The Equality Health Board of Strategic Advisors consists of experienced, national leaders across a broad range of health policy, health equity, population health, and community-based organizations.
Strategic Advisory Board
Tony M. Astorga
Mr. Astorga retired in 2011 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona where he served for over 22 years as the Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. He also held the position of President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mexico from 1994-1999 and Chief Business Development Officer from 2009-2011 during his tenure at BCBSAZ.
Mr. Astorga received a B.S. Degree in accounting with high honors from Arizona State University and has attended executive education programs at Fuqua School of Business – Duke University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management – Northwestern University, and Graduate Center for Health Professions – University of California San Francisco.
Mr. Betlach is the former Director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s single state Medicaid agency, overseeing health care coverage to 1.9 million Arizonans at an annual cost of $12 billion.
Mr. Betlach is the former President of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, serves on the Board for NCQA, is a member of the CBO Panel of Health Advisers, a member of the Guiding Committee for the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, a member of the Steering Committee for the Reforming States Group, is a Board member of the NASMHPD Research Institute and is Treasurer for Health Current.
Mr. Betlach earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin and his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Arizona.
Ben R. Leedle, Jr., is a transformative business leader who envisions and creates world-class companies. He has spent his career building and delivering value-based businesses established and grown on the fundamental proposition that healthier people cost less and perform better.
In addition to his role as Board Director for Equality Health, he is actively engaged as strategic advisor/board director/investor for several companies includingBlue Zones, a community health and longevity company, BeHealth Solutions, a digital therapeutics company, Narus Health, a palliative care company, and compassware, a life data, analytics and digital platform company. He is a frequent speaker at industry and educational events. Mr. Leedle is a graduate of the Executive Education Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School and holds a Master of Science degree from Emporia State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree, Summa Cum Laude, in Education from Central College, Pella, Iowa. He is passionate about community and professional leadership and has served as the Chairman of the Nashville Health Care Council and the American Heart Association Executive Leadership Team.
L. Ben Lytle
Ben Lytle is a health care entrepreneur and executive best known as the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Anthem, Inc., one of the nation’s largest health plans. He also founded Acordia, Inc., which became the world’s 7th largest insurance broker and today is part of Wells Fargo Insurance.
Mr. Lytle’s entrepreneurial leadership and innovative strategies have been cited in numerous articles and books. He has been active throughout his career as a speaker on entrepreneurship, health care policy and strategic planning. He has authored numerous articles and provided testimony to Congress and state legislatures, chaired Indiana’s Health Care Commission and served on President Clinton’s Commission on Consumer Protection and Healthcare Quality.
Mr. Lytle has served on numerous not-for-profit and eleven investor-owned Boards of Directors, frequently as Chairman or Lead Director. He is the recipient of numerous awards for civic and entrepreneurial leadership.
After serving as President of BMO Private Bank in the Western U.S. for six years, Steve has assumed the role of Senior Advisor to the CEO of BMO Private Bank. For over 20 years, Steve has been an active leader in the Arizona business and civic communities.
Steve graduated from Denison University where he serves on the Board of Trustees and has a law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he serves on the National Law Board.
Steve is a long-standing member of the Arizona community serving many philanthropic and civic organizations. He is a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, Board Member and Treasurer of Paradise Valley Country Club, Trustee of the Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona (MICA), and is the past chair of the Board of Trustees for the Arizona Science Center. He is a member of the Phoenix Thunderbirds, having served as Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman and President of the group in 2001. In 2006, Steve was given the Community Champion Award by the Greater Phoenix Boys & Girls Club.
Jean-Pierre Millon is a director at CVS Health, Inc. [NYSE:CVS], and co-founder of BLS LLC, a consulting and investing entity based in Indianapolis. Other board appointments include Portable Genomics, a private Healthcare IT company; TAV Health, a medical service company; and United Claims Solutions. He also sits on the CEO advisory board of Great Point Partners, a private equity group.
