About Peoples Health
Press and Media: Executive Biographies
Click on a member of our executive team below for more information.
» Carol A. Solomon, Chief Executive Officer
» Warren Murrell, Chief Operating Officer
» Kim Eller, Chief Financial Officer
» Colin Hulin, Chief Information Officer
» Donna Klein, General Counsel
» Michael J. Robert, Senior Vice President of Internal Audit and Compliance
» Janice Ortego, Senior Vice President of Network Development
» Barbara Guerard, Vice President of Health Services
» Greg Ruppert, Vice President of Human Resources
» Kevin J. Roache, Vice President of Medical Affairs
» Macon Moore, Vice President of Network Development
» Emmet Geary, Vice President of Finance and Controller
» Jeffrey Friedman, Vice President of Clinic Operations
» John Van Wart, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer for Peoples Health, Carol Solomon brings a unique blend of expertise in the arena of managed care and a passion for community involvement to the company. Recruited because of her skilled leadership in the challenging managed care industry, Solomon has worked to expand the footprint of the company, both in supporting the communities it serves and in plan offerings that facilitate fulfilling lifestyles for seniors through comprehensive healthcare and the acknowledgement that excellence in life is achieved because of age.
Prior to her tenure at Peoples Health, Solomon held leadership positions at other Louisiana-based healthcare organizations, serving as Chief Executive Officer for MedFirst Health Plans and directing the development of a pilot managed care project at LSU Medical Center. Outside of Louisiana, she performed as Vice President of Operations for CAC-Ramsey (now United Healthcare), the second-largest HMO in Florida. Solomon’s professional background includes executive positions in operations, finance and provider network development.
Solomon’s community involvements range from serving as a founding member of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana Women’s Leadership Initiative to putting her spirit behind what gives New Orleans its spirit, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where she serves as a board member of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.
Under Solomon’s direction, the company supports numerous other organizations as well, including the New Orleans Saints, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, New Orleans Zephyrs, The Louisiana Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, New Orleans Hornets, Louisiana Senior Olympics, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and Louisiana State University Athletics.
Solomon serves as the president of WWOZ’s board of directors and is a board member of the Louisiana Association of Health Plans. She was recognized in 2004 and 2006 as a New Orleans CityBusiness Women of the Year honoree and received the top honor in 2008; served as local chairwoman of the American Heart Association’s 2007 Go Red for Women luncheon; and currently serves on the boards of the Louisiana Public Health Institute, Jefferson Business Council and New Orleans Opera Association.
In 2010, to mark the magazine’s 30th anniversary, New Orleans CityBusiness recognized Solomon as a Driving Forces honoree—one of among 30 business leaders honored for their lasting influence on the city’s economic development over the past three decades.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer for Peoples Health, Warren Murrell oversees project management and the daily operations of the company, including the direct management of the Administrative Services, Claims, IPA Services, Member Services and Performance Improvement departments.
Prior to joining Peoples Health in 2000, Murrell served as the Sales Manager and Marketing Administration Supervisor at Memorial Sisters of Charity Health Network in Houston, Texas, and held other marketing and sales management positions in the healthcare industry since 1994. Murrell most recently served as Vice President of IPA Services for Peoples Health, where he was the liaison between the company and its physician stakeholder IPA’s. He helped ensure each IPA had the necessary resources to meet its business objectives.
Murrell earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and launched a career in marketing and public relations. He is currently a member of the Louisiana Association of Health Plans and America’s Health Insurance Plans.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer for Peoples Health, Kim Eller oversees all financial operations for the company. Eller joined Peoples Health in 2004 after a long career with Tenet Healthcare Corporation, where he served as the Chief Financial Officer for Tenet’s Meadowcrest Hospital in Gretna.
Eller received his Bachelor of Science in accounting in 1976 from the University of Florida and began his career with the State of Florida Office of the Auditor General. He transitioned into healthcare with a move to Nashville to work for Hospital Corporation of America and first came to New Orleans in 1984 when he joined Lakeside Hospital. The following year he joined National Medical Enterprises (which eventually became Tenet Healthcare Corporation) and has since worked for a number of full-service hospitals including University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tenn., Parkview Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., and several hospitals in the New Orleans area, including Doctors Hospital, St. Charles General and Meadowcrest Hospital. An exceptional leader, Eller was awarded CFO of the Year three times throughout his tenure with Tenet.
