FirstCare Health Plans Names Two New Key Executives

Gerald Shields Named Chief Information Officer and Sonya Henderson Promoted to SVP of Corporate Compliance and Government Programs

Jul 24, 2015, 11:28 ET from FirstCare Health Plans

AUSTIN, Texas, July 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstCare Health Plans announced the appointment of two key executives to maximize efficiency and growth opportunities for the health plan: Gerald Shields, chief information officer (CIO), and Sonya Henderson, senior vice president of corporate compliance and government programs.

Shields has more than 30 years' experience in health care management. Since he began serving as FirstCare's interim CIO In September 2014, Gerald has led numerous technology initiatives for the organization, including ICD-10 compliance and product line migration to our new claims adjudication platform. Prior to joining FirstCare, Shields had been with Nolan Consulting Company since 2011. There he successfully completed engagements with Humana, United Healthcare, and other managed care companies.

Shields holds bachelor's degrees in computer science and accounting from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, as well as professional certifications from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, MIT's Chief Network Officers Program, and Aubrey Daniels International. He has been named twice in CIO Magazine's Top 100 CIOs of the Year, and has also been the recipient of ComputerWorld's Top 100 CIO Award.

With more than 26 years in health care, Henderson, a certified health care compliance professional, has been FirstCare's vice president of compliance and government programs since December 2014. Her past experience includes serving as vice president of compliance and audit for HealthFirst in New York, 19 years at Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield—in a variety of operational and compliance roles, including director of regulatory affairs and compliance, and then vice president of regulatory affairs and compliance until 2007, when she went on to become the corporate compliance officer for AmeriChoice by United Healthcare in Newark, New Jersey. Her promotion includes serving as corporate secretary to FirstCare's Board of Directors while continuing her responsibilities over FirstCare's government programs and compliance functions.

Henderson graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her bachelor's degree in communications.

"We took great care selecting these individuals for these roles," said FirstCare President and CEO Darnell Dent. "With their proven track records of successful, quality leadership, both Gerald and Sonya have been tremendous additions to the FirstCare team," said Dent. "They share our core belief that Texans and our communities should be healthy, and their expertise will continue to improve the effectiveness of our organization so that we may continue delivering first-rate health care coverage and services to our members."

Shields and Henderson are based out of FirstCare's headquarters in Austin.

About FirstCare Health Plans
Our mission is to provide access to high quality, affordable health care through strong partnerships in the communities we serve.

Since 1985, we've been serving the health care needs of members across North, West, and Central Texas. Today, our service area includes 108 counties, with local offices in Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, and corporate offices in Austin, Texas. We offer a wide range of HMO, PPO, HSA, and ASO products through a variety of programs, including small and large employer plans; state, federal and teacher plans; government programs; and the Health Insurance Marketplace. With the support of our owners, Covenant Health in Lubbock and Hendrick Health System in Abilene, we serve over 175,000 members. For more information, please visit


SOURCE FirstCare Health Plans