Executive Leadership Team
Meet the Availity executive leadership team
Chief Executive Officer
Russ Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of Availity. His vision helped to diversify Availity’s solutions and grow its customer base, creating the foundation for the expansive Availity network that exists today. Combined, the enterprise now delivers healthcare business solutions to a growing network that connects more than 1,000,000 physicians and allied care providers, 2,700 hospitals, and more than 600 technology partners with health plans nationwide. Under Thomas’s leadership, Availity is leading the charge in provider engagement and empowering health care professionals to improve results.
Before joining Availity, Thomas was CEO of Gold Standard, a drug information database and clinical knowledge solution. Thomas grew the company from a small start-up to a multi-sector leader in the healthcare market before selling the business to Reed Elsevier in 2006. He remained with Reed Elsevier as a senior executive in their clinical information business until 2008. Thomas also serves on the Board of Directors of Connecture, Inc., (CNXR), a technology company that develops information systems to support purchasing insurance online.
Thomas is active in many industry and philanthropic organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors for eHealth Initiative, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that seeks to drive improvements in the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare through information technology. In 2015, he served as Chair of the United Way Northeast Florida Annual Campaign. Through the United Way, Availity developed a partnership with Ribault Middle School in the “Achievers for Life” dropout prevention program. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for Jacksonville University and was a founding board member and past chairman of Hillsborough Kids, Inc., which provides oversight and resources for more than 4,000 disadvantaged children in Hillsborough County, Florida. A licensed commercial pilot, Thomas was appointed to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority board of directors in 2015.
Thomas earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia. He lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida with his wife Claudia and their two children. He is an avid cyclist.
Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer
Jeff Chester is Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for Availity and has responsibility for leadership and direction of the Availity sales organization.
Prior to joining Availity in 2010, Jeff served as Vice President and General Manager of Sales for GE Healthcare IT Clinical Business Solutions, a $1.4 billion division of General Electric.
Jeff began his healthcare career in 1993 with WebMD, where he was part of the original management team that merged WebMD with Healtheon, ENVOY and Medical Manager. He went on to serve as Vice President of Business Development at Next Ventures LLC, a venture capital accelerator for upstart health care technology companies.
Additionally, he has served as Vice President of Strategic Account Development for Groupcast, a division of IDX Systems Corporation. In 2002, Jeff joined IDX Systems Corporation as the Regional Sales Director for IDX Groupcast and was promoted to Groupcast’s Vice President of Strategic Account Development in 2005. He was then assigned to lead the IDX/GE integration for sales, which led to his role as a Vice President and General Manager of Sales at GE Healthcare IT Clinical Business Solutions.
Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida State University.
Chief Technology Officer
Damien Creavin is Chief Technology Officer for Availity, overseeing technology strategy and operations, platform development, and information security.
Damien joined Availity in 2018 and brings more than 20 years of diverse IT leadership experience in healthcare, media, and electronics. Most recently as Senior Vice President, CIO, and CTO of healthcare analytics company Cotiviti, Damien was responsible for IT strategy, architecture, technology operations, and product engineering, and was a key part of the leadership team that successfully executed Cotiviti’s 2016 IPO.
His career has also included the role of Senior Vice President, CIO, and CTO of the healthcare company Emdeon (now Change Healthcare), where he focused on technology strategy, enterprise transaction processing platforms, and business management platforms.
As Senior Vice President and CIO of the media company Primedia, Damien led the integration of traditional and digital content and the development of search and e-commerce solutions. During his time as CTO of Time Inc., a division of Time Warner, one of the world’s largest media companies, Damien drove the adoption of internet content creation and delivery, digital asset management, and e-commerce.
Damien holds an MBA in General Management from the NYU Stern School of Business, and Bachelor’s degrees in Systems Engineering and Mathematics from Trinity College Dublin. He enjoys literature, theater, and music, as well as riding his Pinarello Dogma F10, and will be relocating to Jacksonville with his wife Susan and their two children.
Chief Financial Officer
Nate Eastman is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) managing all aspects of the company’s finance and accounting operations.
Eastman joined Availity in 2014 and brings more than 16 years of financial leadership, and has a history of excellence as a strategic business partner in high growth, complex business environments.
Prior to joining Availity, Eastman was CFO of Maryland-based healthcare analytics firm Inovalon, where he was central to strategic planning and decision making in the financial, treasury, and banking functions, in addition to providing executive leadership for budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting and tax matters. Prior to that, he led the client audit function at Express Scripts and served as a director in the mergers and acquisitions practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Eastman, a Certified Public Accountant, earned a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, after having completed his undergraduate degree in accounting at St. Norbert College.
He is based in Jacksonville, Fla.
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Provider Solutions
Scott Herbst is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Provider Solutions, leading Availity’s provider services groups and the partnership/vendor programs. Additionally, he was responsible for leading much of the integration between RealMed and Availity.
Scott joined RealMed in 1999 and held various leadership roles at RealMed, including General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Sales and Support.
Prior to joining RealMed, Scott was employed by The CIT Group Inc. and its predecessor, Newcourt Credit Group Inc. as the Chief Counsel of the Specialty Finance and Strategic Development units. While at Newcourt, he had the primary responsibility of drafting and negotiating the company’s major vendor partnership agreements with the company’s largest customers. He also was responsible for developing Newcourt’s programs related to financing of software, insurance compliance, and corporate governance and licensing activities.