Chief Information Officer
As Chief Information Officer for Peoples Health, Colin Hulin provides leadership in developing information strategies for the company that are compliant with regulatory and organizational requirements. Under his direction, the IT department consults, develops and maintains automation systems that uphold and propel company operations and goals while supporting more than 650 Peoples Health employees.
Hulin earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in mathematics from the University of New Orleans. His career in information systems and technology spans more than 26 years, during which he served as Chief Information Officer for Summit Health Group and as Vice President of Information Systems for Pan-American Life. Hulin also served as an adjunct university computer science instructor and curriculum advisor for over 12 years at the University of New Orleans. In 1995, he was named the College of Sciences Alumnus of the Year.
A dedicated teacher, Hulin devotes his personal time to serving as the school board president for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Elementary School and as a school board member for Archbishop Chapelle High School. He also lends his technology expertise on a volunteer basis to several community, school, scouting and church organizations.
As General Counsel for Peoples Health, Donna Klein works to identify and resolve legal issues that affect the company’s business operations. Klein provides guidance on a variety of legal issues, including healthcare compliance and general commercial law. She is also a resource of advice to the various business units of Peoples Health and helps resolve disputes that arise between the company and other businesses and individuals.
Prior to joining Peoples Health, Klein worked for McGlinchey Stafford PLLC as managing partner of the New Orleans office, head of the healthcare group, partner in charge of marketing and a member of the firm’s management committee. In these roles, she worked with a variety of prominent clients in the healthcare industry, including Peoples Health. Klein served on the healthcare transition teams of three Louisiana governors and is currently a member of the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education.
A graduate of Tulane University School of Law, Klein has represented hospitals, physicians, health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations, independent practice associations, national and multi-national hospital ownership companies and various other healthcare providers and regulatory bodies throughout the nation. Klein has also published and lectured extensively on a variety of medical legal issues.
In keeping with the company’s tradition of community involvement, Klein is active in the New Orleans community. In addition to serving on the board of Louisiana ArtWorks, she is a board member of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and a past chairwoman and current board member of the Committee for a Better New Orleans/Metropolitan Area Committee. Klein was recognized by New Orleans CityBusiness as a Leadership in Law honoree in 2011 and as a Women of the Year honoree in 2001 and 2007, and was inducted into the Women of the Year Hall of Fame in 2008. She was recognized by the Young Leadership Council as a Role Model in 2002 and by the Human Rights campaign as the recipient of the Humanitarian Award in 2003. Klein has also been selected as one of Woodward White's Best Lawyers in America in Health Care—every year since 1991.
Senior Vice President of Internal Audit and Compliance
As Senior Vice President of Internal Audit and Compliance for Peoples Health, Michael J. Robért is responsible for implementing comprehensive internal control and reporting systems and the regular monitoring and evaluation of those systems. He is also responsible for coordinating regulatory and ﬁnancial reviews with outside agencies and auditors. A key participant in Peoples Health strategic planning activities, Robért coordinates the development of all plan cost projections, ACRP ﬁlings and Medicare Advantage bids.
Robért joined Peoples Health in 1995 and additionally serves as Privacy Ofﬁcer for Peoples Health, ensuring the company’s health plans remain compliant with all state and federal regulations. In this capacity, he directed the development and implementation of the Peoples Health HIPAA compliance program.
With a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southeastern Louisiana University, Robért began his financial career as Controller for Browns Velvet Dairy in New Orleans and served on the Louisiana Dairy Association Finance Committee. Promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer, his work was instrumental to the dairy’s favorable sale to a national chain. Robért then joined the newly established MedFirst Health Plans in New Orleans as Controller, and served as part of the management team in acquiring an HMO license, developing a business plan and designing competitive health insurance products.
Robért is an active member of America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Louisiana Association of Health Plans. He is a past member of the St. Peter’s School Finance Committee and former chair of the school’s Building and Maintenance Committee. Robért is also an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
Senior Vice President of Network Development
As Senior Vice President of Network Development for Peoples Health, Janice Ortego manages all physician, hospital and ancillary provider issues, including contracting, credentialing, communication, education, appeals and resolutions.
