SEATTLE, Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) (NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC) today announced that Karen Ignagni has been appointed a Director of CTI, effective immediately. Ms. Ignagni currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which is the trade association representing U.S. health plans, serving members that provide healthcare, long-term care, dental and disability benefits to more than 200 million Americans.
"We are delighted to welcome Karen Ignagni to the Board of CTI," said James A. Bianco, M.D., President and CEO of CTI. "Karen's leadership, deep insight and extensive health policy experience will be invaluable to CTI as we continue to evolve as a development and commercial biopharmaceutical company."
Since joining the organization in 1993, Ms. Ignagni has won many accolades for her leadership. AHIP was formed in late 2003 as a result of a merger of the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP) and Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA). Previously, she directed the AFL-CIO's Department of Employee Benefits. In the 1980's, she was a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, preceded by work at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Ignagni has authored more than 90 articles on a wide range of health care policy issues, and appears regularly before congressional committees and on national newscasts. She has served on numerous boards and advisory groups, including presently the Board of the National Quality Forum, the National Advisory Committee for Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending and the Healthcare Financial Management Association's Leadership Council.
"I am pleased to join CTI's board of directors at this important point when the company has exciting late-stage clinical development programs underway and a clear vision to improve the effectiveness and lessen the burden of patients' cancer treatment," said Ms. Ignagni. "I look forward to working with management and the board and contributing to the future direction of the company."