VNS Health is changing health care. Our goal is to make it easy to access, simple to understand, and meaningful to the people in our care, at every stage of their health care journey. Our leadership team brings to life our Core Values of empathy, agility, and integrity to help continue our legacy of care and commitment.
As President and Chief Executive Officer of VNS Health, Dan Savitt oversees one of the largest not-for-profit home- and community-based health care organizations in the United States.
Prior to becoming CEO of VNS Health in February 2021, Mr. Savitt was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Savitt brings extensive experience from his work at US Acute Care Solutions, Landmark Health LLC, UnitedHealth Group, Northwest Airlines, and the Ford Motor Company.
Mr. Savitt holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
As VNS Health’s Executive Vice President and Chief Experience Officer, Michael Bernstein is responsible for Marketing, Communications, Consumer Experience, Contact Center Shared Service, Development, Facilities, and Core Administrative Services.
He previously held key leadership roles at VNS Health from 2005 through 2015, first as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and then as Executive Vice President, Business Operations, and Chief Marketing Officer. Mr. Bernstein left VNS Health in 2014 to help found Extend Fertility, the first enterprise in the country focused exclusively on providing elective egg-freezing services to women. He returned to VNS Health in 2018 and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer until 2020.
Mr. Bernstein holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School.
As Executive Vice President and Chief of Provider Services for VNS Health, Andria Castellanos is responsible for oversight of all initiatives related to Provider Services. She leads the VNS Health Home Care, Hospice Care, Personal Care, and Behavioral Health teams, among others.
Before joining VNS Health in October 2018, Ms. Castellanos held senior positions at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP), most recently as Group Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at the NYP/Columbia Campus. Some of Ms. Castellanos’s earlier roles include work with New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center, Oxford Health Plans, Peat Marwick Main & Co., and Rogatz, Myers and Rosenfeld (RMR).
She holds a Bachelor of Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Master of Business Administration, Graduate Program in Health Care Administration from Baruch College/Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is also a current member of the Board of Trustees for the Billion Oyster Project, whose mission is to restore oyster reefs to New York Harbor through public education initiatives.
As Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Risk Officer of VNS Health, Kerry Parker is responsible for directing and overseeing the Legal Affairs, Risk Management, Board Governance, Government Affairs, and Internal Audit functions for VNS Health and its subsidiaries and affiliates. He also oversees VNS Health’s Provider and Corporate Compliance and Privacy functions, led by the SVP of Compliance.
Prior to joining VNS Health, Mr. Parker practiced health care law, labor and employment law, and litigation as a partner with the law firms of Epstein, Becker & Green, P.C. and Gibbons, P.C. He has served in various leadership roles in other nonprofit organizations, including as a Trustee and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Springpoint Senior Living, Inc., the leading New Jersey provider of senior living and care.
Mr. Parker received his Juris Doctor with honors from Seton Hall University Law School and served a judicial clerkship in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
In his role as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Keith Patterson is responsible for providing overall financial and strategic direction to VNS Health.
Prior to joining VNS Health, Mr. Patterson most recently served as Chief Financial Officer for Ready Responders, an on-demand community health care service. He has also held several senior financial leadership positions at UnitedHealth Group and Optum. Prior to that, Mr. Patterson served in senior corporate development, corporate finance, and financial planning and analysis roles at Aetna, following a number of years in Equity Research and Investment Banking with J.P. Morgan.
Mr. Patterson holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and a Master of Business Administration from the Stern School of Business at New York University, with a concentration in Strategy and Leadership.
Tim Peng, PhD
Tim Peng, PhD
As Executive Vice President, Science and Technology, Timothy Peng, PhD, oversees VNS Health’s Business Intelligence and Analytics (BIA) and Information Technology (IT) teams, as well as the Center for Home Care Policy & Research at VNS Health. In this role, Mr. Peng leads a strategic function that integrates these teams to drive innovation and technology across VNS Health, informed by meaningful, timely data.
Mr. Peng has been a part of VNS Health for more than 20 years. In that time, he served as both a Research Scientist for the Center for Home Care Policy & Research and subsequently was named Vice President of Data Science and Strategic Analytics. His most recent role at VNS Health was Chief Data Analytics Officer.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Yale University and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Michigan’s Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research.
As Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, David Rosales oversees VNS Health’s Strategic Program Development, Performance and Innovation, New Product Development, and Cultural Market Development teams.
