HCSC Leadership Team


Opella Ernest, M.D.

Senior Vice President, HCSC Operations

Dr. Opella Ernest is Senior Vice President of Operations, a core pillar of HCSC’s operating model, which includes customer service, information technology, health care management, and data & analytics solutions. HCSC Operations provides the foundational infrastructure to provide members access to high quality, affordable care in their communities.

Previously, Dr. Ernest served as senior vice president and chief clinical officer of HCSC, where she was responsible for clinical strategy and operations. She has also served as divisional senior vice president and chief medical officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, where she led the team responsible for over 60,000 contracted providers.  Prior to joining the Illinois Plan, Dr. Ernest served as senior vice president of Medical Management for HealthSpring, Inc., where she was responsible for supporting care management for Medicare Advantage Plans.

Dr. Ernest is chairman of the American Heart Association’s Metro Chicago board of directors and a member of Chicago United’s board of directors. She is a board certified family physician, and she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a degree in medicine from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.