CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) today announced that Stephen Ondra, M.D., a nationally recognized leader in healthcare quality and policy, will join its executive management team. Effective April 1, Dr. Ondra will serve as senior vice president and chief medical officer reporting to Patricia Hemingway Hall, president and CEO of HCSC. In his new position Dr. Ondra will replace Dr. Paul Handel who announced his retirement last year.
"At a time of transformative change in our industry, the focus needs to be on how we can better deliver access to quality, affordable care in our communities. We are certain that Dr. Ondra's wealth of medical experience in the public and private sectors will enhance our commitment to developing collaborative solutions to improving our nation's health care delivery system," said Hemingway Hall, president and CEO of HCSC.
In his new role Dr. Ondra will be a key national spokesperson for HCSC and a health policy advocate for HCSC's policyholders. He will also be the clinical executive responsible for the strategy and oversight of the company's medical policies, quality improvement, and performance measurement programs delivered by HCSC's Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
"At the end of the day, we need to offer ways to help people achieve their best possible personal health and wellness. One organization can't do that alone. It takes collaboration between private and public institutions, as well as professional and medical organizations. I look forward to contributing to the enhancement of HCSC's partnerships and programs to improve health and the delivery of healthcare," said Dr. Ondra.
Most recently, Dr. Ondra was senior vice president and chief medical officer for Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also served as interim chair for the Department of Neurological Surgery. Previously, he was appointed by President Obama as the senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and then served in the Executive Office of the President. At the White House, Dr. Ondra was co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council for health information technology in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to serving in government, Dr. Ondra had been a professor and vice chair of Neurological Surgery for Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Ondra is a recognized leader in health policy, information technology, patient safety and evidence-based medicine. His medical research led to the publication of numerous medical articles. Dr. Ondra is an Army veteran who earned a Bronze Star.
About Health Care Service Corporation
Health Care Service Corporation is the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall, with more than 13 million members in its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. A Mutual Legal Reserve Company, HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. HCSC has a rating of AA- (Very Strong) from Standard and Poor's, A1 (Good) from Moody's and A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company. For more information, please visit www.HCSC.com, visit our Facebook page or follow us at www.twitter.com/HCSC.
SOURCE Health Care Service Corporation