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Thursday, Jan 26, 2023

LA500 2020: Health Care

Anzalone, Christopher — Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc.

THE LATEST: Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. is coming off a remarkable year: the Pasadena biopharma company’s stock price surged a whopping 411%, making it the biggest gainer among L.A. public companies and a player of growing influence on the area’s bioscience scene. Investors gushed over the company’s revamped RNA “gene silencing” platform for drug development to treat diseases such as cystic fibrosis as well as a pair of licensing deals with pharma giants Novartis and Amgen Inc. that gave the company ample cash infusions. Arrowhead has a pipeline of eight drugs that in the past year have achieved several clinical and pre-clinical milestones.

BACKGROUND: Anzalone, a veteran bioscience industry executive, was named president and chief executive of Arrowhead in 2007. Prior to joining Arrowhead, Anzalone held key posts at two private equity firms, focusing on growing biotechnology companies. Before that, he was a National Institutes of Health-supported post-doctoral fellow in Reproductive Endocrinology at the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation and Research Center.


Auerbach, Alan — Puma Biotechnology Inc.

THE LATEST: Over the past year, Puma received FDA approval to use Nerlynx to treat rare cancers and also to expand the drug’s use beyond its original target. In February the agency cleared the way to apply the drug as part of a treatment regimen for patients with an advanced type of breast cancer. The company also added global partnerships to expand access to the drug. Even so, Puma’s stock languished as sales of Nerlynx fell due to medical complications that caused many patients to stop taking it. The company has since changed labeling and recommended graduated dosing to reduce risk.

BACKGROUND: Auerbach founded Puma Biotechnology in 2011 with a focus on developing cancer treatment pharmaceuticals for commercial use. He previously founded Cougar Biotechnology Inc., which he sold in 2009 to Johnson & Johnson for about $1 billion. Under J&J, he helped develop Cougar’s prostate cancer drug abiraterone acetate, which received FDA approval in 2011. Prior to founding Cougar, Auerbach was vice president and senior research analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, where he oversaw research of small-cap biotech companies, mostly in the oncology field.


Batchlor, Elaine — Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital

THE LATEST: The California Endowment earlier this year awarded $1 million to Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital for its medical group, which is working to close the physician gap in historically underserved South Los Angeles. In October, Batchlor was elected by a peer group of doctors to the National Academy of Medicine, an independent advisory scientific body on matters of human health and one of the highest honors in health and medicine. In June, the Partners in Care Foundation awarded Batchlor its annual Vision & Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Award.

BACKGROUND: Batchlor was instrumental in opening Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in 2015. The nonprofit facility serves 1.3 million residents in South Los Angeles. She completed her residency and fellowship training in internal medicine and rheumatology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She previously served as chief medical officer of L.A. Care Health Plan, a public health plan that covers underserved Los Angeles County residents. She also has served as a vice president at the California HealthCare Foundation, medical director for the Los Angeles County Office of Managed Care, chief medical officer for Prudential Health Care and clinical instructor at the UCLA School of Medicine.


Belldegrun, Arie — Allogene Therapeutics Inc.

THE LATEST: Pharma entrepreneur and cell therapy pioneer Belldegrun made headlines in March when he was diagnosed with Covid-19 and went into self-quarantine at his home, showing only mild symptoms. In January Allogene Therapeutics, the gene therapy cancer treatment company Belldegrun launched in 2017, entered into a collaboration with SpringWorks Therapeutics of Stamford, Conn., to evaluate SpringWorks’ drug to treat a rare form of multiple myeloma cancer.

BACKGROUND: Belldegrun, a physician who still teaches urology at UCLA, previously founded cancer biopharmaceutical company Kite Pharma, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences Inc. in 2017 for about $12 billion. He has founded or helped build a number of biopharma companies, including Cougar Biotechnology Inc. and Agensys Inc. He also is chairman of Two River Group Holdings, UroGen Pharma Ltd. and Kronos Bio Inc. and serves as a senior managing director of Vida Ventures, a life-sciences investment firm he co-founded. 


Bradway, Robert — Amgen Inc.

THE LATEST: In January, Amgen strengthened its presence in China — the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market — by establishing a strategic partnership with Beijing-based biotechnology company BeiGene, focused on development of cancer therapies. Bradway has said he expects 25% of the company’s growth to come from Asian markets during the next decade. In October, Bradway told securities analysts Amgen will focus on developing drugs to treat cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory disease. The company plans to phase out development of drugs to treat neurological diseases and conditions.

