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David Klein will join the University of Rochester, serving as special adviser to the senior vice president and CEO of the medical center, UR officials announced Monday.
Klein, the retiring CEO of the Lifetime Healthcare Cos., the parent company of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, also will be a faculty member in the department of public health services and the Simon Graduate School of Business, UR officials said.
He will work for a $1 annual salary, the university said. The appointment takes effect Jan. 1, when Klein retires.
“I am delighted to welcome David to the medical center and we look forward to benefiting from his vast experience and expertise,” URMC CEO Bradford Berk said. “Health care is in the midst of a significant period of transformation as the nation moves to a system that focuses on cost containment and quality improvement.
“I can think of no better person than David to help guide this institution’s leadership and strengthen our health policy education and research programs.”
Klein said he always believed that health care financing and health care delivery are “two sides of the same coin.”
“The bulk of my career has focused on the financing portion, but I believe both our health plan and our community have been in sync for more than seven decades on placing enormous emphasis on the quality and the efficiency of the local health care delivery system,” Klein said.
As special adviser, Klein will become part of the URMC’s senior leadership team and report to Berk. He is expected to advise on issues related to strategy, health care delivery systems operations, financing, employee health benefits, regional affiliations and government advocacy.
Within the department of public health services he is to act as special assistant to the chairwoman, Susan Fisher, providing guidance and expertise on federal and state care reform and health policy.
Klein also will be an executive professor in the Simon School, where he will be guest lecturer in medical management masters program, UR said. He has been a member of the schools executive advisory committee, where he was instrumental in the growth of health care management as an area of interest within the school, said Mark Zupan, Simon School dean.
“He has guest lectured at Simon, and our students have benefited from his wealth of experience and his perspective,” Zupan said. “David will provide valuable strategic guidance on our health care management offerings and to help ensure that our programs equip health care professionals for success.”
Klein has been a senior executive with Lifetime Healthcare and its predecessor companies since 1986, serving as CEO since 2003.
Christopher Booth, now president of Excellus, is slated to take over as CEO of the Blues and their parent company, Lifetime Healthcare Cos., in January.
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