Joann Schaefer, MD, Joins City+Ventures to Lead Health Care Businesses

City+Ventures ( announced in March that Dr. Joann Schaefer, former chief medical officer for the State of Nebraska and executive vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Nebraska, has joined the company as president of City+Ventures Health. In this newly established entity and role, Dr. Schaefer will lead and expand the company’s emerging health care sector work.

“Dr. Schaefer brings a wealth of experience as a regulator, a physician, a thought leader in healthcare, and a former health insurance executive,” said Chris Erickson, co-founder of City+Ventures. “Her leadership and vision will help shape growth for patient and business services in the health sector, and ensure we best leverage our established and growing resources to best serve ever-evolving patient needs.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the City+Ventures team to lead City+Ventures Health,” said Dr. Schaefer. “This is a pivotal moment in health care with large, complicated issues to be solved for delivering services to people. I’m excited to bring my experience to these efforts, growing and diversifying our lines of business in a people-focused model.”

Bringing decades of experience in public health, health insurance, and family medicine, Dr. Schaefer will drive the company’s expansion diversifying patient and provider services. City+Ventures’ flagship health delivery organization, GS Labs, has tested more than 1.2 million patients across the country and employs thousands of health care workers. GS Labs utilized cutting-edge lab technology and operations savvy to expand to meet public needs in the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources and expertise will serve as the foundation to grow City+Ventures Health to serve more communities and patients.

At BCBS Nebraska, Dr. Schaefer worked to transform payment models to value-based care utilizing technology, such as predictive modeling and digital care management solutions, to assist members in receiving care. Prior to this, she was the longest-serving CMO and first woman CMO in the Governor’s Cabinet and in the state’s history. In this role, she safeguarded numerous public health programs serving the most vulnerable, enacted “Smoke-free Nebraska,” and regulated the health care entities and licensees across the state. She addressed pandemics, mass vaccinations, use of strategic national stockpiles, natural disasters, domestic terrorism, and transformed licensing and other systems from paper to online and electronic formats. Dr. Schaefer’s career began as a family practice physician after graduating from Creighton University.

Dr. Schaefer and her husband, Phil Haines, a retired U.S. Marine Corps gunnery sergeant and security expert, enjoy exploring the world, boating, and spending time with family members and friends.

City+Ventures is a premier investment and development company focused on building companies and communities. With Omaha roots but a national footprint, City+Ventures owns and operates a wide array of businesses, including automotive dealerships; carwashes; a restaurant collection; a private aviation consulting, sales and management venture; community safety and firearm training facilities; a pageant production company; a health care entity; construction-related businesses; and a real estate management entity. The company also holds a significant real estate portfolio. In August 2020, City+Ventures’ proven track record of reinvention and financial success earned it the No. 71 spot on the Inc. 5000 Company list. Learn more at