BACKGROUND: Bradway joined Amgen in 2006, becoming chief executive in 2012 and board chairman a year later. Prior to Amgen, he worked as managing director at Morgan Stanley in London. He is a member of USC’s board of trustees and the advisory board of the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC. He’s on the board at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a nonprofit devoted to cancer treatment and prevention.


Caswell, William — Kaiser Permanente Southern California

THE LATEST: Kaiser has been opening clinics in Target stores throughout Southern California, with plans for clinics in 35 branches by year’s end. In August, several of the Kaiser hospitals Caswell oversees were ranked as “high performing” in various specialties and procedures by U.S. News & World Report, with Kaiser’s regional flagship center in East Hollywood ranking No. 28 in overall quality in California.

BACKGROUND: Caswell has overseen operations since 2006 for eight of Kaiser’s 15 medical centers in Southern California, including six in Los Angeles County. He is also a senior executive for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, the insurance arm of the Kaiser health system. He previously held executive positions with Southern California Healthcare Systems, Huntington Memorial Hospital, NYL Care Health Plan, Maxicare Health Plans and UniHealth America. Caswell is board chair of the Integrated Healthcare Association and a board member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Special Olympics of Southern California.


Curry, Rob — Emanate Health

THE LATEST: Emanate Health won approval in September from the West Covina Planning Commission for a 580,000-square-foot expansion of its Queen of the Valley Hospital, including a 60-bed emergency department and a 24-bed intensive-care unit. The project, which is being funded through a $100 million capital campaign, is part of a plan to have the hospital provide the full continuum of care.

BACKGROUND: Curry joined the Emanate health system (previously known as Citrus Valley Medical Center) as chief executive in 2008 after serving as chief executive and president of O’Connor Hospital in San Jose. Since he took the helm, the health system’s bond rating has climbed from “D-” to “A-.” Previously, he held executive positions with hospital systems in Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Curry is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has been involved with several philanthropic organizations including the American Heart Association, United Way and the YMCA.


Enany, Ahmed — Southern California Biomedical Council

THE LATEST: Enany’s biotech trade organization in December hosted a conference spotlighting growing digital health/artificial intelligence companies in Southern California. The council has long advocated for a bioscience cluster east of downtown, and with an incubator set to open later this year at Cal State L.A., that goal is closer to reality. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, SoCalBio created a Partnership for Pandemics Countermeasures to identify and promote diagnostic, therapeutic and digital health solutions to help track, contain and manage pandemic outbreaks.

BACKGROUND: Under Enany the council works with biotech, medical tech, in-vitro diagnostic device and digital health businesses. The organization hosts programs to help local firms raise capital and find partners. SoCalBio also promotes technology transfer and workforce training. Enany is on the advisory board of the California Technology Council and is a strategic partner at the UCLA Business of Science Center.


Hanners, Rodney — Keck Medical Center of USC

THE LATEST: Keck Medical Center was ranked No. 16 on U.S. News’ Best Hospitals Honor Roll for 2019-20. In November, Keck Medical Center earned an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety watchdog, placing the hospital among the safest of the 2,600 U.S. hospitals the group rated.

BACKGROUND: Prior to joining Keck Medicine in June 2015, Hanners served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Before that, Hanners held various positions in the Kaiser Permanente system, including working as chief operating officer for Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center. Before his career in health care, Hanners served in the Navy, where he was selected as Submarine Group 5 junior officer of the year. Keck Medical Center is a teaching hospital that USC acquired along with Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center from Tenet Healthcare for $275 million in 2009.


Issai, Alice — Adventist Health Glendale

THE LATEST: In January, Adventist Health Glendale was one of five Los Angeles-area hospitals and one of roughly 300 nationwide to receive a five-star rating for the highest across-the-board quality performance from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that administers Medicare programs.

BACKGROUND: Issai joined Adventist Health Glendale in July 2018 as the first woman and first Armenian to lead the hospital. Previously, she was chief operating officer at Keck Medical Center of USC, UC Irvine Health and Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Before that, she was chief financial officer and chief strategy officer at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles and vice president of finance at City of Hope. Issai is a board member of the American Heart and Stroke Association and has served on Adventist Health Glendale’s ongoing medical missions to Armenia. Originally founded as sanitarium in 1905, the 515-bed hospital was acquired by Adventist Health in 2015.


