Michael M. Dudley, President and CEO of Optima Health, will retire December 31, 2017, after 21 years. Dennis Matheis will succeed Dudley.

Optima Health President retires and names successor

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Michael M. Dudley, President and CEO of Optima Health and Senior Corporate Vice President of Sentara Healthcare, will retire December 31, 2017, after 21 years of leadership and accomplishment with the health plan. Dennis Matheis will succeed Dudley as President, Optima Health, and Senior Corporate Vice President, Sentara Healthcare.

“I cannot thank Mike enough for the dedication, passion, enthusiasm and motivation he has given Optima Health over the past 21 years. Mike leaves a legacy to be proud of and leaves Optima Health in a strong position for new leadership to take the helm,” said Howard Kern, President & CEO, Sentara Healthcare. “Dennis’ leadership and operating expertise with health plans, his experience in multi-state integration efforts, and familiarity with a variety of health plan products make him the ideal candidate to build upon what Mike has accomplished,” Kern stated.

Dudley announced his decision to retire in November 2016 which began the search for his successor to ensure a seamless leadership transition. Dennis Matheis, Dudley’s successor, has served with Anthem for the past thirteen years, most recently as President of Anthem Central Region and Exchanges and Integration Leader for the Anthem-Cigna Combination.

Dennis’ previous experience includes serving as Chief Executive at Advocate Health Partners, where he was responsible for the Management Services Organization and insurer contracting effort for eight Advocate Physician Hospital Organizations. He additionally gained expertise while with three other well-known health plans—Cigna HealthCare, Humana Health Care Plans and Health Partners of the Midwest. Dennis earned his Bachelor’s in Science from the University of Kentucky. 

Matheis will join Optima Health on November 1, 2017. At this time, Dudley and Matheis will work together for two months before Dudley transitions into a year-long executive role managing special projects within Sentara and Matheis takes the reins of Optima Health.