Former Iowa public health director to lead engagement efforts with network physicians, hospitals, and health care
Tom Newton has joined Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield as director of network engagement.
Newton, former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), will be responsible for engaging Wellmark’s provider community – working with hospitals and physicians to better understand their business challenges, developing new programs, and building a strong foundation of quality health care in Iowa and South Dakota.
“One of Wellmark’s goals is to make Iowa and South Dakota healthier states,” says Laura Jackson, executive vice president for health care strategy and policy. “Tom’s unique background and strategic focus will help Wellmark continue as well as enhance its collaboration with health care providers in new and different ways, with a shared vision to improve the health of our communities.
“He has worked with an array of health care stakeholders and policymakers to implement Iowa’s Health Care Reform Act of 2008 specifically addressing issues of workforce, health information technology, medical homes, prevention and chronic care management and community wellness.”
Newton holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning and political science, and a master’s degree in public policy, both from the University of Northern Iowa. He is also a graduate of the State Health Leadership Institute, a program of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Newton joined the IDPH in 2000. Prior to his position as director, he served as division director for environmental health, and as a community health consultant. While at IDPH, Newton led a statewide effort to modernize the delivery of public health services at the state and local levels.
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