Ward concluded, “I’d like to thank John Cannon for his extraordinary contributions to WellPoint throughout his tenure as interim CEO. John took important steps over the past five and a half months to improve WellPoint’s execution, increase shareholder value, refine the company’s strategy and reorganize our core operations to better support our strategic growth opportunities. This has created a strong, positive momentum in our operations that Joe will build on in the months and years to come.”
“I am honored to be chosen to lead WellPoint,” said Swedish. “Having spent my entire career in health care, I have a strong sense of the market in which the company operates and I am energized by the dynamic changes currently taking place in the industry. I’m committed to ensuring that WellPoint remains a market leader, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to profitably grow and enhance this organization in a changing market environment.”
Swedish has 40 years’ experience in health care, holding senior executive positions at multi-institutional health care systems, university- and community-based academic medical centers, integrated delivery systems and regional rural referral hospitals. He most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Trinity Health Corporation, a multi-state integrated health care delivery system which operates 47 hospitals in 10 states, since December 2004.
While at Trinity, he accelerated financial and operational performance, growing revenue from less than $6 billion in 2005 to approximately $9 billion in 2012 and doubling operating margins. He vastly streamlined Trinity’s health care delivery by improving clinical and business processes and integrating IT platforms hard wired in evidence-based best practices. He also spearheaded the “Lead the Way and Find a Way” health care reform campaign that advocated for systematic health care delivery changes based on principles of advancing health care reform. In this role, he has worked closely with multiple bipartisan congressional delegations to actively influence health reform discussions. In 2011, he engineered a successful acquisition of Loyola University Health System – Chicago, and recently signed the definitive agreement for a merger with Catholic Health East, which will make the new organization the fifth-largest U.S.-based health system, serving 21 states with $13 billion in revenues.