Previous Member Spotlights

December 2016

Laika Kayani

Laika is the Director of Health Innovation Product Strategy at Blue Shield of California.

With a BS in Biology, and a BBA in Corporate Finance, Laika began her career as an aspiring dentist.  Working in a dental office as a dental assistant, and also utilizing her business skill set, early on Laika began focusing on how to optimize patient care.  This included ways to make the dentist office more efficient both on the clinical and business side.

These skills led to a successful consulting career, focusing on strategy development, process re-engineering, and performance management in the healthcare industry. She consulted for clients in the public and private sector – providers and payers.

As the Director of Health Innovation Technology at a payer organization, she looks at building innovative products for stakeholders of the healthcare system through emerging technology.  Some innovation ideas she is currently researching has to do with artificial intelligence and cognitive learning, ridesharing for members, and population health management solutions; to name  just a few things Laika spends her day on.

Some of the best career advice Laika has been given includes: Have a learning posture.  Don’t be afraid to take a detour in your career to find what you are passionate about.  Let there be awkward silence in the room – someone will always speak up.  

When asked how being a member of WHCE has benefited Laika, her response was “WHCE opened up my eyes to all of the talent in healthcare” further stating, “Watching and learning from WHCE members aspires me to aim higher and evolve myself”.

Advice for the early careerist includes: All moves don’t have to be upward.  Sometimes a lateral move will help develop needed skills.  It is important to understand the process of the work, which includes having to do and understand the “grunt” work.  Take chances and ask to be involved.  In her early consulting days, Laika would volunteer to take on stretch assignments, such as reviewing sales proposals and manage project budgets, which developed her skills in areas that she would have otherwise not been involved.

In her spare time, Laika reads books on how healthcare is evolving, digital, and big data and keeps up with the latest industry news through Twitter. Most importantly, she enjoys cooking, hosting friends and family, and traveling. Special family time includes spending time with her husband Umair and 10 month old son, Akbar.

Closing words from Laika:  “This is a great time to be in healthcare, especially as women. The industry is at the precipice of a major transformation and it’s amazing to see how many women are in the industry to be along on that journey. Don’t lose sight of the impact you can make in healthcare.  The culmination of skills and passion will lead each member to their own spotlight”.

Contact Information: Laika Kayani 
Director, Innovation Product Strategy
Blue Shield of California


August 2016


Senior Attorney, Cooper & Scully, P.C. 

Komal Chokshi is a Senior Attorney in the San Francisco office of Cooper & Scully, P.C. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, with a focus on the health care industry.  In addition to her courtroom experience, Komal has significant experience with Alternative Dispute Resolution, having successfully arbitrated and mediated a number of health care cases.  She also provides advice and counseling to health care start-ups and established health care entities. She has assisted a number of clients with health care regulatory investigations. "I chose a career in health care law because I love supporting those who care for patients, especially when it comes to navigating the complex world of health care laws and regulations.Unlike other types of litigation, health care litigation often involves issues other than just money such as patient privacy/safety, the interpretation of rapidly changing health care laws and the respective obligations of the various players in the health care industry.  It is also rewarding to be a specialist in an area few people know about and an area that is wrought with perils such as unwanted attention from regulators or the media.  I remain happy with my career in health care because I have the opportunity to work with so many interesting people in the field, ranging from physicians to compliance professionals, to those on the marketing/business development side of health care."

February 2015

KIM Popovitz

Chief Executive Office, Genomic Health

Committed to changing the paradigm of cancer care, Kim Popovits has served as Chairman of the Board of Genomic Health since 2012, Chief Executive Officer and President since 2009 and as President and Chief Operating Officer since 2002. Prior to joining Genomic Health, Kim served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales at Genentech, Inc., a biotechnology company, dedicated to using human genetic information to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. During her 15 years at Genentech, Kim led the successful commercialization of 14 new therapies, including Herceptin®, the revolutionary targeted treatment that changed the way doctors treat a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. Before joining Genentech, Kim served as division manager for American Critical Care, a division of American Hospital Supply Corporation. Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from Michigan State University. Kim currently serves on the board of BayBio, Northern California's life science association, which supports the regional bioscience community through advocacy, enterprise support, and enhancement of research collaboration. Kim is also the President of The Coalition for 21st Century Medicine, whose mission is to improve the quality of healthcare by encouraging research, development and commercialization of innovative diagnostic technologies that will personalize patient care, improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. She most recently joined the board of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) and serves as an Advisor to the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). Kim’s contributions to science and the commercialization of the biotechnology industry have been acknowledged by multiple organizations including, being named as the Woman of the Year in 2008 by the Women Health Care Executives and as one of the Most Influential Women in the Bay Area by The San Francisco Business Times from 2006 - 2012.

January 2015

sherie hickman

Vice President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Sequoia Hospital

Sherie Hickman is the Vice President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer for Sequoia Hospital located in Redwood City, CA, part of the Dignity Health system. Prior to joining Dignity Health, Ms. Hickman spent much of her career in healthcare administration with Kaiser Permanente, most recently serving as the Chief Operating Officer for their Walnut Creek medical center. She started her career with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California where she served in a number of medical center leadership positions in inpatient care, ambulatory care and post-acute care services. She relocated with Kaiser Permanente to North Carolina in the mid-1990’s to take the position of Area Administrator for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in Charlotte.

Ms. Hickman left Kaiser Permanente in the late 90’s to work with the Presbyterian Healthcare System in Charlotte, North Carolina in the position of Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for their affiliated physician practice organization. In this position, she was responsible for joint venture development with community-based specialists, the inpatient Hospitalists program, 6 specialty and primary care physician practices, and for the hospital’s cancer center. Ms. Hickman’s passion for alpine skiing led her to move back to the west coast and a return to Kaiser Permanente in 2001. She worked for that organization until her move to Sequoia Hospital in 2011.

Ms. Hickman is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), a member and past President of the California Association of Healthcare Leaders; a member of the Women Healthcare Executives group of Northern California, and of the National Association of Health Services Executives. In 2007, Ms. Hickman received the Regents Award from the ACHE for outstanding leadership in healthcare administration. Ms. Hickman is a graduate of the Leadership Redwood City/Belmont/San Carlos program as well as the Leadership Charlotte program.

Ms. Hickman received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle, and her Master’s in Hospital Administration from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She has completed advanced leadership programs at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. In 2009, she completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Harvard University Business School, Boston, Massachusetts.

December 2014


Senior Director of Quality Management, Blue Shield of California 

Rosemary Jordan joined Blue Shield of California on March 17, 2014 in the role of Senior Director for Quality Management. Rosemary comes to BSC with nearly twenty years of experience in quality, patient experience and affordability improvement. She has worked with health plans, hospital systems and physician organizations in all settings of care. Most recently, Rosemary has been working with other Blues plans as a consultant. In the role of Executive Director for Strategy and Consulting Solutions at Lumeris, Rosemary brought proven solutions to close gaps in care and improve quality performance for all lines of business to clients across the country.

In her nearly ten years at Sutter Health, Rosemary helped to build a robust physician network. She also led the design and implementation of notable intervention programs, including the Art of Communicating with Patients, a ground-breaking training program that successfully trained and improved patient satisfaction scores for hundreds of Northern California physicians.   Rosemary also had the opportunity to participate as a representative of Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center in the early phases of work to support Blue Shield’s City and County of San Francisco ACO with Brown & Toland Physicians.

Rosemary holds a Masters in Public Health and Public Policy from UC Berkeley and earned her A.B. from Vassar College.