MADISON, Wis. -

SSM Health Care announced Thursday it has selected a new president and CEO of Dean Health Plan.

Frank L. Lucia will fill the role effective immediately, officials said. He will oversee operations of the provider-owned HMO with more than 400,000 members.

“In his current role, Frank has helped Dean Health Plan grow in market share, increase member satisfaction, and achieve significant operating efficiencies,” said Dr. Gaurov Dayal, president – Health Care Delivery, Finance and Integration with SSM Health Care. “We look forward to working together with him to craft what the future of exceptional health care delivery looks like.”

Lucia has more than 25 years of finance, operations and health care experience, according to the release. He has been with Dean Health Plan since 2007, where he’s served as senior vice president, chief financial and operations officer.

“The health care industry continues to rapidly evolve and we needed to find a leader with experience, passion and a commitment to quality that will help us innovate and stay ahead of the curve,” said Dr. John Phelan, board chair of Dean Health Plan. “With his extensive experience we’re confident Frank is that person. And together he will help us become a national leader in value based care delivery.”

Lucia is filling the vacancy created by Lon Sprecher, who retired in May after serving as president and CEO of Dean Health Plan for the past eight years.