South Country Health Alliance (SCHA) welcomes Mark Dietz, MD, MBA, as its newest medical director, to work with current medical director Dr. Patrick Irvine on developing strategies for improving population health, managing complex health care needs of members and creating value-based contracting methodologies with providers.
In its search for a new medical director, SCHA sought a candidate with a diverse background in health care and innovative approaches for the health plan to evolve within a health care reform environment.
“I was impressed immediately with Dr. Dietz’s energy and excitement regarding the opportunities that may be out there for an organization such as ours,” said SCHA CEO Leota Lind. “I believe he will provide leadership for South Country to improve the health outcomes of our members through collaborative partnerships with our local providers and communities.”
Dietz, formerly the Chief Medical Officer at New River Medical Center in Monticello, Minn., has extensive experience in physician leadership, clinical and business operations, operational and financial performance improvement, quality and patient safety, organizational alignment and integration, and regulatory and legislative initiatives. He has worked in all levels of health care, but Dietz said he is looking forward to expanding his experience and skills with health plans.
“It’s a new opportunity for me, since most of my work has been on the provider side,” said Dietz. “I want to see how we can improve the interface between the provider and the payer. As we go forward, that’s going to be more and more critical. I’m excited to see where we can take this.”
Dietz added that he hopes to help SCHA improve its member participation, provider network development, quality and patient safety initiatives and overall outcomes for patients and providers. He also will work to expand the “triple aim” approach at SCHA, which focuses on improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of health care.
Lind said the new position resulted from an increasing demand for more time and involvement by the medical director. Dietz will support Irvine, who has been SCHA’s part-time medical director since 2003. Irvine will continue to work with SCHA during Dietz’s transition into his new position, offering guidance and leadership regarding the medical director’s role.
“I’m looking forward to working with Dr. Dietz during the transition period and introducing him to colleagues,” said Irvine. “I think he’ll bring some new thinking to South Country and a strong emphasis on building relationships, especially working with providers.”
Dietz received his medical degree in 1984 from Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., and his master’s degree in business administration in 1996 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. He is a member of several professional affiliations, including the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American College of Physician Executives, Stratis Health, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.