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Amazon health venture Haven hires Dr. Sandhya Rao from Partners as VP of Clinical Strategy

CEO Atul Gawande has hired an expert in population health and risk-based contracts to help lead clinical strategy.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

The joint not-for-profit healthcare company Haven has hired another key executive, Dr. Sandhya Rao from Partners HealthCare.

Rao, senior medical director of Partners Population Health in Boston, is Haven's new vice president of clinical strategy, according to CNBC. 

Haven CEO Dr. Atul Gawande is a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's, which is part of Partners, one of the largest health systems in Massachusetts.

Rao has played an important role driving healthcare transformation for Partners, the health system said by statement.

She is an internist at Women's Health Associates at Massachusetts General and the associate medical director for Quality Improvement at the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, where she coordinates pay-for-performance initiatives and other quality improvement and incentive projects, according to Partners.


The hiring gives another glimpse into the not-for-profit healthcare company formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. In her role at Partners, Rao was the senior clinician providing oversight of Partners' efforts to advance value-based care through alternative payment models and clinical innovation. 

The CEOs of the founding companies and Gawande have released little information on plans. The company is expected to change the way healthcare is delivered for its 1.2 million employees. It may partner with other companies on products to be tested this year on small groups of employees.

Haven is seen as a disruptor in healthcare, changing current models for more cost-effective, customized care, in the same way Amazon has changed the business-as-usual shopping experience for consumers.


Other Haven hires include COO Jack Stoddard, who has a record of digital and IT health experience, Chief Technology Officer Serkan Kutan, former CTO of ZocDoc and former Optum executive David W. Smith.

Optum sued to try to stop Smith from working for Haven, saying he broke a non-compete agreement.


"As senior medical director of Population Health for Partners HealthCare, Dr. Rao has played an important role in our commitment to drive healthcare transformation for the benefit of all of our patients. We are excited for the opportunity for Dr. Rao to join another member of the Partners family, Dr. Atul Gawande, to build on this work and drive further innovation and commitment to value-based care on the national forefront."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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