* Rhonda Medows, head of Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration, which licenses and regulates the state's healthcare facilities and HMOs, is stepping down to spend more time with her family and return to private medical practice.
Medows, 42, announced that she is resigning from the agency effective Feb. 10. She says her position was "one of the most challenging and rewarding opportunities of my life. Serving Florida's citizens as secretary of the agency allowed me to give back to the Medicaid program which provided assistance to me as a child."
Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Medows secretary in August 2001. Before her term as secretary, Medows practiced family medicine at the Mayo Clinic and served as a medical director at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, both in Jacksonville, Fla.
Bush says he is "saddened" to see Medows' departure. She is the first physician to hold the title and brought "a level of expertise and sensitivity for Florida's most vulnerable citizens," he says. "In the spirit of public service, she sacrificed a lot in order to serve."
Bush has not made a decision on Medows' successor, a spokeswoman said. The nomination requires state Senate confirmation.
* Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts named Cleve Killingsworth Jr., the former president and CEO of Detroit's 540,000-member Health Alliance Plan, as president and COO, effective Feb. 1.
Killingsworth, 51, was once considered a front-runner to succeed former American Hospital Association Chairman Gail Warden as president and CEO of the four-hospital Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, which co-founded the Health Alliance Plan with the Big Three automakers. But Nancy Schlichting, who served as Henry Ford?s executive vice president and COO, was named to the top post instead.
Killingsworth also served as senior vice president of insurance and managed care for Henry Ford while at HAP. He joined HAP as president and CEO in 1998. Killingsworth previously served in executive roles with other HMOs. He is also an author and leader in the diversity in healthcare leadership movement as a co-founder of the Executive Leadership Council. Killingsworth succeeds Arthur Banks, who retired after 12 years.
William Van Faasen, chairman and CEO of the Massachusetts Blues, says he?s excited to add Killingsworth to his executive team. "Our challenges are different going forward and adding Cleve to our team gives us additional strength."