AmeriHealth Caritas Names Karen Dale as New Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

by cdawkins

Advancing its ongoing commitment to linking diversity, equity, and inclusion with performance excellence, AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in Medicaid managed care and other health care solutions for those most in need, announced  that Karen Dale has been named to the newly created position of Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO). She will report directly to CEO and Chairman, Paul A. Tufano, and will join the CEO’s Executive Council.

In her new role, Dale will be accountable for leading the planning and execution of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across the organization. The CDEIO will drive and support the design, development and implementation of innovative diversity and inclusion strategies focusing on workforce, workplace, health equity, and supplier diversity.

AmeriHealth Caritas is regularly recognized for its diversity and inclusion programs, and this appointment prioritizes the company’s work in this space even further.

“We know that institutional racism is contributing to unequal treatment in our country, and this is wrong,” said Tufano. “AmeriHealth Caritas has always valued and practiced diversity, equity, and inclusion in every aspect of our work. Still, it’s clear that we must do more by making these principles more visible, and even more of a priority for our company.”

Added Tufano: “Karen’s proven leadership will help will set us on a course to further align diversity, equity, and inclusion with every aspect of our business, including strengthening our culture, our relationships with providers, suppliers, and vendors, and promoting greater health equity for our members. Karen also brings valuable perspectives and a passion for advocacy to this role. Her track record in developing partnerships and building consensus, both internally and externally, to achieve common objectives with lasting impact will ensure she is successful.”

Dale, a registered nurse, has actively engaged in national conversations around race, equity and social justice — and under her leadership AmeriHealth Caritas’ DC plan has innovatively led key initiatives and utilized a network of diverse partners to tackle the many health-harming psychosocial determinants its members face.

She will retain her current role as market president for AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, the largest Medicaid managed care organization in Washington, D.C., leading an ethnically diverse membership of more than 120,000 enrollees who speak six different languages. Prior to leading AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, Dale served in a number of senior executive management roles in government, the social sector and health care.

AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia was featured in a U.S. News & World Report article on how racism impacts health. In the article, Dale discussed how racial discrimination can lead to chronic stress and put people at risk of numerous health problems.

In addition, when panic buying during the COVID-19 pandemic became a national issue, Dale lent her voice to caution communities against stockpiling groceries, telling Reader’s Digest that this behavior “disproportionately affects low-resource communities that are already impacted by social barriers such as transportation, proximity to grocery stores, and income.”

Dale holds a master’s degree in psychiatric mental health nursing from The Catholic University in Washington, DC, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from George Mason University. She also serves on the board of the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, as well as being involved in a number of community leadership activities.

“Doing this kind work — linking diversity and inclusion with measurable business and cultural outcomes — requires both courage and compassion. I am grateful for this opportunity to lead an important initiative that matters to me personally and professionally,” explained Dale. “Times such as these call for listening and introspection, as well action. I am committed to facilitating conversations to create new perspectives and open hearts and minds, and ending the systemic racism that permeates the fabric of this country.”

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