December 14, 2021

Vanessa Benavides named chief legal officer

Experienced innovator will lead the strategic alignment of Kaiser Permanente’s legal and compliance functions.

Contact: National Offices

OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente announced that Vanessa Benavides has been named senior vice president and chief legal officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals effective December 26.

In this role, Benavides will be responsible for managing the legal, compliance, and regulatory functions and will develop and implement an integrated approach to foster a better understanding of enterprise risks and solutions while advancing support of the organization’s business strategies. She will report to the chair and chief executive officer, Greg A. Adams, and will continue to serve on the organization’s National Executive Team.

Benavides will take on this new role upon the retirement of Mark Zemelman, who is stepping down from his role as senior vice president and general counsel after 30 years of service to Kaiser Permanente.

Benavides joined Kaiser Permanente in 2015 as senior vice president and chief compliance and privacy officer, responsible for planning, oversight, and coordination of activities to drive effective compliance with regulatory requirements and policies across Kaiser Permanente. In collaboration with leadership across the organization, she has led the development of strategies to embed ethics and compliance into the core design and operations of the organization and foster a work environment where employees and physicians do the right thing to protect the members, patients, and communities Kaiser Permanente serves.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Benavides served as chief compliance officer for Tenet Healthcare, where she managed ethics and compliance programs, and also served as senior regulatory counsel during her 10-year tenure there. Before joining Tenet, she served as legal counsel for Caremark Rx, a pharmacy benefit management company, and prior to that role was in private practice with the law firm Locke Lord, LLP.

She is a member of the board of directors of the CDC Foundation and The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. Benavides holds a law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.