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Health First Health Plans welcomes two industry leaders

Two new VPs join the HFHP ranks

ROCKLEDGE, FL (October 5, 2008) -- Health First Health Plans announces the hiring of two well respected industry leaders who are joining the HFHP leadership team.

Miguel Fernandez, DO, has joined Health First Health Plans as Vice President-Medical Director. He is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist by training who previously worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida where he was Senior Medical Director for Healthcare Programs based out of Jacksonville. Dr. Fernandez's prior experience also includes four years with Humana Healthcare. His primary responsibilities at Health First Health Plans include provider network and clinical issues, which includes oversight for medical expense/utilization management and physician/provider management.

Also joining Health First Health Plans is Jim Gillespie, who will serve as Vice President of Information Systems and Operations. His responsibilities include Information Systems, Claims Operations, Support Center, and Facilities. His previous positions include Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Operations for CMM Medi-Share, Chief Technology Officer of Chiara Coporation, and Senior Consultant for Rational Software Corporation.

"The addition of Mr. Gillespie and Dr. Fernandez further strengthens our ability to deliver the highest possible customer service," said Peter Weiss, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Health First Health Plans. "Both men are leaders in their respective fields, and bring decades of experience to Health First Health Plans."

Centrally located in the Suntree area, Health First Health Plans currently has 64,000 members, including 22,500 Medicare members. Serving residents of Brevard County and part of Sebastian in Indian River County for 12 years, Health First Health Plans was founded as part of Health First, a not-for-profit family of healthcare services that also includes Cape Canaveral Hospital, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Palm Bay Community Hospital, and Health First Physicians. For more information, visit or call 321.434.5665.