EP. 115 | Joanne Mizell left retirement to tackle healthcare complexity with a new care delivery model

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Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Joanne Mizell, Chief Operating Officer of the Phoenix based Banner-Aetna Payvider joint venture. Decades as a healthcare executive still did not prepare Joanne to navigate the system when her husband was diagnosed with cancer.  Thankfully, his health has improved but care delivery remains complex.  When presented with the opportunity to lead a new model of care delivery, Joanne leapt at the chance, leaving retirement behind.

Hear Joanne talk about:


  • A joint venture where the payer and health system align with shared goals and interests.
  • Changing from an adversarial approach to collaborative teamwork required significant investment in culture change.

💉    Eliminating a pain point – simplified billing:

  • Why is billing so complicated anyway?
  • Reducing the middleman means fewer touchpoints and a better experience for patients.

✈️   Her career journey to healthcare:

  • Strong role models gave her opportunities by empowering her.
  • You can learn a lot from leaders that you do not want to emulate.

🎇  Who inspires her today:

  • Those who challenge or expand her thinking when seeing things in a very different way.

🗣  Closing Advice:

  • Watch and emulate those that you respect and admire, but be genuine.



Joanne Mizell joined Banner|Aetna as Chief Operating Officer in February 2018, with over 20 years Aetna experience and nearly 30 years in the Employee Benefits industry. In this role, and as a member of the executive leadership team, Mizell will oversee operations of the organization and support the execution of the strategic goals set by Banner|Aetna’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.

Mizell is a proven leader who has consistently delivered growth to various organizations and market segments by developing strong teams, crafting creative strategies and fostering deep community and client relationships. As Chief Operating Officer of Banner|Aetna, Mizell leverages her experience and well-established network in Arizona to execute the organization’s mission of helping employers improve the health and well-being of their workforce, while simplifying the coverage-to-care-to-payment of health care for its members.

Mizell started her career in Orange County and Los Angeles, California before relocating to Arizona in 1998. Mizell’s previous roles at Aetna Included building sales and service teams for large employers, managing the growth, client satisfaction, and profit & loss for a four state market that included Arizona. Mizell also led the creation and build of a new product portfolio for Aetna’s National Accounts segment, simplifying the selection, purchasing and administration of voluntary products for Aetna’s largest clients. Outside of Aetna, Mizell was a broker/advisor at an international insurance brokerage firm, where she served as lead health care and benefits design strategist for larger, complex clients.

Mizell has also worked in both paid and volunteer leadership roles for several humanitarian and animal protection organizations. She continues to be actively involved in formal local and state advocacy aimed at improving lives through proposed legislative and policy changes in Arizona and in the United States.

Prior to beginning her career at Aetna, Mizell studied Business Administration at California State University at Fullerton, while working full-time in the employee benefits department of Hughes Aircraft Company. Making lives better by delivering best-in-class employee benefits has been her career journey ever since. Mizell’s role at Banner|Aetna takes that experience and passion to the next level.

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