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Highmark exec joins Hershey Medical Center board

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Highmark Health CMO Tony Farah
Highmark Health CMO Tony Farah - (Photo / )

In its first move since announcing a $1 billion partnership with the insurance carrier, Penn State Health appointed an executive of Highmark to the board of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Tony Farah, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Pittsburgh-based Highmark Health, will join the board of directors for the Derry Township hospital as its 13th member.

Farah played a role in the formation of Highmark’s provider arm Allegheny Health Network,  where he served as chief medical officer for Allegheny General Hospital, president of the Allegheny Health Clinic and chief medical officer for Allegheny Health Network - a position he had before and after the health network was acquired by Highmark in 2013.

Three other Highmark executives will be joining the board of Penn State Health - a separate entity from the board of Hershey Medical Center. The identities of the three other executives will be revealed after a board meeting Wednesday.

It’s the first new announcement since Highmark and Penn State Health unveiled a partnership in December that called for a $1 billion investment in what the partners described as "a high-value, community-based health care network."

Speculation has run high as to how that money will be spent with most bets being placed on further expansion of Penn State Health’s services and brand past its hallmark hospital. The nonprofit operates three different hospitals at its Derry Township campus - including a cancer institute and children’s hospital - as well as another hospital near Reading and over 1,400 providers across 119 locations.

In July of last year, Penn State Health completed the purchase of East Hempfield Township-based Physicians' Alliance Limited, adding 120 locations across Dauphin, Lancaster and York counties to its network.

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Gillian Branstetter

Gillian Branstetter

Gillian Branstetter covers health care news for the Central Penn Business Journal. Email her at

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