Prior to joining Healthfirst in 2008 as President and CEO, Ms. Wang clerked for the Honorable Whitman Knapp in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and practiced health law at Kalkines, Arky, Zall and Bernstein. She worked at the Greater New York Hospital Association for 17 years where she served as Senior Vice President, Finance and Managed Care and where her first major project was to create Healthfirst with a consortium of area hospitals. Healthfirst was spun off as a separate corporation in 1993. As the child of immigrants, Pat feels a strong kinship with the company’s mission to ensure that diverse populations have access to excellent, affordable and understandable healthcare.
Since she joined Healthfirst, the company’s revenues have grown fourfold, to $7 billion, its enrollment has surpassed the one million member mark, and it has achieved top rankings for quality, making it one of the most highly ranked plans in the State. She is a graduate of Princeton University and New York University School of Law, where she received her J.D. degree, cum laude.
Mr. McCarthy joined Healthfirst in April 2008, bringing almost 20 years of experience in healthcare, with expertise in product development, operations, and business strategy. Mr. McCarthy previously served as president of Metcare Health Plans, Inc., a Medicare Advantage plan in Florida. For the 13 years prior to joining Metcare, Mr. McCarthy was an executive with Empire BlueCross BlueShield of New York, where, during his tenure, he was responsible for Network Contracting and Management, Senior Market Products, Individual Products, the New Jersey market, Medical Economics, and Group Underwriting, as well as for other areas.
Mr. McCarthy holds B.A.’s in both History and Political Science from Fordham University, and M.B.A.’s in both Finance and Management from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Linda Tiano joined Healthfirst in 2016 as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel.
Ms. Tiano has more than 30 years of relevant experience, most recently as a partner at Manatt Phelps & Phillips specializing in the representation of health insurers and providers and, prior to that, in General Counsel roles at Health Net, a multi-state commercial and government programs insurer headquartered in Southern California, and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellChoice, Inc. in New York.
Linda is a cum laude graduate of Boston University's School of Law and a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she received a B.A. in Psychology.
Dr. Schechtman has been Chief Medical Officer of Healthfirst since 1999. Dr. Schechtman is responsible for all aspects of members care and quality encompassing medical and care management, clinical performance outcomes, and pharmacy.
Dr. Schechtman is an industry expert in population health, accountable care, high risk population and integrated products. Dr. Schechtman also serves as the Assistant Clinical Professor in Community and Preventive Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Prior to working at Healthfirst, Dr. Schechtman was a National Medical Director for Magellan Specialty Health and a full-time academic physician at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. He obtained a medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from the combined healthcare management program of Mount Sinai and Baruch College. Dr. Schechtman is board certified in rehabilitation medicine and was chief resident at Mount Sinai.
Sean Kane joined Healthfirst in 2013 as our Chief Human Resources Officer, bringing to the organization more than 20 years of change leadership and culture transformation experience at several domestic and multi-national corporations.
Throughout his career, Sean has proven to be a business leader that marshals human capital in the shaping, defining, and pursuit of an organization’s strategic agenda. Prior to joining Healthfirst, Sean spent seven years as Senior Vice President, Human Resources for Heineken Americas. In this capacity, he oversaw a human resources function responsible for several large-scale acquisitions and integrations, as well as 23,500 employees across nine operating companies, 22 breweries, two packaging plants, and more than 45 import markets.
Sean has a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton.
Rebecca Schwietz joined Healthfirst in 2004 as Chief of Staff to the CEO. During her tenure at Healthfirst, she has also held the positions leading the Performance Improvement, Financial Analysis, and Clinical Performance Management departments.
Rebecca Schwietz leads a team that oversees care management, utilization management, quality, appeals and grievances, and clinical performance across Healthfirst’s lines of business. These teams ensure that Healthfirst members get the right care, at the right time and place.
Prior to joining Healthfirst, Ms. Schwietz worked for APM Consulting, which focused on strategy and operations projects for healthcare providers, especially academic medical centers and faculty practice plans.
Ms. Schwietz received her B.A. in Economics from Harvard and M.B.A. in Healthcare Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Melinda Thiel joined Healthfirst in 2012 as the VP of Pharmacy, but rose to the newly created role of SVP, Strategy Integration in 2014. In this role she is responsible for the successful development and execution of a set of critical initiatives designed to ensure Healthfirst will continue to grow and thrive in the New York market. This includes large, cross-functional people, process, and technology initiatives.
Before joining Healthfirst, Melinda was the VP of Sales and Business Delivery for Personalized Medicine at Express Scripts (ESI). She joined Express Scripts in 1998 and started working with the Personalized Medicine and Molecular Diagnostic programs in 2009, ultimately taking over responsibility for the operations, sales and product management for the Medco Personalized Medicine product portfolio, including the DNA Direct by Medco products and services.
Prior to joining ESI, Melinda worked with various non-profit organizations to design, develop and implement Community Health Education programs. She worked at the American Lung Association and the New Jersey Thoracic Society as well as Hackensack University Medical Center. Melinda has a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health Education and a Masters in Health Care Management.
G.T. Sweeney has been Healthfirst’s Chief Information Officer since 2014, and is leading the Information Services department to help transform our business and tightly integrate our information systems to further our strategic goals.
G.T. comes to Healthfirst with 20 years of experience in the information technology field, with a continuous focus on ensuring the IT strategy aligns with company goals and strategy. G.T. spent six years as the VP of Information Technology at Cigna, where he was responsible for managing core operations of all medical insurance platforms, as well as establishing a three-year strategy to overhaul all clinical systems. Prior to that, G.T. worked for Credit Suisse in a variety of IT roles including Chief Operating Officer of Technology Infrastructure Services and Head of Data Center Operations, where he played a critical role in centralizing IT across all Credit Suisse into a single 10,000+ person, $3 billion organization.
In 2011, G.T. was honored with the Cigna Global Volunteer of the Year Award for his decade-long efforts to improve the health and well-being of older adults in New York. He is a graduate of State University of New York at Albany where he majored in mathematics and computer science.
Frances Rao joined Healthfirst in 2015 as the company’s Chief Compliance Officer. For the past 15 years, Frances has managed compliance and privacy programs for large healthcare corporations, including McKesson Connected Care & Analytics and Express Scripts. She has expertise in creating and operating high quality, practical compliance solutions that support business strategies and operations. Prior to her focus in Compliance, Frances had a career in Information Technology, developing data warehousing solutions for various companies in the banking, telecommunications and healthcare industries.
She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from City University of New York—Queens College and a Master’s Degree from Iona College. Frances also holds certifications in privacy and compliance from the International Association of Privacy Professionals and Villanova University.
Mr. Bermel joined Healthfirst in February 2016 as Chief Financial Officer, bringing more than 20 years of health care industry experience to his role.
Through several broad roles, John has demonstrated success in financial management, turnaround and change management and as a trusted advisor to executive management.
John spent 17 years at Aetna where he began as Controller of the Health Business and then was the CFO for Business Operations, serving as the company’s Senior Business Unit Finance Officer for the large part of his tenure. Prior to joining Aetna, John served as Controller of Insurance Operations at United Healthcare and as Controller of MetraHealth, which United Healthcare purchased. He also spent over 11 years in public accounting serving insurance clients.
John holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from The Wharton School.