience on the provider side includes the position of Executive Director for a large integrated physician/hospital organization in Northern California. As a consultant, Kristen has worked with a number of healthcare foundations and physician organizations on issues of access.

Kristen holds a degree in anthropology from the University of California, Davis, was an Honors Collegium scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles and studied global negotiation at Harvard Business School. She has been a frequent guest lecturer at University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and other leading institutions, and is a member of the Health System Transformation Task Force. Kristen sits on the board of directors for both Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) and Operation Access.

Brigitte Nettesheim

Board Member

As president, Joint Venture Market Operations, Brigitte drives the execution of the business plans for Aetna’s Joint Venture markets with a focus on achieving goals through growth, advancing Aetna’s relationship with the provider and transforming the way care is delivered locally.

Most recently, Brigitte was CEO of Aetna’s Accountable Care Solutions organization. She was responsible for the development, growth and performance of Aetna’s value-based care and contracting models including Aetna’s Whole Health (ACO) product portfolio in support of enhancing local population health models. Inherent in these models is the underpinning transformative clinical and care delivery models.

Prior to re-joining Aetna, Brigitte was a Principal at The Chartis Group, a provider strategy consulting firm, and the leader of their payor segment where she advised clients on strategies and tactics to succeed in the transition to value-based care reimbursement models; conducted in-depth analysis on potential payor-provider business models; and developed product portfolio strategies for provider-owned health plans. In this role, she also served as a health insurance industry expert for multiple media and industry organizations.

Brigitte has years of experience at Aetna in various leadership roles, including Regional Head of Strategy and Operations for Aetna's Accountable Care Solutions (ACS) division. In this role, Brigitte helped build Aetna's ACS division, including negotiating and leading the development of multiple successful provider partnerships. She has also served as the Director of Sales and Service in National Accounts, led national Provider Performance, and Region Head of Medical Economics.

Brigitte earned a master's degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where she concentrated her studies in health industry management. She received her Bachelor of Science in economics with a minor in systems engineering from the United States Military Academy and served in the United States Army, departing with the rank of Captain.

Rishi Sikka, M.D.

Board Member

Rishi Sikka, M.D., is president of system enterprises for Sutter Health. In this role, he has executive oversight of Sutter Shared Services, Sutter Care at Home, Sutter Surgery Center Division, Sutter Walk-in-Clinics, Mental Health Services, Sutter Population Health Services, Laboratory Services, Pharmacy, Facilities and Property Services and Supply Chain.

Dr. Sikka joined Sutter Health in 2017 from Chicago-based, not-for-profit Advocate Health Care, where he served as senior vice president of clinical operations. He also served as president of the Advocate Insurance Segregated Portfolio Company. From 2011 to 2013 he was Advocate’s vice president of clinical transformation.

Dr. Sikka is a board-certified emergency medicine physician. He has held clinical and management positions in emergency medicine at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL and Boston University Medical Center, as well as faculty positions at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Sikka co-founded Cambridge, MA-based Praxeon, Inc., which develops healthcare and life science semantic search platforms and offers health information to patients, clinical practitioners and medical researchers. He also served as a medical correspondent for KTTC, an NBC-affiliated television station in Minnesota.

Dr. Sikka serves on the board of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, a not-for-profit healthcare system comprised of eight hospitals, a medical group and healthplan that was founded in New Mexico. He is co-author of the book, "Leading Healthcare Transformation: A Primer for Clinical Leaders", and has written for the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review.

Dr. Sikka earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his medical degree from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Todd Smith

Board Member

Todd Smith is Vice President of Product Development and Management for Sutter Health. He serves as Sutter Health’s primary health plan market strategist and portfolio manager, ensuring that Sutter maintains an innovative, financially sustainable portfolio of health plan products and relationships to serve all segments.

Since joining Sutter in 1995, Todd has held various executive positions throughout the organization. As vice president of Strategy and Business Development he led strategic planning, business development, employer, broker and physician sales and relationship management teams. At the Sutter Health East Bay Region, he oversaw strategic planning, marketing and communications teams. He also served as Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation’s interim chief operating officer. As vice president of Managed Care, Todd led system-wide payer negotiations and managed Sutter Health’s payer relationships.

He has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of California, Davis, and a Master of Health Administration from the University of Southern California.

Erich T. Twachtman, MBA

Board Member

As Senior Vice President of Business Development, Erich is responsible nationally for driving new sales, client growth and retention, sales performance setting and monitoring, driving and sharing best practices, executing on distribution strategies and managing consultant relations for National Accounts.

From January 2013 through 2015, Erich served as Regional Head of Sales. As such, Erich led a team of Business Development Vice Presidents throughout the Eastern US. He was responsible for leading business development and growth efforts for Aetna’s largest and most strategic accounts, determining innovative sales strategy and the overall performance of all National Accounts new business sales functions throughout his territory for all Aetna products.

Prior to this, Erich was a Vice President of Client Management since July 2006. In that role, Erich was responsible for senior strategic planning and relationship management for a group of existing National Account clients.

Erich joined Aetna in 1993. After four years working on various plan sponsor administration teams, Erich transferred to National Accounts Sales and Marketing in 1997. He has held various positions within Sales and Marketing including Sales Director. As a Sales Director, Erich was responsible for supporting our National Accounts field sales force by leading a team of Sales Consultants responsible for creating strategically oriented and client focused proposals.

Erich is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Lally School of Management with a Masters of Business Administration in finance and marketing.

Health benefit plans are administered by Sutter Health and Aetna Administrative Services LLC. Sutter Health | Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by Sutter Health and Aetna Administrative Services LLC. Sutter Health | Aetna is an affiliate of Sutter Health and of Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna). Aetna provides certain management services to Sutter Health | Aetna. Aetna and MinuteClinic, LLC (which either operates or provides certain management support services to MinuteClinic-branded walk-in clinics) are both within the CVS Health family.

This material is for information only and is not an offer or invitation to contract.  Health benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. Providers are independent contractors and not our agents. Provider participation may change without notice. We do not provide care or guarantee access to health services. Not all health services are covered. See plan documents for a complete description of benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability are subject to change and may vary by location. Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however, it is subject to change.

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