Jackiewicz, Thomas — Keck Medicine of USC

THE LATEST: Last year, Keck Medicine of USC was named the official orthopedic medical partner of the Los Angeles Kings. It also launched the USC Epilepsy Care Consortium, a partnership of six independent comprehensive epilepsy centers serving patients in Los Angeles and Orange counties and the Central Valley. In February, Keck Medicine started an affiliation with the Kaweah Delta Health Care District in Visalia in California’s Central Valley to provide USC medical students with training in a rural environment.

BACKGROUND: In addition to running the three-hospital system, Jackiewicz also oversees the USC Care physician practice, which includes more than 40 ambulatory clinics across California. He came to USC from UC San Diego Health, where he was chief executive and associate vice chancellor of UCSD Health Sciences. Jackiewicz also serves as president of Global Health Data@Work, which uses data, medical evidence and professional insights from the world’s top-performing health care systems to advance health care globally.


Kresa, Kent — MannKind Corp.

THE LATEST: MannKind, which has focused on the development of inhaled therapeutic products, announced in March that it is adjusting research and development resources to focus on respiratory viral infections such as Covid-19. The shift comes after the strongest quarter in company history for its inhaled insulin product Afrezza, which generated nearly $8 million in sales. Kresa in January sold for $37 million, to an unidentified party, the Beverly Hills mansion he developed.

BACKGROUND: Kresa, a former chief executive and chairman of Northrop Grumman Corp., joined MannKind’s board in 2004 and was named chairman in 2016. The Westlake Village-based biopharmaceutical company develops therapeutic products for the treatment of diabetes and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Kresa is chairman of the advisory board of Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his alma mater. He is also a member of the board of overseers at Keck School of Medicine of USC and chairman emeritus of the Caltech board of trustees.


Mazziotta, John — UCLA Health Sciences

THE LATEST: In July, UCLA Health hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica were ranked No. 1 in California and No. 6 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. In December, entertainment mogul and longtime UCLA Health supporter David Geffen donated another $46 million toward a scholarship fund that he had previously established with a $100 million gift. Also last year: UCLA Health launched a partnership with sports and live entertainment giant AEG, making UCLA Health the first medical partner of AEG-owned Staples Center and several AEG music festivals and events.

BACKGROUND: Mazziotta has been a member of UCLA’s faculty for more than 36 years, serving as dean of the medical school, associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, chair of the neurology department and executive vice dean. During his time, UCLA Health has won several honors, including 30 consecutive appearances on U.S. News’ list of top hospitals.


Michelson, Gary — Michelson Medical Research Foundation

THE LATEST: The Michelson Medical Research Foundation recently awarded prizes of $150,000 each to three young scientists for their new approaches toward research into the human immune system. In February, scientists affiliated with the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience published findings about a faster imaging technology that provides greater definition than current techniques.

BACKGROUND: Michelson launched the Michelson Medical Research Foundation in 1995. The orthopedic spinal surgeon holds more than 950 issued or pending medical patents, including more than 340 in the U.S. A native of Philadelphia, Michelson is the founder of several philanthropic organizations, including Michelson 20MM Foundation, which supports digital textbooks and advocates for educational policy changes.


Miller-Phipps, Julie — Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals

THE LATEST: The Pasadena-based Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, set to open this summer, began accepting applications and recruiting faculty last fall. Medical students will take their clinical education at Kaiser hospitals around Southern California. In honor of Kaiser’s 75th anniversary, Miller-Phipps led the effort for the nonprofit hospital chain’s “Wizard of Oz”-themed float in the annual Tournament of Roses parade. In January, she received an honorary degree and gave the winter commencement address at her alma mater, the University of La Verne.

BACKGROUND: In addition to overseeing nearly $1 billion in annual funding and grants, Miller-Phipps manages Kaiser’s 4.5 million members in a region that stretches from Bakersfield to San Diego. She serves on several boards, including the Southern California Leadership Council, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the American Hospital Association Policy Board. Miller-Phipps got an early start in health care, volunteering as a candy striper at a local hospital in her youth.


Mosqueda, Laura — Keck School of Medicine of USC

THE LATEST: Named dean of the Keck School of Medicine at USC in May 2018, Mosqueda is the first woman to lead California’s largest medical school in its 135-year history. Since becoming dean, she created offices for community engagement, leadership/wellness and social justice. She also established the Center for Gender Equity in Medicine and Science.

BACKGROUND: Mosqueda is a USC alumna and a professor of family medicine and geriatrics at Keck School as well as a member the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology faculty. She was tapped as interim dean after the medical school was hit by a series of scandals. A physician and researcher, Mosqueda is an expert on elder abuse and neglect and created the nation’s first Elder Abuse Forensic Center in 2006, which served as a model for the federal 2010 Elder Justice Act.


