After several months without a CEO, San Diego-based West Wireless Health Institute has not only filled the top job, but has also undergone a rebranding, dropping “Wireless” from its name in an attempt to broaden its approach to achieving its goal of lowering the cost of providing health care. West Health is a unique non-profit whose stated goal is to lower health care costs through application of innovative technologies. It was founded in 2009  by the prominent philanthropic family of Gary and Mary West and has Eric Topol as its Vice Chairman.

Nicholas J. Valeriani, a 34-year veteran of Johnson & Johnson, has been named CEO of West Health and Chair of the Executive Committee that collectively runs the many different initiatives the Institute currently has under management.

“The creation of West Health, and appointment of a new leader, is an exciting milestone in our evolution to drive the critical changes needed to lower costs in health care delivery,” said Gary West, founder and chairman of West Health. “We’ve built a revolutionary ecosystem that will lower costs by creating patient-centered solutions that deliver the right care to the right place at the right time, and Nick’s background and leadership make him the perfect choice to move us forward under the new banner of West Health.”

“I look forward to leading the West Health initiative and the important work being done by the team to address the health care cost crisis,” said Valeriani, who will assume his new role on September 5. “West Health and its four entities have tremendous potential to lower the cost of health care, and I’m excited to direct this effort.”

The group also today formerly announced the West Incubator, which will provide 10,000 square feet of office space at the La Jolla headquarters of the West Health Institute to companies which receive investment from the West Health Investment Fund. The incubator provides infrastructure, strategic guidance, and access to an extensive network of key partners, enabling the transfer to industry of research technologies developed at the Institute and elsewhere.

“Early-stage health care companies face multiple challenges in their efforts to develop and deploy innovative technologies,” said Gary West. “By offering both significant intellectual and economic capital through our investment fund, infrastructure through our incubator, and access to our network of health care partners, we are de-risking technologies and creating a launch pad from which disruptive, cost-lowering technologies can reach the public.”

 Press release