Stephen J. Bekanich, M.D. is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Iris Plans, a disease-specific advance care planning service. Prior to this he served as the CEO of Ascension Health’s Texas ACO with 2,500 physicians and shared savings across government and commercial contracts. He was the Chief Medical Officer of the health insurance joint venture between Cigna and Ascension Health. Before moving to Austin, he held the rank of Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the University of Utah’s Medical Center where he started and directed their palliative medicine programs. Dr. Bekanich is the recipient of awards for medical leadership, innovation in health care, teaching, and patient and family satisfaction. His research is in the field of communication and pain. He serves on national boards and committees including the National Clinical Advisory Council for Cigna. His greatest joy in life is spending time with his wife and their three children.