Blue Cross of Idaho announces new chief medical officer - East Idaho News

Blue Cross of Idaho announces new chief medical officer

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The following is a news release from Blue Cross of Idaho:

MERIDIAN — Blue Cross of Idaho is pleased to announce that Dr. Melissa Kizilos, MD, joined the company on June 1, 2023, as its Chief Medical Officer. Kizilos was recently with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, serving as its corporate medical director, national accounts for three years. Leslie Carter joined Blue Cross of Idaho on August 21 as its new Chief Operations Officer. Carter’s most recent role was with Highmark Health, Inc, where she optimized business operations and led large-scale strategic transformation initiatives.

“Dr. Kizilos shares our vision to provide affordable, high-quality healthcare to all Idahoans,” said Paul Zurlo, President and CEO-elect for Blue Cross of Idaho. “Her diverse medical and corporate experience, such as providing clinical support for large national accounts and care coordination, will be critical to helping us find innovative ways to lower the cost of care and impact the lives of all Idahoans. Everyone at Blue Cross of Idaho is excited to watch Dr. Kizilos grow in her new role.”

Before joining Blue Cross of Idaho, Dr. Kizilos spent several years at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota as medical director, care and utilization management. She also served as a medical director at NovuHealth, in various roles at Wolters Kluwer Health, and as a staff physician at Park Nicollet Clinic – all in Minnesota.

Dr. Kizilos earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and English at Mount Holyoke College, followed by her medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. She completed her residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and holds board certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

Hailing from Houston, TX, Carter brings over 25 years of professional experience in corporate business operations to Blue Cross of Idaho. Recently, she served as vice president, Enablement and Automation Solutions, at Highmark Health, Inc. Carter also held roles at UnitedHealth Group, Magellan Health Services, Aetna and was the founder and CEO of GGN International Enterprises.

“Blue Cross of Idaho is continuing its organizational evolution, and Leslie Carter brings the dynamic leadership to guide us through these critical changes,” said Zurlo. “She has key insight into the healthcare industry and a proven track record of success and will help us navigate it as it grows rapidly. Our employees have welcomed Leslie and are eager to work with her.”

Carter earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Psychology from Farleigh Dickenson University and her MBA from the University of Massachusetts. Additionally, Carter completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She also serves on the Trustee Board of Livingston College.