Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board Names Pam MacEwan Permanent CEO

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Health Benefit Exchange board voted unanimously today to permanently appoint Pam MacEwan as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. MacEwan had been serving as interim CEO since August 2015, succeeding the organization’s first CEO, Richard Onizuka.

“In working with Pam on critical issues facing the Exchange, it became apparent to board members that she was the best person to lead this organization moving forward,” said Ron Sims, board chairman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Pam has done an extraordinary job since stepping into the CEO role last year and earned the board’s confidence with her knowledge, skill and ability to run the Exchange.”

In her time as interim CEO, MacEwan has been instrumental in driving a number of major operational and organizational improvements. Among those accomplishments include:

  • Completing a successful open enrollment period that saw more people use Washington Healthplanfinder to select coverage than ever before
  • Improving the customer experience, highlighted by the removal of premium aggregation to enable consumers to pay their premiums directly to insurance carriers
  • Reducing operational costs and staffing numbers to maximize federal and state dollars
  • Fostering a culture of transparency through regular reporting to the legislature
  • Implementing the board’s strategic plan to focus on growing enrollment and sustainability

“I am grateful to have the support of both the board and the staff at the Exchange,” said MacEwan. “We turned a corner this past year and look forward to building on these recent successes by developing innovative, cost-effective ways to help Washington residents secure affordable health coverage.”

Prior to being Interim CEO, MacEwan joined the Exchange in August of 2012 to serve as the organization’s Chief of Staff. Her professional experience includes time as the Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Governance with Group Health Cooperative, where as a member of the leadership team, she directed Medicare & Medicaid program performance and strategy, government relations, public policy, communications and consumer governance. MacEwan also helped implement the Health Services Act as a Commissioner with the Washington Health Services Commissions. A brief bio is available here.