A nationwide search for two executive positions within the Blue Cross of Idaho company structure yielded hires from Texas and Arkansas.
Recently, the nonprofit medical insurance provider announced that Dr. Melissa Kizilos, MD, was hired as its chief medical officer, and Leslie Carter was hired as the company’s new chief operations officer.
Kizilos came from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where she was the corporate medical director of national accounts. She joined the Idaho provider in June. Prior to the Arkansas position, Kizilos was the medical director of care and utilization management with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.
Carter was previously with Highmark Health, Inc., in Texas, where she worked within business operations as vice president of enablement and automation solutions. She has more than 25 years of experience in corporate business operations. She has also held positions with UnitedHealth Group, Magellan Health Services, Aetna and as the found and chief executive officer of GGN International Enterprises.
“Dr. Kizilos shares our vision to provide affordable, high-quality healthcare to all Idahoans,” said Paul Zurlo, president and CEO-elect for Blue Cross of Idaho, in a release. “Her diverse medical and corporate experience, such as providing clinical support for large national accounts and care coordination, will be critical to helping us find innovative ways to lower the cost of care and impact the lives of all Idahoans. Everyone at Blue Cross of Idaho is excited to watch Dr. Kizilos grow in her new role.”
Kizilos earned a Bachelor of Arts in biology and English at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, followed by a medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. She completed her residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and holds board certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
“Blue Cross of Idaho is continuing its organizational evolution, and Leslie Carter brings the dynamic leadership to guide us through these critical changes,” Zurlo said. “She has key insight into the health care industry and a proven track record of success and will help us navigate it as it grows rapidly. Our employees have welcomed Leslie and are eager to work with her.”
Carter earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration and psychology from Farleigh Dickenson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts. Additionally, Carter completed the executive leadership program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She also serves on the Trustee Board of Livingston College.
Blue Cross of Idaho, based in Meridian, provides health insurance to approximately 577,800 members.