Gold Kidney Health Plan was created by nephrologists to improve health outcomes for those with End Stage Renal Disease or conditions that lead to chronic kidney disease.
Gold Kidney leaders are passionate about what they do and committed to creating a better standard of quality care for patients with chronic health conditions.
Our employees are a vital part of delivering on our promise to provide a gold standard of care by providing a more personalized and holistic approach to healthcare.
Our story began by listening to patients with chronic diseases. Patients have been telling their doctors that they cannot afford necessary treatments for their chronic conditions due to the limited availability of Chronic-Special Needs Plans in the market. Over 100 nephrologists decided to take actions and started Gold Kidney Health Plan.
The goal is to provide the needed coverage for patients with chronic diseases. Gold Kidney reduces patients’ cost share by offering Chronic-Special Needs Plans that offer low to no member costs for select treatments for chronic conditions.
Our care model is simple: removing patients’ barriers to care by empowering our physician partners to have full authority to direct the care for our chronically ill members.
Gold Kidney’s patient-centric care approach integrates payor, provider, and care management technology to effectively improve patient outcomes and quality. At Gold Kidney, the patient’s well-being is our number one focus and priority.
Dave Firdaus, CEO
Dave, a seasoned managed care CEO, is dedicated to improving affordable kidney care for those with kidney disease. In 2019, he co-founded Clever Care Health Plan, targeting underserved ethnic groups. Before this, Dave led as CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield AZ Advantage from 2014 to 2019 and served as COO of SCAN Health Plan AZ between 2011 and 2013. His professional journey began at Booz Allen Hamilton, followed by leadership roles at top payors. Dave boasts an MBA from Duke University and completed an Executive Education at Harvard Business School.
Gregg Kunemund, COO
Gregg joined us after a 14-year stint as Health Plan CEO of United Healthcare Medicare/Medicaid, managing five states and 766,000 members. Under his guidance, the plan earned $7.2 billion in revenue, with 83% of members in 4+ STAR plans. He played a pivotal role in profit and loss, sales, and market expansion, achieving a 14.2% annual growth in his territories. Gregg initiated his career at Group Health in New York. He then helmed Medicare operations at AvMed for 13 years and led key departments at Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida for 4 years. Gregg holds a degree from State University of Brockport.
Tom Biuso, Medical Director, Board Advisor
Dr. Biuso holds a Medical Doctorate from New York Medical College and an MBA from Penn State University. He served as Chief Medical Officer of United Healthcare’s West Region from 2007 to 2021. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor at The University of Arizona.
Francisco Leon, VP of Audit and Compliance
Francisco, a versatile executive, excels in demanding environments with over 20 years in auditing and healthcare compliance, including addressing Fraud, Waste, and Abuse. He has held roles in notable managed care organizations like United Healthcare Group and Anthem. From 2016-2018, he served as the Audit & Compliance Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona Advantage. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Arizona, Florida, and Puerto Rico, Mr. Leon also holds CIA and CRMA certifications. He graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Puerto Rico and is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Gloria Long, Executive Director
With 35 years in health care policy and administration, Gloria boasts 14 years as a Managed Care Executive, overseeing Health Plan management roles including VP of Operations and various positions at PacifiCare. At Heritage Provider Network, she held positions like Chief Administrative Officer and Senior VP, overseeing areas like Medicare ACO, HMO, and PPO products in Arizona and California. Her responsibilities spanned from startup operations, claims, and provider relations to care coordination. Gloria holds an MPH from Yale University School of Medicine and a bachelor’s in Psychobiology from Scripps College.
Kirsten Sorensen, RN, VP of Clinical Services
Kirsten has over 25 years of nursing/clinical operations experience. Prior to joining Gold Kidney, Kirsten served as Senior Directorr of Care Navigation and Director of Utilization Management, Care Management, and Appeals & Grievances at Fresenius Medical Care North America (2015-2021). Kirsten is a Certified Case Manager and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. Kirsten earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University.
Alex McNab, CIO
Alex McNab is accountable for Information Technology Strategy at Gold Kidney. He brings to this role over 25 years of experience in the areas of health plan IT Operations, deployment and development of high performing solutions and ensuring regulatory compliance. Alex’s experience includes CIO and VP roles in health plans such as MMM of Florida, Solis Health Plans, Preferred Medical plans, Simply Healthcare Plans and Vista Health Plan.
Leigh Cantrell, Chief Growth Officer
Leigh Cantrell brings almost two decades of Medicare sales management expertise to Gold Kidney. With over 10 years at UnitedHealthcare (UHC) and 3 years at Cigna, she’s held significant sales leadership positions. At UHC, she pioneered sales in Georgia, successfully registering over 50,000 new members through effective sales tactics. Later, as Cigna’s Regional VP of Medicare Growth, she oversaw both the NE/Mid-West and SE regions. Throughout her tenure at both companies, Leigh ensured the attainment of membership goals mainly by acquiring new members. Her contributions at Cigna were transformative; she championed pivotal strategies like introducing a social media approach within 90 days, enhancing Value-Based Enrollment rewards, and evolving various sales channels. Last season, under her leadership, there was an 8% increase in global risk partner memberships and a 59% YOY surge in ready-to-sell agents.
Sandra M. Howe, Vice President Marketing, Brand and Public Relations
Sandra is a seasoned healthcare leader with over two decades of experience in the Medicare Advantage industry, who has worked with leading insurance companies such as Health Net and Anthem. She has successfully implemented marketing strategies for government programs and has led high-performing teams that convey the organization’s value proposition and increase revenue growth.
Sandra graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Carrie Knowles, Atkinson, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Florida
Carrie has a total of 25+ years’ experience with healthcare payers including 22 years’ progressive executive-level leadership experience within Provider Networks. During her 19-year tenure with UnitedHealth Group (UnitedHealthcare and Optum) she acted as the executive leader responsible for local, regional, and national Provider Network teams and gained deep experience with Medicare Advantage (Medicare), Medicaid, commercial (employer-sponsored), Exchange and Global networks and benefit plans as well as network solutions for Federal customers.