Wellpoint, a leading coordinator of Medicaid managed healthcare benefits in Maryland and wholly owned subsidiary of Elevance Health, announced that Darrell Gray, II, MD, MPH has been named as the health plan’s new president. Dr. Gray, who most recently served in a nationwide, corporate role as Elevance Health’s Chief Health Equity Officer, succeeds Vincent Ancona, who recently retired.
In his new role, Dr. Gray assumes responsibility for all aspects of Wellpoint health plan operations in Maryland, including oversight of one of one of the state’s largest Medicaid managed care health plans with approximately 330,000 members. Dr. Gray’s focus will remain on ensuring Wellpoint’s members continue to have equitable access to high quality care. He also stands committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, while enhancing processes and strengthening provider and community relations.
“There truly is no place like home, so I consider it a tremendous honor, opportunity and blessing to serve the very people and communities who helped raise me,” said Dr. Gray. “I look forward to deepening Wellpoint’s relationships with care providers, communities, state leaders and partners to advance whole-person health, and ensure our Maryland residents have access to high-quality, timely and equitable care.”
Dr. Gray is a highly accomplished and respected senior leader who has extensive knowledge of Medicaid health plan operations as well as a passion for serving communities. He has been recognized as an influential and dynamic leader with proven abilities to lead tremendous growth and transformational change. As chief health equity officer of Elevance Health, he successfully led the execution of comprehensive strategies that advanced health equity through a whole-health approach (addressing physical, behavioral, social and pharmacy needs) across Elevance Health’s tens of millions of members, provider networks and respective communities. Notably, his efforts led to Wellpoint being the first managed care organization in Maryland to achieve the full three-year National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Health Equity Accreditation.
“We are pleased that one of our organization’s most outspoken health equity advocates and passionate champions of better health is taking the helm of our Wellpoint Maryland health plan,” said Kristen Metzger, President of Elevance Health’s East Region Medicaid operations. “The wealth of knowledge, expertise and dedication that Dr. Darrell Gray brings to his new role is expected to positively impact the lives and communities we serve across Maryland, so we look forward to his leadership.”
Prior to joining Elevance Health, Dr. Gray was an associate professor of medicine at The Ohio State University, where he served as a practicing gastroenterologist and medical director of healthy communities for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, as well as deputy director of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Gray is a native of Baltimore, MD and alum of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He is also a graduate of Morehouse College and Howard University College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Duke University Medical Center and gastroenterology fellowship at Washington University, subsequently earning a master’s degree in public health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as a Commonwealth Fund Fellow. Additionally, Dr. Gray considers his crowning achievements as being a committed husband of 13 years and devoted father to four young children, ages 8, 6, 4 and 17 months.