Press Releases

Monday, March 27, 2017

Charles DeShazer, M.D. named Chief Medical Officer at Highmark Health Plan

PITTSBURGH (March 27, 2017) — Highmark has named Charles DeShazer, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer of Highmark Health Plan. He will report directly to the health plan president, and as a member of the senior executive team, be responsible for defining the health plan's clinical strategy.

"As health care transforms from a volume-based fee-for-service model to one that emphasizes quality, value, and the centrality of the patient experience, Charles is the right person in the right position to speed us along this journey," said Deb Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark Health Plan. "A strong proponent of patient-centered care, Charles has been a critical driver of Highmark's clinical service initiatives and its complex care models which emphasize an integrated team approach that recognizes the need to address socio-economic determinants of care in order to optimize member health."

Board-certified in internal medicine, Dr. DeShazer brings thirty years of clinical and management experience to his new role. He began his career as an attending physician at Cook County Hospital in Chicago from 1987 to 1991 before joining Kaiser Permanente where he held a number of administrative positions until 2008. Prior to joining Highmark, he also served as Illinois medical director for Humana, vice president of medical informatics, quality and transformation at Dean Health System in Madison, Wisconsin, and chief quality officer of BayCare Health System in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.

"Medicine and the delivery of health care stand on the precipice of transformative times," said Dr. DeShazer. "Technology and advanced data analytics give us new insights into how best to maximize the effectiveness and value of the care our members need. Particularly at an integrated delivery system like Highmark which is able to connect the provision of care with the coverage of clinical services, the potential is limitless to transform the patient's experience within the health care system, making it simpler, easier to access and more affordable. This is the mission Highmark has set for itself and one I am proud to contribute to."


Highmark Inc. and its health insurance subsidiaries and affiliates collectively are among the ten largest health insurers in the United States and comprise the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated organization. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve five million members and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related businesses. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Wendy Morphew
Highmark Inc.
412-544-3616 (office)
917-697-1782 (cell)