New roles for HMSA leaders

HMSA announces leadership changes and new roles for the areas of community engagement, government programs, and communications, which took effect Aug. 1.

With the retirement of Senior Vice President and Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer Elisa Yadao, Kathryn Matayoshi assumes a new role of senior vice president, chief community engagement officer, which holds responsibility for HMSA Foundation and the company’s community engagement strategy. Matayoshi also will continue to oversee the company’s Account Management and Sales team until a replacement is named.

Before joining HMSA in December 2017, she most recently served as superintendent of the state Department of Education. Her experience also includes advising Hawaii’s top business leaders as executive director of the Hawaii Business Roundtable, serving as chief of staff at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, and leading the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Jennifer Diesman has a new role of senior vice president, government, and is responsible for Medicaid programs. With this new position, Diesman will transition into leading all government programs at HMSA, including Medicare, Affordable Care Act plans, and HMSA’s health plans for federal employees. She will retain oversight of the Government Relations team in her expanded role and transition management of the Market and Product Development area when a replacement is named. Diesman has served HMSA members for more than 20 years.

In addition, Vice President of Communications Christine Hirasa will serve as the lead communications professional for HMSA. She joined HMSA in January and most recently served as special advisor to the director for the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

Hirasa also served as director of Communications for the Office of the Governor under Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Her professional experience also includes various communication and leadership roles with the state Department of Education, University of Hawaii – West Oahu, the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the state Judiciary, Hawaii News Now, and KHON2 TV.

About HMSA

Caring for the people of Hawaii is our promise and our privilege. Working together with employers, partners, and physicians and other health care providers, we promote well-being; develop reliable, affordable health plans; and support members with clear, thoughtful guidance.

HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii’s population. As a recognized leader, we embrace our responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of our community.

Headquartered on Oahu with centers and offices statewide to serve our members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.