Leadership Team

David J. Lesar

Board Member and Interim CEO, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
Dave Lesar is a board member and interim CEO of HCSC, the nation’s largest customer-owned health insurer. He joined HCSC’s board of directors in 2018 because of his strong belief in helping people gain access to quality, affordable health care.

A Wisconsin native, Lesar began his career in 1978 with Arthur Andersen, where he spent 16 years as a certified public accountant in its Dallas office and Chicago headquarters. Lesar then spent 25 years in the energy industry, including 17 as a CEO.

Over his nearly 40 years in business, Lesar has served on the boards of Cordant Technologies, Southern Company, Mirant, Lyondell Chemicals, Agrium and PetroStar Services.

Lesar holds a bachelor’s and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Maurice Smith

President, HCSC

As president, Maurice Smith is responsible for overall strategic direction of the company including the organization’s long-term growth strategy. He previously served as president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois where he was responsible for the overall financial performance, long-term growth strategy and strategic planning of Illinois’ largest health insurance company, serving more than 8 million members.

Smith began his career as an intern at HCSC in 1993. Since then, he has held a number of executive roles with increasing responsibility, including senior vice president, Business Development and Subsidiary Management, divisional vice president, Business Development and Subsidiary Management, and vice president of Corporate Transactions and Business Analysis. He also served as the chairman of the board of directors for Dearborn National Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of HCSC.

Smith’s current philanthropic endeavors include actively serving on the boards of the Chicago Sinfonietta (chair), Chicago Civic Consulting Alliance, Chicago Civic Federation, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Roosevelt University and the Common Ground Foundation. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Roosevelt University.

Monica Berner, M.D.

HCSC Clinical Officer

As HCSC’s clinical officer, Dr. Monica Berner is responsible for leading the company’s Clinical Strategy and Innovation, Quality and Accreditation, Medical Operations, Behavioral Health, and Community Health and Impact teams.

Previously, Dr. Berner served as president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana where she was responsible for the Montana Plan’s operations, including sales and account management, government and public relations, provider network management, and medical management. Dr. Berner also served as chief medical officer and medical director at the Montana Plan.

Dr. Berner joined the Montana Plan in 2009 after working in direct patient care for 12 years. She received her medical degree in 1994 from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Berner had a private medical practice in Aloha, Oregon, before joining the Lewis and Clark County Community Health Center in Helena. She then became a Veteran Affairs staff physician in the outpatient clinic at Fort Harrison, Montana’s Veteran’s Hospital. Dr. Berner was named the Montana Medical Association’s 2016 Merit Award winner for her leadership in health care innovation and her extensive work on behalf of Montana physicians.

Opella Ernest, M.D.

Senior Vice President, HCSC Operations

As the senior vice president of HCSC Operations, Dr. Opella Ernest leads HCSC’s Service Delivery Operations, IT, Health Data and Analytics, Network Solutions, Financial and Health Care Management Operations.

Previously, Dr. Ernest served as vice president and chief clinical officer of HCSC, divisional senior vice president and chief medical officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. 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 also serves on the Corporate Advisory Board of Medecision, an integrated health solutions company, and Innovista Health Solutions, a provider-centered value-based health care company.

Dr. Ernest, a board-certified family medicine physician, has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate of medicine from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Rob Hitchcock

Senior Vice President, HCSC Government Business Solutions

As senior vice president of HCSC Government Business Solutions, Rob Hitchcock is responsible for the development and oversight of HCSC’s Medicare and Medicaid business units, including Financial Management and Service and Delivery functions.

Previously, he was president of HCSC’s Government and Consumer Relations, where he oversaw the retail business, Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as the Government Programs Division, retail strategy and analytics. Prior to joining HCSC, Hitchcock served as chief strategy officer for Fresenius Medical Care North America where he worked closely with the company’s executive leadership team to execute short and long-term strategic goals and to help move the company toward valued-based reimbursement.

Before Fresenius, Hitchcock was executive vice president, Health Plans, at Centene Corporation, where he was responsible for 20 markets that had 4.5 million members and generated $19 billion in revenue.

