HCA announces new chief medical officer

Health Care Authority (HCA) Director Sue Birch today announced the appointment of Dr. Judy Zerzan as chief medical officer.  The chief medical officer leads HCA’s clinical policy decision-making, and helps ensure HCA’s decisions lead to high-quality care for the more than 2 million Washington residents for whom the agency purchases health care.

Dr. Zerzan currently serves as the chief medical officer and client and clinical care office director for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. She has extensive experience in designing and implementing benefits, specifically in Medicaid programs, and was instrumental in implementing the Affordable Care Act in Colorado.

Dr. Zerzan replaces Dr. Dan Lessler, who is leaving HCA after serving as chief medical officer for five years.

Dr. Zerzan earned her MD from Oregon Health and Science University, and her masters in public health in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina in 1999. She completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Washington in 2007. Dr. Zerzan served in a nonresidential health and aging policy fellow in the office of Sen. John D. Rockefeller of West Virginia, working on policies relating to Medicaid, individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and prescription drug policies.

In addition, Dr. Charissa Fotinos—who has served as HCA’s deputy chief medical officer for nearly five years—will step into an expanded role as director of behavioral health integration and evidence-based policy. Dr. Fotinos has led our state’s nationally recognized response to the opioid public health crisis and is key to the state’s efforts to integrate physical and behavioral health. She recently won the 2018 Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management for her tireless work on behalf of Washington residents.

“Judy’s experience and passion for evidence-based, whole-person care make her the right fit for this essential position,” Birch said. “She and Charissa will be an excellent team in leading our agency’s clinical work.”