Aetna Better Health of Kansas Fills Out Leadership Team

Apr 15 2019

TOPEKA, KAN., April 15, 2019 – Aetna Better Health of Kansas, part of Aetna Medicaid, a CVS health business (NYSE: CVS), has named four new hires to its executive team.

John Esslinger, M.D., will serve as the plan’s chief medical officer (CMO). In this position, Dr. Esslinger will be responsible for strategic medical management activities and processes, which includes the development and implementation of medical programs and policies, and building relationships with providers, facilities and regulatory agencies. Esslinger will also assist with strategic planning, regulatory compliance and community outreach and will have oversight of medical quality & outcomes.

Before joining Aetna Better Health of Kansas, Esslinger served as the CMO for the UnitedHealth Care Community Plan, where he had responsibility for quality initiatives and programs and on outcomes measurement and data sharing through accountable care arrangements with provider groups.

Kimberly Glenn will serve as the plan’s chief operating officer. In this role, Glenn will be integral in coordinating the plan’s operational effectiveness across the enterprise and with the state. She will lead Member Services, Grievance & Appeals, Informatics, and Provider Experience functions. Glenn previously was a senior director for national network development for Aetna Better Health, where she had oversight for all provider contracting, which included hospitals, physicians, ancillary and subcontractors across the country.

Rose Stauffer will serve as the plan’s Chief Financial Officer. In this role, Stauffer will be responsible for all operational financial functions in the market, including financial analysis and reporting, planning, forecasting, and medical expense solutions. Stauffer previously served as the CFO of Beacon Health Options in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she led all accounting and financial operations.

As vice president of medical management, Stephanie Gramlick will lead a team of health professionals that provide case management, utilization management, and system of care solutions to a wide range of member needs throughout Kansas. Gramlick joined Aetna Better Health of Kansas from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, where she was the department vice president of clinical operations and oversaw all clinical operations, including case management and care coordination.

“I am thrilled to have a strong and dynamic leadership team in place and I am confident that their combined expertise, knowledge and leadership will be invaluable as we provide exceptional care and service to our Medicaid members in the state,” said Keith Wisdom, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kansas. “The team’s decades of experience in Kansas and in managed Medicaid will serve our members and providers well.”

Aetna Better Health of Kansas announced other C-Suite hires, including its CEO, in a previous announcement.

Aetna Better Health of Kansas offers Medicaid benefits to enrolled beneficiaries in the KanCare Medicaid managed care program.


About Aetna Medicaid

Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health business, has over 30 years of experience managing the care of the most medically vulnerable, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has particular expertise serving high-need Medicaid members, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Aetna Medicaid owns and/or administers Medicaid managed health care plans under the names of Aetna Better Health and other affiliate names. Together, these plans serve approximately 2 million people in 15 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas. On January 1, 2019, Aetna Better Health of Kansas will begin offering Medicaid benefits. For more information, see

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 39 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world. @AetnaNews