Accolade Expands Physician-Executive Leadership to Enhance Care Delivery and Improve the Healthcare Experience

September 18, 2023

Welcomes Dr. Connie Hwang as chief medical officer, creates roles of chief health officer and chief nursing officer

SEATTLE, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Accolade (Nasdaq: ACCD) announced the expansion of its care delivery team, strengthening the company's ability to streamline healthcare experiences through physician-led advocacy. Connie Hwang, MD, MPH, joins Accolade to lead population health strategies for employers and health plans. Led by Shantanu Nundy, MD, executive vice president, chief health officer, the care delivery leadership team includes Dr. Hwang, senior vice president, chief medical officer; James Wantuck, MD, senior vice president, associate chief medical officer and co-founder of PlushCare; Kate Rollins, MSN, RN, senior vice president assuming the newly created role of chief nursing officer.

"We fundamentally believe that easy access to care and a long-term relationship with a primary care doctor are the cornerstones of exceptional healthcare – whether that relationship is virtual or in-person. Through our investments in care delivery and physician executive leaders, Accolade is making access to high-quality care a reality for employers, who provide over half of Americans with healthcare insurance," said Rajeev Singh, Accolade CEO. "We welcome Dr. Hwang, who brings substantial experience in population health and integrated care to our accomplished team of physician leaders."

Growth of the physician-led organization represents Accolade's continuing investment in continuity of care across a fragmented healthcare system. Accolade connects physicians longitudinally with members through its advocacy and healthcare services. Accolade treating physicians are uniquely positioned to connect brick-and-mortar physicians with members' benefits and pharmacy coverage through claims and benefits specialists. They can refer to and provide care collaboratively with specialists, therapists, and digital health solutions for specific medical conditions that are covered under the member's employer health plan. The care delivery team further integrates Accolade's distinctive blend of care, member advocacy, and accessible health and benefits data into an extensible service that closes gaps and decreases confusion across a growing number of points in the healthcare experience for members.

"Accolade serves a unique role with our customers, providing the benefits advocacy and navigation services their members need to fully leverage their healthcare options, as well as operating a large and growing national care delivery organization. We close the critical gaps in the care experience that impact members' health outcomes, costs of care, and overall healthcare experience. Connie's experience with population health strategies, Kate's experience as a long-time nursing executive, and James' extensive clinical background, give us a powerhouse leadership team to help Accolade lead the next wave of healthcare innovation," said Dr. Shantanu Nundy, chief health officer.

"I'm thrilled to join Accolade in helping millions of families access the care they need to live their healthiest lives. Accolade's industry-leading benefits navigation, patient advocacy and care delivery services have much to offer in equitably improving outcomes, experience and costs of care," said Dr. Hwang, chief medical officer.

Shantanu Nundy, MD, chief health officer

As chief health officer, Dr. Nundy leads care delivery with a charter to develop strategies that restore and improve the trusted connection between members and physicians, expand Accolade's coordination with brick-and-mortar healthcare providers, and improve health equity and outcomes. A respected author and thought leader, Nundy's second book, Care After COVID: What the Pandemic Revealed is Broken in Healthcare and How to Reinvent It, will be available on audiobook platforms this fall.

Connie Hwang, MD, chief medical officer

Dr. Hwang joins Accolade as chief medical officer responsible for executing clinical and population health strategies for customers.  She brings extensive experience in working with employer and health plan executives to accelerate clinical innovation, value-based care and care delivery transformation. Hwang will lead a team of medical directors and clinical analysts, driving clinical outcomes for members and their employers. She will shape the clinical direction of Accolade's products and services, innovating and reimagining existing and future solutions and serve as the primary clinical representative of the company to enterprise customers and health plan partners.

James Wantuck, MD, associate chief medical officer

As associate chief medical officer, James Wantuck leads the clinical team that supports the Accolade Care solution and contributes to significant strategic initiatives company wide. He is focused on managing a large and growing group of physicians, therapists, and clinical operations staff with a goal of creating a high performing clinical organization that is viewed as the premier place to work. Dr. Wantuck is a board-certified internal medicine physician, having trained at Stanford University Medical Center and completed his Medical Doctorate (MD) at Vanderbilt University Medical School. He co-founded PlushCare in 2015, building the company from the ground up to include over two hundred physicians that continue to provide high-quality and accessible direct-to-consumer virtual care for hundreds of thousands of patients.

Kate Rollins, RN, chief nursing officer

As chief nursing officer, Kate Rollins oversees Accolade's nurses and other clinicians that serve members with empathy and trusted guidance. Rollins' operational team of nurses, pharmacists, social workers and dieticians provide 24/7 nurse triage, case management, expert medical opinion and virtual practice operations. Her team partners closely with customers to implement clinical population health goals, maximize referrals to their digital health solutions if part of Accolade's Trusted Partner Ecosystem, and coordinate member care with brick-and-mortar providers.

Rollins led Accolade's successful application for a three-year accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for case management.

About Accolade

Accolade (Nasdaq: ACCD) is a Personalized Healthcare company that provides millions of people and their families with exceptional healthcare experiences so they can live their healthiest lives. Accolade's employer, health plan and consumer solutions combine virtual primary care and mental health, expert medical opinion and best-in-class care navigation. These offerings are built on a platform that is engineered to care through predictive engagement of population health needs, proactive care that improves outcomes and cost savings, and by addressing barriers to access and continuity of care. Accolade consistently receives consumer satisfaction ratings of over 90%. For more information, visit Follow us on LinkedInTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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