Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Opella Ernest leads Information Technology, Customer Service, Health Care Management and Data
Analytics at HCSC. As one of the company’s two executive vice presidents, Dr. Ernest oversees nearly
half of HCSC’s workforce and is responsible for the foundational infrastructure that provides members
access to high quality, affordable care in their communities. Dr. Ernest is committed to continuously
improving stakeholder experience and making health care more accessible to HCSC’s more than 17
million members. She champions initiatives that leverage artificial intelligence and automation to
transition HCSC to an always-on, digital-first organization.
A leader within HCSC for more than ten years, Dr. Ernest previously led HCSC’s clinical strategy and
operations as Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer. She also previously served as Divisional Senior
Vice President, Chief Medical Officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
A board-certified family physician, she has a degree in medicine from The Ohio State University College
of Medicine and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Ernest serves on the boards of directors of World Business Chicago and the Museum of Science and
Industry, and she is the former Chair of the American Heart Association’s Metro Chicago board of
directors. She is a member of The Chicago Network, an organization of Chicago’s most influential
women leaders. In 2021, she was named one of Fierce Healthcare’s Women of Influence.