He graduated from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He then went on to earn a master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.

Jeffrey Tikkanen

Senior Vice President, HCSC Markets

As senior vice president of HCSC Markets, Jeffrey Tikkanen is responsible for leading the company’s five state Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans, Pharmacy Programs, and Federal Government Relations. He is also responsible for overseeing Market Enablement, and Growth and National Account Strategies.

Previously, he served as president of Plan Solutions and Market Delivery, where in addition to the five state Plans, he oversaw HCSC’s network solutions and provider partnerships, policy and government relations, pharmacy, branding and stakeholder impact, and HCSC’s subsidiary, Dearborn National.

Tikkanen also served as president of HCSC’s Emerging Markets, where he was responsible for government programs and retail markets, as well as federal government relations. While at the helm of the retail business, Tikkanen transformed a relatively small part of the organization to a significant portion of its business, which provides access to health care to more than 1 million members.

Tikkanen has been with HCSC since 1993 and served in a variety of management roles before being named a divisional vice president in Illinois National Accounts in 2005. In 2008, he moved to Oklahoma to assume the role of vice president of Sales and Marketing.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D., FACOG

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK)

Dr. Joseph R. Cunningham is responsible for the overall strategic direction of BCBSOK, including operations, sales and account management, network management, health care management, medical policy and external affairs. BCBSOK is the state's oldest and largest private health insurer.

Dr. Cunningham joined BCBSOK in 2007 as the medical director of Medical Services over Utilization Management and Case Management Departments. In 2009, he was named the company’s vice president of Health Care Management and chief medical officer. In 2014, Dr. Cunningham became the vice president of Health Care Delivery and chief medical officer, overseeing both medical and network provider areas. In 2015, he was named BCBSOK’s divisional senior vice president of Health Care Delivery and chief medical officer, where he was responsible for the transition from fee-for-service to fee-for-value and value-based program development. In October 2018, Dr. Cunningham was named Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma’s 10th president.

Prior to joining BCBSOK, Dr. Cunningham spent nearly 21 years in private practice in Tulsa. He is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is a member of both the Oklahoma State Medical Association and the Tulsa County Medical Society.

Dr. Cunningham earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry and attended medical school at the University of Arkansas. He also completed post-graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa.

Michael Frank

Senior Vice President HCSC Market Enablement, Interim President Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT), Chairman Dearborn National Life Insurance Company Board

As SVP of Market Enablement, Michael Frank leads HCSC’s network operations, product development and implementation, small group operations, client and product analytics, plan performance, provider partnership, and group experience teams. As interim president of BCBSMT, Frank is responsible for all Montana Plan operations, including sales and account management, government and public relations, provider network management, and medical management. Frank also has oversight of and serves as chairman of HCSC’s largest subsidiary, Dearborn National.

Frank has also served as senior vice president, Tri-State Plans, which included responsibility over the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Montana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Frank was previously CEO of BCBSMT and successfully lead the regulatory approval process and integration of BCBSMT into HCSC. Frank further served as president, chief legal and operations officer, chief administrative officer, vice president of Corporate Integrity and Human Resources, and vice president of Compliance and Ethics for the Montana Plan. Before joining the Montana Plan in 1999, he was a practicing attorney with Crowley, Haughey, Hanson, Toole & Dietrich, PPLP, headquartered in Helena, Montana.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Montana State University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Montana.

Steve Hamman

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL)

Steve Hamman is responsible for the overall financial performance, long-term growth strategy and strategic planning of Illinois’ largest health insurance company, which serves more than 8 million members.

Hamman joined BCBSIL in 1991 and has served in a variety of management roles within the company during his tenure at BCBSIL and at HCSC. He most recently served as senior vice president, Enterprise Network Solutions and Provider Partnerships, for HCSC.

Hamman currently serves on the boards of Innovista Health, and non-profits Eikon Group and New City Church while also actively participating on advisory councils for the Heritage Group and Madison Dearborn Partners. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics from Colorado College, and a master’s in Business Administration in Information Systems from the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University in Chicago.

