VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Oct. 13, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AMERIGROUP Corporation today announced that five new members have been named to the Company's National Advisory Board devoted to healthcare services for seniors and people with disabilities, a growing segment of the individuals now relying on publicly-funded healthcare.
The five new members are:
-- Yanira L. Cruz, DrPH, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging;
-- Matthew M. Davies, former CEO of United Healthcare in Central and North Florida and current member of the Winter Park Health Foundation Trustee Board;
-- William H. Graves, Ed.D., C.R.C., Dean and Professor of Educational Leadership and Counseling, Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University;
-- Mark R. Meiners, Ph.D., Professor of Health Policy in the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University; and
-- Lee Schulz, Executive Director of IndependenceFirst.
"We're pleased to add these very talented and distinguished individuals to our National Advisory Board as we continue to focus on meeting the needs of the frail elderly and people with disabilities," said James G. Carlson, AMERIGROUP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "AMERIGROUP is privileged to draw from the entire Board's experience and input in serving a crucial population and ultimately helping our members to lead healthier, more independent lives."
AMERIGROUP plays a prominent role in meeting the needs of seniors and those with disabilities, currently serving about 206,000 people with long-term illnesses or disabilities who are enrolled in Medicaid, known in certain markets as the Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) program. The Company began serving this population a decade ago. AMERIGROUP was among the first managed care organizations to address the complex health concerns of seniors and enrollees with disabilities and today is among the largest, serving this segment in 10 of the 11 states where the Company now operates.
Since its formation in 2007, the 15-member National Advisory Board, led by convener Lex Frieden (Director, Independent Living Research Utilization Program in Houston), has provided advice and guidance on delivering the highest quality services and ensuring the best health and community living outcomes for seniors and those with disabilities. Following the input of the Board, this year AMERIGROUP formed a comprehensive Disaster Response Team comprised of trained Company employees to address the specific needs of seniors and people with disabilities during times of natural disaster. Last month, AMERIGROUP's Disaster Response Team deployed to assist those with special needs at shelters following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, as well as in advance of Tropical Storm Hanna.
Biographical details on the National Advisory Board's new participants:
Yanira L. Cruz, DrPH, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging
Dr. Yanira Cruz is the President and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA). She also currently serves on the Boards of the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Dr. Cruz has been appointed to serve on the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education (APME), which advises the Secretary of DHHS and the Administrator of CMS on opportunities to enhance the federal government's effectiveness in implementing a national Medicare education program.
Dr. Cruz also holds an adjunct faculty appointment at The George Washington University School of Public Health. Before joining NHCOA, Cruz served as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS) in Washington. She joined HSHPS after serving as Director of the Institute for Hispanic Health at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) where she led numerous public health programs to improve the health status of Latinos nationwide. Dr. Cruz focuses on improving the quality of life for Hispanic older adults their families and communities through public policy, educational efforts, community-based interventions, capacity building and technical assistance.
Matthew M. Davies, former CEO of UnitedHealthcare in Central and North Florida and current member of the Winter Park Health Foundation Trustee Board
Matt Davies is a healthcare advocate focusing on the challenges and barriers faced by older adults and people with disabilities. Mr. Davies served as the CEO of UnitedHealthcare in Central and North Florida from 1997-2006. Prior to United, he worked 13 years in healthcare for Prudential. His primary responsibilities were overall operations, plan services and financial performance. Mr. Davies' member-centric approach resulted in his health plan receiving the highest ranking for member satisfaction of the over 20 distinct United health plans around the country in 2005.
Mr. Davies became a quadriplegic in a 2005 car accident. He hopes to use his new perspective and his 20 years of professional experience as a healthcare executive to make a difference in his community. He is looking at how healthcare services are made available to the elderly and to people with disabilities, and how these people are supported in their efforts to be contributing and productive members of the workforce. Mr. Davies graduated from Colgate University with a bachelor's degree in 1984. He serves on the Winter Park Health Foundation and has served on the American Red Cross Board for Greater Orlando, including Chairperson in 2004.
William H. Graves, Ed.D., C.R.C., Dean and Professor of Educational Leadership and Counseling, Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University
William H. Graves, Ed.D., C.R.C., serves as the Dean and Professor of Educational Leadership and Counseling, Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Dr. Graves is the author and co-author of research articles, technical publications, and books in counseling and disability policy and research. He served as the Director of the nation's only Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision. His research in blindness and low vision was funded by state and federal agencies for over 10 years. For his research contributions, he has received the Distinguished Service awards from the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association and the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers. He also received the Warren C. Bledsoe Award for Outstanding Contributions in Research in the Field of Blindness and Low Vision.
Dr. Graves has held national leadership offices in numerous professional associations and certification bodies. He has been appointed to disability policy and state educational licensing bodies by the governors of Mississippi and Virginia. He was appointed as the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research by President George H. W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate. Dr. Graves received a bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University, a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a doctoral degree in Student Personnel from the University of Florida.
Mark R. Meiners, Ph.D., Professor of Health Policy in the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University
Mark R. Meiners, Ph.D., is a Professor of Health Policy in the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. Dr. Meiners specializes in the areas of aging and health with emphasis on financing and reimbursement issues. He is nationally recognized as one of the leading experts on financing and program development in long-term care. Among his noteworthy recent accomplishments is his leadership of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Medicare/Medicaid Integration Program, an initiative designed to help states develop new systems of care that better coordinate acute and long-term care. In addition, he has led the RWJF Partnership for Long-Term Care, an innovative state-based long-term care insurance program, since its beginning in 1987. His path-breaking research on long-term care insurance has been a major catalyst to the current interest in this topic and his work on Medicare/Medicaid integration has helped advance chronic care improvement strategies for all aged and disabled populations.
Dr. Meiners holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from Georgetown University and a B.A. in economics with distinction from the University of Wisconsin.
Lee Schulz, Executive Director of IndependenceFirst
Mr. Lee Schulz has 35 years of experience in social services, disability rights and healthcare. Of those years, 23 years of experience has been in Wisconsin and 21 years with independent living. He has given many regional presentations on fund development and organizational management for disability organizations and is well-known within the disability rights community across the country.
As the Executive Director of IndependenceFirst in Milwaukee, he has guided a small organization of seven and a $260,000 budget to a dynamic organization of 90 in-house staff and 1,200 PCW's and a budget of $27 million. IndependenceFirst has developed several innovative programs such as the statewide Women and Abuse Program, Alternative Financing Program, Home Ownership Program and the Try A Gadget resource center. Mr. Schulz has served several terms on the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Board of Directors, served on the SILC, co-Founded the Wisconsin Coalition of Independent Living Centers (WCILC) and served on several Research and Training Center Advisory committees on disability-related issues.
About AMERIGROUP Corporation
AMERIGROUP Corporation, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, improves healthcare access and quality for the financially vulnerable, seniors and people with disabilities by developing innovative managed health services for the public sector. Through its subsidiaries, AMERIGROUP Corporation serves approximately 1.7 million people in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For more information, visit http://www.amerigroupcorp.com/.
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