Jean-Pierre was a special limited partner at Care Capital LLC, a HealthCare Venture Fund, from 2001 to 2003.
Jean-Pierre’s board position at CVS Health evolved as a result of CVS’ merger with Caremark in April 2007 and Caremark’s purchase of AdvancePCS, a pharmacy benefit-management company. Before his post with Caremark, he was named to the board of AdvancePCS upon the merger of Advance Paradigm and PCS Health Systems. He was president and chief executive officer of PCS from 1996 to 2000.
Previously, Jean-Pierre was an executive with Eli Lilly and Company, PCS’ former parent company. His career with Lilly and its subsidiaries spanned two decades and was highlighted by leadership positions in the United States and executive posts in the Orient, Europe and the Caribbean Basin. Jean-Pierre served as president and general manager of Lilly Japan K.K. and vice president of the Lilly pharmaceutical division in Kobe, Japan.
Jean-Pierre earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France, and a degree in economics from the University of Lyon, France. He also was awarded an MBA in finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Frank M. Placenti
Frank M. Placenti serves as the leader of the US corporate finance and governance practice for Squire Patton Boggs. He has substantial experience with mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, securities law, private equity financings, antitakeover and shareholder engagement and activism issues. Frank is nationally recognized for his work in both corporate governance and M&A.
Frank was honored as the Corporate Governance Lawyer of the Year for Arizona in 2013. He is listed in the 2006 to 2016 editions of Best Lawyers in America, the 2003 to 2016 editions of Chambers USA, and is listed in America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He is a multi-year member of the Lawdragon 500, an acknowledgment given to the top 500 lawyers in America. He is listed in has been selected by his peers since 2007 as a Southwest Super Lawyer, a distinction awarded to the top 5 percent of lawyers in the region.
Frank has served as lead director for several public and private companies in industries including healthcare and has served as Chair of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and as a member of that hospital’s Board of Directors.
Frank is the Editor of The Directors Handbook, A Field Guide to 101 Situations Commonly Encountered in the Boardroom.
Jacque J. Sokolov, M.D.
Jacque J. Sokolov, M.D. is chairman and chief executive officer of SSB Solutions, Inc., a diversified healthcare management, development and financial services company.
Dr. Sokolov received his BA and MD Degree from the University of Southern California. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and his fellowship in cardiovascular diseases from the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School. He previously held and currently holds academic appointments and advisory board responsibilities in the Schools of Medicine, Business and Public Health at Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California.
Jeffrey A. Weiss, Ph.D.
Jeff Weiss founded CCI, Inc. in 1986. CCI runs exclusive ongoing forums where CEOs and senior executives from Global 1000 firms and large healthcare systems can explore strategies and growth. CCI is partnered with major global consulting firms. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCLA.
Previously, he was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Bio-Behavioral Sciences at the UCLA Medical School and served as Director of the Department of Behavior Medicine at the UCLA/San Bernardino County Medical Center, where he taught Family Medicine and Introduction to Psychiatry to UCLA/UCR Medical Students. He is a licensed Psychologist specializing in behavioral medicine, achievement motivation and career strategy.
Previously, Jeff was a Director at City of Hope Medical Center, High Technology Group, Lorien Systems (a systems integrator), Chrysalis (a homeless employment organization) and Homeboy Industries. He was also a Trustee of the California School of Professional Psychology and on the Board of SO/CAL/TEN and was a Trustee of the California Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
Currently, he is a Director of the South-Central Scholars Foundation, which provides mentoring and scholarships to gifted minorities in Los Angeles. Jeff is also on the Board of C-TAC (Coalition to Transform Advanced Care), a coalition of leading delivery systems, managed care and academic not-for-profits developing a new model and reimbursement for advanced illness and end of life, which he co-founded with Bill Novelli and Tom Koutsoumpas. He is also on the Board of MindCare Solutions, a venture capital funded telemedicine provider spun out from Vanderbilt.
He received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and an MS in Organizational Development from the California School of Professional Psychology and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Tennessee Medical School.