Priselac, Thomas — Cedars-Sinai Health System

THE LATEST: Priselac continues to build the Beverly Grove-based medical system’s footprint. In March, Cedars-Sinai announced an affiliation with Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. That came just a few months after a deal with Providence St. Joseph Health for a stake in Providence Tarzana Medical Center. Cedars has also continued to open clinics throughout Southern California.

BACKGROUND: Priselac has been with Cedars since 1979, becoming chief executive in 1994. He helped grow the flagship Cedars-Sinai Medical Center into the largest hospital complex west of the Mississippi River. Cedars has grown further in recent years, buying the 133-bed Marina del Rey Hospital and forming an affiliation with the 640-bed Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Priselac previously was a member of the executive staff of Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is on the board of councilors of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and is a member of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs. He’s also an adjunct professor at the UCLA School of Public Health.


Raffoul, John — Adventist Health White Memorial

THE LATEST: In November, Adventist Health White Memorial became the first hospital in Los Angeles County to earn the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence. In August, the hospital was recognized by U.S. News & World Report for high performance in three areas: treatment of heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as geriatrics. Raffoul has also participated in several Adventist Health medical mission trips, including last year to Montemorelos in Northern Mexico.

BACKGROUND: Raffoul was named president of Adventist Health in 2015, overseeing the 353-bed teaching hospital that serves more than 245,000 patients annually. He joined White Memorial in 1984 as an accountant, rising through the ranks to serve as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. During his tenure at White Memorial, he has helped develop the medical center’s code of business ethics and guiding principles and oversaw the medical center’s $250 million seismic upgrade.


Reddy, Prem — Prime Healthcare Services Inc.

THE LATEST: In April, six Prime Healthcare hospitals, including Sherman Oaks Hospital, made IBM Watson Health’s list of the nation’s top 100 hospitals for clinical quality. Two of Prime Healthcare’s Los Angeles County hospitals were named to Becker’s 2019 Hospital Review list of the 100 top community hospitals: San Dimas Community Hospital and Centinela Hospital Medical Center. In November, Prime Healthcare launched a hostile takeover bid for Palms-based hospital chain Prospect Medical Holdings Inc.; so far, Prospect has rejected the bid.

BACKGROUND: Reddy, a cardiologist, founded Prime Healthcare in 2001 with a mission to buy hospitals in financial distress and improve their financial condition so they could keep their doors open and continue to treat patients. Headquartered in Ontario, the company has grown to 45 hospitals in 14 states — including five in Los Angeles County — and become the fifth-largest for-profit health system in the nation. Prime Healthcare has never closed or sold a hospital.


Sarian, Mike — Prime Healthcare Services Inc.

THE LATEST: In April, Sarian gained another hospital to oversee as Prime Healthcare purchased St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood out of bankruptcy for more than $350 million. St. Francis was one of six hospitals in California owned by El Segundo-based Verity Health System, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2018. Late last year, Prime Healthcare made a hostile-takeover offer for Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. and its six hospitals; so far, the bid has languished.

BACKGROUND: Sarian came to Prime in 2012 after serving as president of operations at Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. in Palms and as chief executive of Heritage Medical Group in Harrisburg, Pa. Prime Healthcare was founded in 2001 and has expanded to 45 hospitals nationwide, making it the fifth-largest hospital chain in the nation. Sarian also serves on the executive board of the California Hospital Association as well as on the board of the Venice Family Clinic.


Soon-Shiong, Patrick — NantWorks

THE LATEST: Soon-Shiong in January announced that his digital health information company, NantHealth Inc., had developed an artificial intelligence platform to help pathologists identify types of lung cancer while his immunotherapy company, NantKwest Inc., conducted an early stage clinical test of its main experimental drug therapy that resulted in dramatic improvement in a pancreatic cancer patient. In March, Soon-Shiong hosted a series of videos explaining the science behind Covid-19 and the coronavirus that causes it.

BACKGROUND: Soon-Shiong is well known as the billionaire who purchased the Los Angeles Times in 2018. As a physician, he developed therapies for diabetes and cancer. These include Abraxane, which is used for treatment of metastatic breast cancer, lung cancer and advanced pancreatic cancer. Soon-Shiong’s umbrella company, NantWorks, oversees his health care, technology and communications businesses. He ranked No. 2 on the Business Journal’s 2019 list of Wealthiest Angelenos with a net worth estimated at $19.1 billion.


