Meridian of Illinois Announces the Appointment of Cristal Gary as President and CEO

Gary brings more than 20 years of healthcare industry experience and proven leadership to Meridian

CHICAGO, July 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, Inc. (Meridian), a leading provider of government-sponsored managed care services and commercial healthcare plans in Illinois, announced today Cristal Gary has been appointed as Plan President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 31, 2023.

Ms. Gary brings more than 20 years of healthcare leadership experience to Meridian. Most recently, she served as the Chief Advocacy Officer for Ascension Illinois. Additionally, she brings experience from Leavitt Partners, University of Chicago Medicine, and state government roles in both Illinois and Ohio.

"We are delighted to bring Cristal's depth of experience in public and private healthcare space along with her strong ties to the local community," said Bill Jones, Senior Vice President of Markets for Meridian's parent company, Centene. "Cristal's leadership will be instrumental as we continue to deliver on our mission to help transform the health of our members and local communities."

"I am excited to join Meridian and work with colleagues who share a steadfast commitment to ensuring that members across the state have access to high-quality, comprehensive healthcare," said Ms. Gary. "I look forward to working in close collaboration with local providers and community partners to improve the health of our members."

Meridian serves more than 1 million members across Illinois in its Medicaid, Medicare, and Marketplace products. For more information about Meridian, visit

About Meridian Health of Illinois, Inc. 
Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, Inc. and its family of plans provide government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors, and individuals with complex medical needs. This includes Meridian's Medicaid and Medicare-Medicaid plans, and YouthCare HealthChoice Illinois. YouthCare is a specialized program designed to address the healthcare needs of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) youth in out-of-home placement and former foster youth. Meridian connects members to care and offers comprehensive services to support lifelong health and wellness. Learn more at

SOURCE Meridian of Illinois