Scott also has been an attorney practicing in the merger and acquisition area with Indianapolis-based Sommer & Barnard PC, and Lord Bissell and Brook in Chicago.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University, and his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Indiana University School of Law, where he was a member of the Indiana University Law Journal.
Catherine Hora Anderson
Senior Vice President Legal & Regulatory Affairs
Catherine Hora Anderson is Senior Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs & General Counsel where she leads Availity’s compliance, audit, and legal teams.
Catherine brings more than 15 years of legal and business experience to Availity’s Senior Leadership Team. She spent 8 years as a Senior Associate at Alston & Bird LLP in Atlanta, Georgia before joining McKesson Technologies as Chief Counsel in 2010. Catherine held a number of leadership positions while at McKesson and served as Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer, Physician Practice Solutions from 2011-2013.
In 2014, Catherine moved to McKesson’s Medical-Surgical division where she served as VP, Compliance until 2017. She then operated as VP, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs for McKesson Pharmacy Technology & Services for nearly two years before joining Availity in late 2018.
Catherine earned her Bachelor of Arts from University of Michigan and her JD from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Senior Vice President, Healthcare Network
Jack Hunt is Availity’s Senior Vice President of Network and Products, overseeing Availity's product portfolio, healthcare information network, and distribution platform. In this role, Jack has responsibility for product management including P/L, product engineering, solutions architecture, vendor sales, and provider sales.
Prior to joining Availity in 2011, Jack owned and operated J. Hunt & Associates, a niche information technology professional services firm, serving both healthcare and financial services customers.
Before starting J. Hunt & Associates in 2004, he was the Chief Technology Officer at SoundView Technology Group, which was later acquired by Charles Schwab & Co. In addition, Jack has held technology management positions supporting the capital markets divisions at Merrill Lynch and SG Cowen.
Jack is an avid community volunteer and takes a leadership role in Availity’s outreach efforts. He currently serves on the board of directors of the North Florida Region of the American Red Cross. He has held various committee leadership positions with the United Way of Northeast Florida and also serves as a Stein Fellowship mentor for young professionals.
Executive Vice President and General Manager, Health Plan Business
Paul Joiner is Senior Vice President and General Manager, Health Plan. A member of the executive team, Paul manages all aspects of the health plan line of business P&L, product portfolio, product development, call center operations, and account/alliance management. Paul also served for two years as Availity's Chief Product Officer.
Prior to joining Availity, Paul was responsible for client engagement and business development activities across the customer life cycle as Vice President of Client Engagement with Xerox Midas +.
He brings a diverse background and deep market knowledge to the executive leadership team with areas of expertise in healthcare capital finance, market planning, information technology, and revenue cycle management.
Previously, Paul was Vice President of Corporate Development and Health Plan Services for Passport Health Communications, Inc. where he led strategy, mergers and acquisitions, new product initiatives, and payer services during the five-year period where Passport Health saw revenue growth double. Additionally, Paul was Senior Associate with Jefferies & Company, Inc., where he conducted equity research on health care information technology companies. Early in his career, Paul was Vice President of Origination and Senior Underwriting Analyst for Pine Creek Healthcare Capital, LLC. Paul also served as senior project manager for Healthcare Management Directions Inc.
Paul holds a Masters of Accountancy from Belmont University and a Bachelors of Accountancy from the University of Mississippi.
Senior Vice President of Corporate Development
Frank Manzella is Availity’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. He brings more than 20 years’ experience as a healthcare executive and investor. Frank joined Availity in 2019 to provide critical insights and guidance for potential corporate acquisitions and integrate those businesses and solutions into Availity’s overall growth strategy.
Frank has a distinguished career in business development for healthcare technology, having executed over $20 billion in transactions throughout his career. Before joining Availity, Frank served as Chief Development Officer at Press Ganey Associates and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Change Healthcare.
Frank and his wife Carol Ann have three children. He attended Georgetown University, where he earned his Bachelor’s, MBA and JD degrees. He is also the Chairman of the Michael Manzella Foundation, named in honor of his brother who passed away from cancer in 1993. The Foundation has raised and distributed more than $500,000 in grants to young people and organizations aligned with their mission of advancing education, cancer research, children’s causes, and the arts.
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Jessica Micciche is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, ensuring Availity’s people strategy aligns with its business and growth strategy. She will be responsible for all aspects of human resources, including culture, talent management, leadership, human capital analytics, compensation, and benefits.
Jessica started her career in Sales in the Commercial Real Estate and Telecom Industries. While at Cable & Wireless, she led sales operations for the prepaid phone card division before becoming a quota-carrying Account Representative.
For the past 15 years, Jessica has held HR leadership roles in high-tech and manufacturing companies, including Motorola, Medidata Solutions, and Drive DeVilbiss. At Motorola, Jessica was the HR leader for multiple businesses, including technologies such as RFID, Mobile Computing, Advanced Data Capture, and Wireless LAN. At Medidata Solutions, a rapid growth SaaS business in the clinical trial space, Jessica held HR roles of progressive responsibility including interim CHRO as the company expanded its global footprint, tripled in headcount, and nearly doubled in Revenue.
Jessica has a passion for building high-performing teams and a client-focused culture that enables organizational development, effectiveness, and growth. Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in management from St. Joseph’s College. Originally from New York, Jessica is now based in Jacksonville, Florida with her family.