Dan McCoy, M.D.

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX)

Dr. Dan McCoy is responsible for all Texas Plan operations, including the management for sales and account management, provider network contracting, medical management, government relations and public affairs.

Most recently, he served as divisional senior vice president of Texas Market Strategy and Texas chief medical officer. Dr. McCoy served in this role since 2014 and was instrumental in the Texas Plan’s growth and Latino strategies in addition to its efforts to lower the costs of care.

Dr. McCoy brings a broad perspective of the local health care delivery system as a physician for the past 21 years, former managing partner at Texas Dermatology Associates and medical director of the Melanoma and Skin Tumor Clinic at Baylor University Medical Center’s Outpatient Cancer Center.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Tarleton State University and a degree in medicine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Kurt Shipley

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM)

Kurt Shipley is responsible for developing and implementing the mission, vision, and strategic initiatives of BCBSNM to support membership growth and retention and ensure financial stability and long-term success of the organization.

Shipley is responsible for company-wide performance, membership growth, financial management, product development, network management, marketing and sales, public relations, government/legislative affairs, community relations and media relations. In addition, he oversees the administration of the Indian Health Service/Purchase Referred Care program, which provides services for 2.3 million eligible Native Americans and Alaska Natives across the United States. He also has responsibility for the performance of the Blue Cross Community Centennial Medicaid contract.

Shipley joined BCBSNM in 1996 and was named New Mexico Plan President in 2012. Prior to joining BCBSNM, Shipley worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado and was responsible for internal and external financial reporting.

Shipley is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Brigham Young University.

Kevin M. Cassidy

HCSC Chief Growth Officer

As HCSC’s chief growth officer, Kevin Cassidy is responsible for growth initiatives including organic growth, new margin opportunities, strategic partnerships and strategic step level growth. He also oversees HCSC’s marketing, brand management, competitive analytics, collaboration with other Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans and the company’s C1 Innovation Lab in Dallas.

Prior to assuming his current role in 2019, Cassidy was HCSC’s president of Employer Solutions, focusing on all employer market segments as well as product development, employer group market operations, investments, the company’s distribution strategy and performance management.

He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Economics from Illinois State University.

Thomas Lubben

Senior Vice President, Compliance, Audit, Security, Special Investigations, Privacy and Regulatory Oversight, and Enterprise Risk Management; Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

Thomas Lubben is responsible for Health Care Service Corporation’s (HCSC) Compliance, Audit, Security, Special Investigations, Privacy and Regulatory Oversight divisions (CASSIP) and Enterprise Risk Management.

Previously, Lubben was vice president and corporate secretary of HCSC, where he oversaw corporate secretarial and governance matters. He joined HCSC's Legal Division in 1996 where he provided legal support in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, pharmacy, compliance, human resources and litigation.

Lubben has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Calvin College and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois, College of Law.

Andy Napoli

Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Service Officer

Andy Napoli is responsible for claims, customer service and membership administration for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

A veteran of nearly 15 years in the U.S. Army, including a combat tour during the First Gulf War, he has worked at a number of other major companies, including The Hartford Financial Services Group, Nationwide and Progressive.

Napoli is a West Point graduate with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, and he has a master’s degree in statistics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Blair W. Todt

Senior Vice President, Legal, Compliance and Business Performance

Blair W. Todt is responsible for HCSC’s Legal, Compliance, Audit, Security, Special Investigations, and Privacy (CASSIP) divisions, as well as Corporate Strategy and Business Performance Monitoring. In addition, he oversees other enterprise risk management services, including corporate governance and transactions, state and federal regulatory affairs, litigation and CASSIP matters affecting HCSC and its five Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. Todt also serves as HCSC’s chief legal officer.

Before joining HCSC, Todt worked at WellCare Health Plans, where he held several senior management positions, including senior vice president, chief legal and administrative officer and secretary.

Todt earned a bachelor’s degree in political communication from George Washington University and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School.