MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (February 13, 2020) –Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan has promoted Kristen Cerf to be its president and chief executive officer. Cerf will be responsible for ensuring the taxpaying, nonprofit health plan meets the needs of its nearly 400,000 Medi-Cal members in Los Angeles and San Diego counties. She replaces Greg Buchert, M.D., who has elected to retire.
Cerf, who most recently held the position of vice president, Medi-Cal Growth Strategy at Blue Shield Promise, will also lead the organization’s growth strategy to serve more members in California.
“Kristen is a thoughtful and strategic leader with a proven track record of success,” said Todd Walthall, chief operating officer for Blue Shield of California. “I am confident that with her Medi-Cal health plan and industry experience and the strong team around her, she will help Blue Shield Promise deliver for our current and future members.”
Cerf brings more than a decade of health care experience to the role. Cerf joined Blue Shield of California in 2016 as Associate General Counsel. The following year, she was appointed the Chief Legal Officer for Blue Shield Promise, overseeing all legal services including the Medicare, Medi-Cal and Cal MediConnect lines of business.
Early in her career she spent three years at the Department of Managed Health Care, followed by a number of years providing legal counsel and support for Molina Healthcare where she advised health plans in multiple states including California, Washington, and Texas for all aspects of their health plan operations. She has also worked in private legal practice, advising clients regarding compliance with the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, as well as other regulatory compliance issues.
“I am excited to take on this new role, and I am honored to have the opportunity to help fulfill Blue Shield’s mission to serve the most vulnerable in our state,” Cerf said. “We are committed to serving more Medi-Cal members because we believe that everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care.”
Cerf earned her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, with a minor in Medieval Studies from the University of California, Davis, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
About Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is a managed care organization, wholly owned by Blue Shield of California, offering Medi-Cal, Cal MediConnect, Medicare Advantage HMO, and Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans. It is led by healthcare professionals with a “members-first” philosophy and committed to building a quality network of providers and partnering with community organizations for more than 400,000 members. For more information about Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, please visit www.blueshieldca.com/promise. For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit www.news.blueshieldca.com.