Ortego has worked in the health insurance industry since 1985 in markets with various levels of exposure to the industry, including Miami, East Texas and New Orleans. Before joining Peoples Health in 1998, Ortego served as the Vice President of Provider Relations for a start-up HMO in the New Orleans area and was charged with contracting a complete network of physician, ancillary and hospital providers within a five-parish area. While there, she also assisted with provider contracting for the company’s four management services organization sites throughout the state. Before moving to the New Orleans area, Ortego concentrated her experience in the provider relations arena working for CAC-Ramsay in Miami (formerly Comprehensive American Care). Ortego began her career in health insurance while working for a health plan in Texas as a marketing representative and office manager for the company’s satellite office.
Currently, Ortego represents Peoples Health as a member of American’s Health Insurance Plans and the Louisiana Association of Health Plans.
Vice President of Health Services
As Vice President of Health Services for Peoples Health, Barbara Guerard provides administrative oversight to the Medical Management department, including strategic planning, overall direction of the clinical and nonclinical functions of the department, and the development of programs for Peoples Health plans that result in improved outcomes for plan members. She is also responsible for establishing measures for appropriateness of care, utilization management, member satisfaction and compliance with state and federal regulatory guidelines.
Guerard brings 30 years of healthcare management and clinical experience to Peoples Health, beginning her career as a nurse practitioner. Her senior management experience includes strategic planning, operations, policy formation and systems enhancements. Guerard also spent 18 years in clinical positions, including as senior administrator at the Harvard Community Health Plan (now Harvard Pilgrim Health Care) in Boston. Prior to joining Peoples Health, Guerard was Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer for both LSU Healthcare Network and Faculty Practice at the University of Vermont College of Medicine/Fletcher Allen Health Care in Vermont. Most recently, she was Vice President of Adult Multi-Specialty Services for the University of Tennessee Faculty Practice in Memphis.
Guerard earned her Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University.
Vice President of Human Resources
As Vice President of Human Resources for Peoples Health, Greg Ruppert oversees the human resources functions of the company by planning, directing and carrying out policies relating to all phases of personnel activity. In addition to supervising hiring and orientation practices, Ruppert facilitates growth tracks for current employees and evaluates employee benefits and compensation structures.
With an extensive background in human resource management, Ruppert most recently served as Assistant Vice President of Human Resources for the company, where he developed and implemented corporate human resources strategies and programs. Prior to joining Peoples Health, he served as the Recruitment Director for the Gulf Coast market of Tenet HealthSystem. He has over 15 years of experience serving the human resources needs of companies in the Greater New Orleans area, including First Commerce Corporation, the holding company for First National Bank of Commerce, and Pelican Homestead and Savings Association.
Ruppert earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration and his Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans. He holds a Professional Human Resources certification and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management.
Vice President of Medical Affairs
As Vice President of Medical Affairs for Peoples Health, Dr. Kevin J. Roache oversees the Medical Management team, comprised of medical directors, nursing staff and non-nursing staff. Responsible for ensuring Medical Management policies are implemented, Roache also provides oversight for the Credentialing, Quality Improvement, Chronic Care Management and Pharmacy Services departments, and manages the physician element of the healthcare network.
With an extensive operational background in managed care organizations, Roache has served as the Regional Medical Director for other managed care organizations in Louisiana, including Humana and Ochsner Health Plan. He most recently served as the National Transplant Medical Director for Humana, where he provided medical assistance to the transplant staff and interacted with both the transplant facilities and oncologists. Roache also functioned as the Chief Medical Director for Suburban Heights Medical Center and as the Medical Director for Saint James Hospital Home Health Division, both in Chicago.
Roache earned his Master of Medical Management from Tulane University and holds a Doctorate of Medicine from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine as an internist and gastroenterologist. Additionally, he is a Certified Physician Executive and Fellow of the American College of Physician Executives. He participates in the Louisiana Association of Health Plans Medical Directors Forum and the National Association of Managed Care Physicians and is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology.
Vice President of Network Development
As Vice President of Network Development for Peoples Health, Macon Moore identifies and establishes goals, objectives, policies and procedures for the Network Development department. His primary role is to secure partnership arrangements resulting in the expansion of Peoples Health services, while also developing business models for new programs and services.
