Neighborhood Health Plan names new chief medical officer

SMITHFIELD – Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island has appointed Dr. Kristin Russell as the insurer’s chief medical officer.

Russell, who officially started on May 15, replaces Dr. Marylou Buyse, who Neighborhood Health Plan said left “to pursue other opportunities.”

Russell holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a medical degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She completed her residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, as well as a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is board-certified in both psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry and has served on national committees with oversight of U.S. health care quality.

“I’m thrilled to be joining such a wonderful organization, and one that has served as a national benchmark for high-quality, affordable health care,” Russell said. “I believe deeply in the values that guide Neighborhood, and I look forward to helping the organization continuously improve the ways in which it collaborates with its network of providers and community-based partners to better serve its members.”

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Russell most recently served as associate vice president of enterprise outcomes management at Humana Inc., a for-profit health insurance company. She managed medical costs while assisting the company’s Medicare Advantage members. She also worked with the organization’s behavioral health team, helped lead the COVID-19 clinical responses and assisted in developing a new health equity measurement approach that earned national attention.

Russell also spent 10 years as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and was an attending psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Along with teaching medical students, Russell treated adults and children with behavioral health conditions and counseled parents with cancer about how to communicate with their children. Russell also enjoys mentoring student entrepreneurs and judging startup competitions at Harvard and MIT.

“Neighborhood has an obligation to stay on the leading edge of health care so that we can maintain access to high-quality, affordable care for all Rhode Islanders,” said CEO and President Peter Marino. “We’re excited about the extensive experience Dr. Russell brings in developing evidence-based programs focused on providing members across Medicare and Medicaid with effective, comprehensive, coordinated care.”

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