Ellen Duffield, President and Chief Executive Officer, Highmark Wholecare

Ellen Duffield

President and Chief Executive Officer, Highmark Wholecare

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Ellen Duffield is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Highmark Wholecare. As President and CEO, Ellen provides both operational oversight and strategic direction for one of Pennsylvania's leading managed care organizations. Pittsburgh-based Highmark Wholecare is a community-based, mission-driven organization that serves more than 410,000 members through its high-quality Medicaid and Medicare health plans focused on delivering whole person care.

In addition to her chief leadership role at Highmark Wholecare, Ellen is Senior Vice President, Medicaid Segment, at Highmark Health — a $22 billion, national blended health organization that includes one of the largest health insurers in the nation and a growing regional hospital and physician network. Within the Medicaid Segment, Ellen leads Active Markets, a multi-state operation charged with strengthening Highmark's Medicaid business within its current footprint and positioning the organization for growth.

Prior to being named President and CEO of Highmark Wholecare in the fall of 2021, Ellen served as Highmark Wholecare's Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. In this role, she led an enterprise-wide technology transformation to help Highmark Wholecare scale up for growth.

Ellen directed Highmark Wholecare's COVID-19 incident response team and was also a key figure in the planning and execution of the company’s support for the state’s vaccine rollout.

Ellen first joined Highmark Wholecare in the spring of 2019, bringing with her more than 30 years of strategic planning and implementation experience from a wide variety of operational roles in health plan and technology solutions. Ellen previously served as president at DST Health Solutions. Past roles include senior leadership positions at Visiant Health Solutions, OptumRx, UnitedHealth Group and Anthem.

An advocate for community service, Ellen volunteers regularly with Habitat for Humanity and other frontline non-profits in the communities Highmark Wholecare serves. She earned her MBA from Penn State and received her bachelor's degree from Temple University.

Current Board affiliations

  • March of Dimes, Western PA
  • Literacy Pittsburgh

Professional Memberships

  • Vistage
  • AHIP

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Highmark Health


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Highmark Health


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