Spisso, Johnese — UCLA Health, UCLA Health Sciences, UCLA Hospital Systems

THE LATEST: Industry publication Modern Healthcare named Spisso one of 2019’s top 25 women leaders. She oversees a health system that employs more than 31,000 people and includes four UCLA hospitals that reported 600,000 patient visits last year. UCLA’s 180-plus clinics recorded more than 2.8 million outpatient visits last year.

BACKGROUND: Spisso was appointed president of UCLA Health, chief executive of UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences in February 2016. She also oversees the university’s faculty practice group. Before joining UCLA, Spisso spent 20 years as chief health system officer and vice president of medical affairs for the University of Washington in Seattle. Trained as a registered nurse, Spisso previously worked at UC Davis Medical Center and in the medical, surgical and transplant intensive-care unit at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian.


Stone, Robert — City of Hope

THE LATEST: City of Hope was ranked as this year’s Best Cancer Hospital in California by U.S. News & World Report. Last year, the cancer research and treatment center started a $1 billion expansion of its main campus in Duarte. The facility will also invest more than $1 billion to build a state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer center in Orange County.

BACKGROUND: Stone joined City of Hope in 1996 and assumed the chief executive role in 2014. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is one of the nation’s leading cancer research and treatment centers. Under Stone’s leadership, it has more than doubled its physician staff and more than tripled the number of patients it treats. He also established partnerships with major employers in which their employees can use City of Hope facilities and physicians for their treatment; the program now covers 1.6 million employees through 30 employers. The Whittier native earned a law degree at the University of Chicago.


Valdespino, Gustavo — Valley Presbyterian Hospital

THE LATEST: The 62-year-old Van Nuys hospital is among the largest independent nonprofit community hospitals in the San Fernando Valley with 350 beds. Its 500 physicians and 1,600 employees serve more than 60,000 patients annually. In 2019 Valley Presbyterian completed a $14 million, four-year expansion and renovation of its emergency department that added 14,500 square feet and boosted the number of beds to 34 from 14. The hospital in July received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s stroke bronze quality achievement award, recognizing its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

BACKGROUND: Valdespino, who has spent three decades in hospital management, was named chief executive and president at Valley Presbyterian in 2009. He has also served as senior vice president of operations for Tenet Health Corp.’s Southern California region and as chief executive and president of St. Vincent Medical Center. Valdespino is also chief executive of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County.


Viviano, Paul — Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

THE LATEST: Under Viviano, who has served as chief executive and president since 2015, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was named one of the top five children’s hospitals in the nation and the top children’s hospital in the Western U.S. by U.S. News and World Report in its 2019-2020 rankings. In October, Children’s Hospital’s Innovation Lab launched its first digital health lab demo day, showcasing technological advances such as virtual 3D heart modeling. Viviano was named as an honoree for the 2020 Cardinal’s Award, given out by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

BACKGROUND: Prior to joining Children’s Hospital, Viviano served as chief executive of the UC San Diego Health System and associate vice chancellor of UCSD Health Sciences, overseeing the $1.7 billion health care enterprise. Viviano has served as chairman and chief executive of Alliance HealthCare Services Inc. His career also included stints in executive positions at USC University Hospital and USC/Norris Cancer Hospital, St. Joseph Health System in Orange, Long Beach Community Hospital and Los Alamitos Medical Center. Viviano has been chairman since 2018 of the California Children’s Hospital Association, leading initiatives to help boost pediatric health. Nationally, he is co-chair of the Medicaid CEO National Advisory Committee for the Children’s Hospital Association.


Wexler, Erik — Providence Health & Services – Southern California

THE LATEST: In November, Providence St. Joseph Health announced its Southern California operations will be the starting point of the system’s rebranding as Providence. In July, four of Providence St. Joseph’s Los Angeles County hospitals — Tarzana Medical Center, Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank and Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance — placed in the top 50 California hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings.

BACKGROUND: Wexler joined Providence Health & Services in 2016, shortly before it partnered with St. Joseph Health to become Providence St. Joseph Health. He oversees the Southern California region, which has 13 hospitals, nearly 100 clinics, 35,000 employees and almost 5,200 physicians. The Southern California region, which includes Los Angeles and Orange Counties and the High Desert, generates about $7.5 billion in net revenue. Wexler previously served as chief executive of Tenet Healthcare Corp.’s Northeast region. He has also had stints with Vanguard Health Systems Inc. and LifeBridge Health Inc.


See the full LA500 list and features in the 2020 LA500 Special Edition.


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