Moore has more than 15 years of healthcare management experience. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Planning and Development for Peoples Health. Prior to joining the company, he served as Chief Operating Officer for Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans and for Meadowcrest Hospital in Gretna. He also held management positions at NorthShore Regional Medical Center in Slidell.
Moore earned a Master of Health Administration from Medical College of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science in business administration/marketing and management from East Carolina University.
Vice President of Finance and Controller
As Vice President of Finance and Controller for Peoples Health, Emmet Geary oversees the company’s accounting and finance functions, including financial statements, regulatory reporting, internal controls, cash management and related financial analysis.
Before coming to Peoples Health in 1999, Geary was an Accounting Manager for International Shipholding Corporation in New Orleans and served as Senior-in-Charge for a Top 20 Washington D.C. regional CPA firm. He joined Peoples Health as Senior Accountant and has served as Controller for the past seven years. As part of the senior management team, Geary plays an integral role in the company’s financial affairs and participates in the overall management of the company.
Geary earned a Bachelor of Science in management from Tulane University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Insurance Accounting & Systems Association.
Vice President of Clinic Operations
As Vice President of Clinic Operations for Peoples Health, Jeffrey Friedman oversees all clinics owned by the parent company, PH Holdings, and he is responsible for all management services available to the company’s network of physician providers. He produces the clinics’ operational policies, procedures and guidelines to ensure fulfillment of recognized standards and promote continuous performance improvement with the goal of offering patient-centered medical services. Friedman also collaborates with the Medical Management department to develop and implement clinical programs to support the mission of Peoples Health and the needs of the company’s health plans.
Friedman brings three decades of experience in healthcare management to his position at Peoples Health. He previously held senior positions in hospital administration with three acute care hospitals and was the Executive Director and co-owner of Diagnostic Imaging Services, a New Orleans imaging center provider. He later served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Gulf State Region of Tenet Physician Services, where he was responsible for over 150 employed physicians, 53 locations and 750 employees. Friedman left Tenet to launch a successful customer-focused home medical equipment company, called Total Health Solutions, which offered hundreds of healthcare products in its retail showroom. After many years of successful growth, he negotiated the sale of the company to Ochsner Health System and joined Ochsner as the Assistant Vice President of Home Medical Equipment. In that position, he managed the health system’s home medical delivery service and retail store until joining Peoples Health.
Friedman holds a Bachelor of Science in public health from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Public Health, focusing in health systems management, from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
As Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Peoples Health, John Van Wart develops, implements and monitors the success of products and services that maximize revenue. He oversees sales, marketing and communications for all Medicare Advantage plans offered by the company, ensuring compliance with all regulations related to those functions and implementing revisions to maximize effectiveness. Van Wart also supports dynamic corporate relations and communications to all constituencies – including the public, regulatory agencies, company personnel, providers and plan members. He promotes a healthy corporate image for Peoples Health, as well as strong brand identities for the company’s products and services.
Van Wart brings more than two decades of Medicare sales experience and a proven track record of effective leadership to his position at Peoples Health. He started in 1987 as a Medicare Sales Representative for Humana, where he consistently ranked among the highest in individual sales production. Since then, he has held several key executive positions, leading all of his divisions to major growth and innovation. In his previous position with Humana, as the Regional Director of Medicare Sales for northeast and central Florida, Van Wart expanded the market from zero to 50,000, achieving Market of the Month for over a year straight. He targeted providers, community leaders, members and prospective members with community relations strategies, events and partnerships. He went on to serve as Statewide Manager of Consumer Sales and Marketing in Regence BlueShield’s Washington state division; as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Metcare; as National Director of Sales for XLHealth, a chronic special needs plan (C-SNP); and then as National Vice President of Sales for HealthSpring. In all of these positions, Van Wart developed and implemented strategies that increased sales force and membership, exceeding market goals and achieving regulatory compliance while nurturing relationships with agencies and other stakeholders.
Van Wart earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Spanish from Furman University. He has a Life and Disability Insurance License for Washington state and a Life and Health Insurance License for Florida, and he is working to obtain his Health Insurance Class C License for Louisiana.