Mr. Rosales previously served VNS Health as part of the organization’s Performance and Innovation team. After leaving VNS Health in 2014, Mr. Rosales served in senior positions at the national health care consulting firm Manatt Health, where he focused on advising safety-net health care organizations on delivery-system reform and Medicaid strategy. He also previously served as a Deland Fellow in Health Care and Society at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, prior to which he held positions with Oliver Wyman consulting company and Goldman Sachs.
Mr. Rosales holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
As Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Gail Thakarar oversees all aspects of VNS Health’s HR and people management strategies, to ensure that the organization has the right people to achieve its goals and deliver on the shared mission.
Ms. Thakarar comes to VNS Health with extensive experience as a global HR leader. She began her career with GE, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bank of America; more recently she has worked with start-ups and Fortune 200 companies across industries. As a trusted advisor to the C-suite and an advocate for teams and employees, she fosters agility and growth as companies navigate digital and cultural transformations.
Ms. Thakarar holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Industrial Relations and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Mumbai. She has worked in cultural centers globally and is fluent in several languages.
Susan Bockenhauer, DO
Susan Bockenhauer, DO
As Medical Director of VNS Health Health Plans, Dr. Susan Bockenhauer brings both her medical and administrative expertise to VNS Health, where she is responsible for supporting all clinical operations, quality, and compliance activities of the health plan’s Management Services Organization.
Dr. Bockenhauer has over 15 years of experience as a physician executive in both provider and payer organizations, analyzing data, streamlining processes, and identifying opportunities to improve health care navigation and health outcomes. As a family practitioner, she served patients in private practice, in a staff-model HMO, and in academic medical centers and has a passion for health equity and providing whole-person care. Past leadership roles included Director of Osteopathic Medical Education for two Brooklyn hospitals and Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Maimonides Medical Center, among others. Most recently, Dr. Bockenhauer served as Medical Director and Senior Medical Director for United HealthCare, Optum, and NaviHealth.
Dr. Bockenhauer received a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her family practice residency at Lutheran Medical Center and her DO residency at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Ritchell Dignam, MD
Ritchell Dignam, MD
Ritchell R. Dignam, MD, is Chief Medical Officer for Provider Services at VNS Health. She also serves as Hospice Medical Director for VNS Health Hospice Care and as Program Director of VNS Health’s Hospice Fellowship Training Program.
Prior to joining VNS Health, Dr. Dignam was a Hospice Medical Director at VITAS Healthcare. She has also served as Medical Director at several New Jersey hospice agencies and other medical institutions. Board-certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine, Dr. Dignam also served as a geriatrician and an assistant professor at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine’s New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging (formerly known as the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey), where she has practiced since 2000.
Dr. Dignam attended undergraduate and medical school at Far Eastern University in Manila, where she received a Bachelor of Science in medical technology from the School of Medical Technology, and a Doctor of Medicine from the Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation.
Jay Dobkin, MD
Jay Dobkin, MD
As Chief Medical Officer, Jay Dobkin, MD, brings five decades of medical experience to VNS Health Health Plans. As an infectious disease specialist, he provides important insights into the coronavirus and the illness it causes, as well as the challenges that health care providers are facing. He also serves as medical director for SelectHealth, a special needs plan for people living with HIV.
Prior to joining the VNS Health team, Dr. Dobkin was the director of Columbia University Medical Center’s AIDS program from 1988 to 2009. He has been a faculty member at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons since 1979 and has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other organizations on the care of HIV in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. On World AIDS Day, December 1, 2021, he received a special recognition award from the Commissioner of New York State’s Department of Health.
Dr. Dobkin received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency at Montefiore Medical Center.
Board of Directors
Andrew N. Schiff, MD, Chair
Anne B. Ehrenkranz, PhD, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer
Margaret A. Bancroft, Emeritus
Douglas D. Broadwater, Emeritus
Robert C. Daum
E. Mary Davidson
Eugenie Doyle, MD, Emeritus
Sarah L. Eames
Claire M. Fagin, PhD, RN, FAAN, Emeritus
Darren M. Fogel
Alice C. Frelinghuysen, Emeritus
Mary R. (Nina) Henderson
Peter L. Hutchings
Robert M. Kaufman
Joseph D. Mark
Donna McCabe, DNP, GNP-BC, PMHNP-BC
Simone-Marie L. Meeks
Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN, Emeritus
Phyllis J. Mills, BSN, RN
Carl H. Pforzheimer III
John P. Rafferty
Corinne H. Rieder, EdD
Paula L. Root, Emeritus
Gayle Rosenthal, MD
Dan Savitt, Ex officio
Eileen M. Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN