EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM

Meet Health New England’s executive leadership team who works hard to fulfill our mission of improving the health and lives of the people in our communities.


Richard Swift, President and CEO, Health New England

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Richard Swift was appointed President and CEO of Health New England in October 2020. As President and CEO, Richard is responsible for the successful operation of Health New England and driving growth across the organization, financial and service excellence, and continued improvements in clinical quality with a focus on lowering the cost of care in western Massachusetts. He continues working to further Health New England’s mission of serving our members and improving the health and lives of the people in our communities.

He is an experienced Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for provider-owned health plans and a senior health care executive with over 30 years of leadership with integrated delivery systems, health plans and provider groups throughout the country. Richard has served as the President of Medwise Partners, a health insurance consulting company he founded in 1996. In that capacity, he has served in numerous interim executive roles for regional health plans throughout the United States.

Richard holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Mercer University and an MBA in Health Care Administration from the University of Miami (FL).

Ken Bernard, Vice President of Information Technology

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Ken’s responsibilities include aligning Health New England’s Information Technology portfolio with the company’s needs and strategy.

He joined the company in 2010 as Director of IT Applications and subsequently took on responsibility for IT Operations and Infrastructure. Ken has extensive IT experience as a consultant and in leadership positions at several Fortune 500 companies. In addition to health care experience, Ken has a background in insurance and other financial service industries.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Western New England University.

Michael J. Faso, CPA, Interim Chief Financial Officer

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Michael is responsible for leading Health New England’s financial strategy, accounting, underwriting and financial reporting, ensuring our ability to provide cost-effective health care coverage while maintaining high-quality member care.

Michael has over 25 years of financial reporting, health insurance statutory reporting, budgeting, billing, collection, audit and treasury management experience. He started his career with Ernst & Young, gaining experience in health care auditing, mergers, acquisition, pension and financial auditing, and due diligence. Most recently, Michael served as Senior Vice President of Finance for Independent Health Association, Inc., the largest independent health maintenance organization in Western New York, where he spent over 20 years in various finance and accounting leadership roles.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.

Jody Gross, Vice President, Operations & Government Programs

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As Vice President of Operations and Government Programs, Jody has overall responsibility for Member Services, Enrollment, Claims, Government Program Operations and Government Programs Sales. Prior to this position, he served as Vice President of Sales, where he developed and executed the sales and retention strategy for the commercial, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business.

Jody most recently served as Interim President & CEO for Health New England from July 2018 to July 2019.

Jody joined the company in 2001 and has served in various management positions in finance and business development. From tracking cost-saving initiatives to creating and monitoring an extensive annual medical budget, he gained a perspective on all functional areas within Health New England.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Bryant College and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He has participated in the Tuck Executive Education Program at Dartmouth College in leadership and strategy, graduated from the Massachusetts Health Leadership College and has obtained his Lominger ® certification in interviewing and professional development. He also holds Health Insurance Producers licenses in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Ira M. Klein, MD, MBA, FACP, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

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Dr. Klein is responsible for ensuring the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care services for Health New England members, with a focus on clinical excellence, innovation and technology to improve health outcomes.

Before joining Health New England in 2020, Dr. Klein served as Senior Director and Lead, Healthcare Quality Strategy at Janssen for Johnson and Johnson, Inc., in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Previously, he held various positions at Aetna, Inc., in Hartford, Connecticut, including Medical Director, Patient Management, Northeast Region; Senior Medical Director and Analyst, National Accounts; and Chief of Staff and National Medical Director, Clinical Thought Leadership.

Dr. Klein is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a member of the American College of Physicians. He is a Certified Health Insurance Executive with the Association of Health Insurance Plans, Executive Leadership Program. Dr. Klein has published articles in several medical and insurance industry journals.

Dr. Klein holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Management; a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University, College of Pharmacy.

Keith M. Ledoux, Vice President, Commercial Line of Business and Business Development

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Keith is responsible for directing Health New England’s commercial sales, marketing and business development and to ensure these functions align with the needs of the business and overall market.

Keith has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry and has a background in sales, health care information technology and strategy development.

Prior to joining Health New England in 2019, Keith served as Senior Advisor and Board Member for MiHealth in Medway, MA. Keith began his career at Tufts Health Plan in Waltham, where he rose to become Regional Sales Manager. He then joined Fallon Health in Worcester and became Vice President of New Business, Retention Sales and Broker Relations. He has also held senior leadership positions at Minuteman Health and Constitution Health, both in Boston.

Keith earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics/Actuarial Science with a minor in Computer Science from Worcester State College. He completed the AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) Executive Leadership Program at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. Keith also served as a Corridor Nine (Westborough/Framingham, MA) Board Member.

Susan O’Connor, Esq., Vice President and General Counsel

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Sue’s responsibilities include leading all aspects of corporate and strategic legal initiatives, while overseeing both in-house and outside counsel.

Sue joined Health New England in 2008, and served in various roles including Assistant General Counsel and Director of Legal Services, and more recently as Director of Government Programs, where she was responsible for leading the growth of Health New England’s Medicare and Medicaid lines of business and overseeing operations related to government programs. Prior to joining Health New England, she was Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance for the Pioneer Health Group, and worked in private practice and with the City of Springfield Law Department. Prior to her career in law, Sue worked as a social worker for Families in Crisis, Inc., and the Connecticut Association for Human Services.

Sue received her Juris Doctor degree from Western New England University School of Law, earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Clark University. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the American Health Lawyers Association, and is a Board member of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans.


For more information about our organization and our parent company, view the Baystate Health Annual Report.