L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan serving more than 1.6 million members, today announced that its Board of Governors has selected John Baackes as chief executive officer. Baackes, with over 30 years of health care experience, will join L.A. Care on March 23, replacing former CEO Howard A. Kahn, who had announced his departure a year ago. In a related action, the Board appointed John Wallace, currently serving as L.A. Care’s Chief Operating Officer, as interim CEO.

Baackes currently oversees the Medicare Advantage business unit at AmeriHealth Caritas based in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to this position, Baackes was CEO of Senior Whole Health in Cambridge, MA, a voluntary health care plan for more than 10,000 low-income seniors in Massachusetts and New York.

“I couldn’t be more honored and humbled to be selected to lead L.A. Care during this phase of growth for the organization, especially during this time of ongoing, seismic changes in the health care arena,” said Baackes. “It’s clear that Mr. Kahn left big shoes to fill, but I’m fully committed to ensuring L.A. Care continues to deliver on its increasingly important mission to provide quality, affordable healthcare for Los Angeles County residents.”

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