Cerner shakes up C-suite in 2021: New CEO, 1st health chief & 15 more exec moves 

Cerner's leadership team has undergone several key changes this year, from welcoming a new CEO and its first chief health officer to the departure of executives. 

Amid a year of executive changes, Cerner also entered an agreement Dec. 20 to be acquired by software giant Oracle for $28.3 billion.

Here are 17 leadership appointments and departures among the Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR company in 2021, as reported by Becker's Hospital Review

Editor's note: Executive moves are listed in the order they were reported. 

1. Amanda Adkins, vice president of strategic growth at Cerner, left the EHR company after losing her campaign for a seat in Congress, Cerner said in January. Ms. Adkins took a leave of absence from Cerner in January 2020 to focus on her campaign to try to unseat U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District. She lost the Nov. 20 election by about 10 percentage points.

2. Randy Sims left his position of chief legal officer at Cerner in January. He led the company's legal department beginning in 1997. 

3. Dan Devers replaced Mr. Sims as Cerner's chief legal officer. Before taking on the role, Mr. Devers served as the company's senior vice president of cloud strategies, overseeing Cerner's collaboration with Amazon Web Services and cloud modernization. 

4. John Peterzalek left his position as executive vice president and chief client and services officer in January. He stayed on at the company as an executive senior adviser until the end of February. 

5. Travis Dalton assumed Mr. Peterzalek's responsibilities in January as Cerner's new executive vice president and chief client and services officer. Mr. Dalton had been overseeing Cerner's government services division, which included leading its multibillion-dollar EHR implementation project for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. 

6. Mark Erceg in February joined Cerner as the company's new executive vice president and CFO. He replaced longtime Cerner executive Marc Naughton, who announced in October 2020 that he would be leaving the company after 30 years. 

7. The company announced May 5 that Brent Shafer, Cerner's CEO and chair, would leave his post. Mr. Shafer, who joined Cerner in January 2018, is staying on as a senior adviser for one year. 

8. Sam Pettijohn joined Signify Health, a healthcare technology company that provides in-home care and management services, as its new chief growth officer in July. Mr. Pettijohn most recently was senior vice president of client relationships at Cerner, where he was responsible for sales, delivery and sustaining client relationships.

9. Ben Hilmes was chosen as chief integration officer of Adventist Health in July. Before joining the Roseville, Calif.-based health system, Mr. Hilmes was a Cerner senior vice president who worked with Adventist. 

10. In July, David Bradshaw resigned as senior vice president of consumer and employer solutions at Cerner. He joined the company in March 2019. 

11. After almost 26 years at Cerner, Ed Enyeart left the company in July to join Bardavon Health Innovations, a workers' compensation digital health company. Mr. Enyeart most recently served as senior vice president of client financial operations at Cerner. At Bardavon, he is working with his former co-worker and ex-Cerner President Zane Burke. 

12. Cerner tapped David Feinberg, MD, former head of Google Health, to serve as its new president and CEO, effective Oct. 1. Dr. Feinberg led Google's healthcare initiatives starting in 2019. 

13. Donald Trigg left his post as president of Cerner, the company announced in August at the time of Dr. Feinberg's appointment.  

14. Cerner's board of directors separated the roles of chair and CEO under Dr. Feinberg's leadership and named William Zollars as its new independent chair, also effective Oct. 1. Mr. Zollars has been a member of Cerner's board since May 2005 and has served as lead independent director since April 2019. 

15. Hospital IQ, an artificial intelligence-powered hospital operations management platform, welcomed Nate Kelly as its new chief commercial officer in August. Before joining Hospital IQ, Mr. Kelly most recently served as vice president and general manager of Cerner's Health Networks division. He also previously was general manager of Cerner's health system operations division. 

16. In November, Cerner named Nasim Afsar, MD, its first chief health officer, effective in January 2022. Dr. Afsar most recently served as the COO of Irvine, Calif.-based UCI Health Irvine, a position she held for one year. She was the chief quality officer and associate CMO at UCLA Health in Los Angeles.

17. Cerner appointed Johnny Luu to serve as its new chief communications officer, the company said in November. Mr. Luu joins the EHR company from Google Health, where he most recently led communications efforts.


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