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Highmark selects new president, CEO

By , - Last modified: June 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr.
Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr.

Pittsburgh-based Highmark Inc., which has a significant midstate presence, said today its board has chosen William Winkenwerder Jr., a doctor and former Pentagon health affairs official, to be the insurer's president and CEO.

Winkenwerder served nearly six years as assistant secretary for health affairs in the U.S. Department of Defense, leading the military's health system and acting as the principal medical adviser to Defense Secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates.

Winkenwerder, 58, is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He also received a graduate degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

He practiced primary care for several years before becoming special assistant to the administrator overseeing Medicare and Medicaid in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1987. A year later, he went to Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta as the director of quality assurance and later became associate medical director.

In 1992, Winkenwerder became vice president and chief medical officer for Prudential Health Care's Southern operations. In 1996, he became associate vice president for health affairs and vice president for the Academic Medical Center at Emory University.

From 1998 to 2001, Winkenwerder was vice chairman and executive vice president for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Most recently, he was chairman and CEO of the Winkenwerder Co., a Virginia-based consulting firm he founded in 2007.

Highmark is the parent company of Cumberland County-based Highmark Blue Shield. The East Pennsboro Township nonprofit health insurer employs about 5,200 people in Central Pennsylvania.

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