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Joshua Elder, MD, MPH, MHS

Senior Vice President, Digital & Virtual Health Practice Medical Director, Highmark Health

Joshua W. Elder, MD, MPH, MHS, is the senior vice president, digital and virtual health practice medical director at Highmark Health, a $26 billion national, blended health organization that includes one of America’s largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers and a growing regional hospital and physician network. Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Highmark Health’s 42,000 employees serve millions of customers nationwide through the nonprofit organization’s affiliated businesses including Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, HM Insurance Group, United Concordia Dental, enGen, and Helion.

Dr. Elder is an emergency physician, Army Reserve officer, and health leader working at the intersection of medicine, public health, and information technology. He has expertise in creating and leading blended interprofessional teams with integrated virtual and digital health solutions with providers, health plans, vendors, and the Department of Defense. Applying a population health approach, he has built programs that have led to increased revenue and cost savings, advanced delivery capabilities, and policy/benefit value optimization. Dr. Elder is also a physician-scientist with training in health services research committed to the quintuple aim and evidence-based practice.

At Highmark Health, Dr. Elder is working to determine how to strategically deploy technology to extend the reach, access, and effectiveness of clinical care delivery within an integrated customer experience. This ranges from enabling the virtual delivery of more traditional services like office visits, using wearable devices that provide real-time biometric data to support the management of a patient’s care, and integrating artificial intelligence-powered analytics to provide actionable information to patients and clinicians in electronic health records. Dr. Elder is enhancing the clinician experience and optimizing care through several provider transformation initiatives. He also leads the development of virtual clinics within Highmark Health’s digital front door to connect patients with the right care at the right time.

In the U. S. Army Reserve, MAJ Elder serves as the Command Surgeon for the 416th Theater Engineer Command where he is responsible for the medical readiness of soldiers through the implementation of vendor and organic clinical services.