Carol Solomon – 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s Community Leadership Award


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Carol Solomon – 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s Community Leadership Award.

The success of the healthcare industry depends on leaders who define themselves by leading efforts to change lives and contribute to their communities through their work. But many go above and beyond commitments central to their roles, reaching out to support causes that may be wholly unrelated to healthcare, but which build and sustain strong communities and the quality of life within them. Modern Healthcare's Community Leadership Awards was established to recognize these leaders while bringing attention to the worthy causes they support. Modern Healthcare's Community Leadership Awards was established to recognize these leaders while bringing attention to the worthy causes they support.

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Carol Solomon – 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s Community Leadership Award

  1. 1. To Whom It May Concern: Over the past 15 years, Carol Solomon has embraced her role as Chief Executive Officer of Peoples Health to truly bring change to community healthcare in New Orleans, and across southeast Louisiana. Under Solomon’s guidance, Peoples Health has become a leader in managed care in Louisiana, offering exceptionally rich and individually tailored plan benefits for Louisiana Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. As CEO, Solomon is not only responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the organization, but also for ensuring its financial success. In this role, Solomon has found true passion for her work as a way to improve the overall quality of life for Louisiana’s seniors. Solomon ensures that Peoples Health steadfastly supports the Louisiana communities it serves, offering plans that facilitate full and active lifestyles for local seniors and meet the unique needs that result from the indulgent Louisianan lifestyle. A corporate native of Louisiana and serving only fellow Louisianan’s, Solomon has ensured Peoples Health understands the health needs of the local community far beyond that of larger, national Medicare Advantage companies. In 2012, Solomon spearheaded the innovative alliance between Peoples Health and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) and created the Center for Healthcare Advancement. The center is a groundbreaking collaboration focused on improving the care delivered to Peoples Health members, and eventually improving the overall health of all Louisianans. The Center for Healthcare Advancement combines Peoples Health’s resources and community outreach with the latest research available from the healthcare leaders at LSUHSC. In the implementation of the center, a world-class team of distinguished healthcare professionals, known as the Advisory Council, assembles best practices for the treatment and prevention of the most prevalent chronic conditions in Louisiana (such as diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). These are then shared with the physicians in the Peoples Health network and the medical students trained by LSUHSC. The center became fully implemented in 2013, and immediately began to benefit Peoples Health members through this dissemination of knowledge and best practices. Today, members see an increased coordination of chronic care and health outcomes are improving across the member network. The ultimate goal, as LSUHSC graduates trained on these treatment methods start to practice across the state, is to increase better health outcomes for those with chronic conditions throughout Louisiana. Knowing the unfortunate truth that one in 12 seniors lives in hunger, Solomon continues to leverage her role at Peoples Health for the betterment of the larger community. Over the past few years, her work has been instrumental in supporting and maintaining several efforts aimed to alleviate hunger in southeast Louisiana. The Food for Families/Food for Seniors program, a partnership with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, is an effort to address the nutritional needs of those in Louisiana parishes. In 2012, Food for Families/Food for Seniors distributed 811,000 boxes of commodities, approximately 97 percent of which went to seniors, making it an obvious cause for Solomon’s Medicare Advantage company to support. In March 2013, Solomon ensured Peoples Health’s direct sponsorship of 400,000 food boxes in 23- parishes. The success of this distribution inspired subsequent distributions in May and October 2013, as well. An additional 1,360 food boxes were hand-delivered by Peoples Health employees across the community, and another 700 food boxes were provided to the residents of Bogalusa specifically, an impoverished area in east Louisiana.
  2. 2. Each November, Peoples Health coordinates Celebrity Supermarket Sweeps in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to further fight hunger. This homage to the classic game show annually raises $7,500 in groceries for each Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana and the Baton Rouge Food Bank respectively. The food collected goes directly to making 4,500 Thanksgiving meals for seniors in New Orleans, and stocking the pantry for the busy holiday season in Baton Rouge. Most notably in 2013, Solomon’s dedication to eradicating senior hunger in her community resulted in a donation from Peoples Health of $220,000 to the Jefferson Parish Council on Aging (JCOA)’s Meals on Wheels program. Early in 2013, JCOA announced a funding shortage that would have meant 200 Jefferson Parish seniors would no longer be able to participate in the free meals program. With this financial backing from Peoples Health, Meals on Wheels had the budget to continue feeding all seniors in the program for an entire year! Beyond the issue of senior hunger, Peoples Health also advocates for the enthusiastic acknowledgement that excellence in life is achieved with age, not despite it. Quite visibly, Solomon led the creation of the Peoples Health Champions program, a collaborative effort with the New Orleans Saints that recognizes seniors over age 65 who are living full, active lives. The program publically celebrates their enhanced abilities to accomplish things they would not have been able to accomplish before having such a wealth of experience. The Champions program recently celebrated a decade of service to the community since its inception. In her work outside of Peoples Health, Solomon serves on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Association of Health Plans, Louisiana’s trade association for the health benefits industry, a position she has held since 2003. In addition to serving on the board, Solomon currently holds the position of Scholarship Committee Chair, leading the charge of annually selecting a promising Louisiana medical student to receive the $10,000 academic scholarship given by the organization. Also among the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Public Health Institute, Solomon proudly contributes to this nonprofit organization’s mission: to promote and improve health and quality of life through diverse public-private partnerships with government, foundations, academia, community groups and private businesses at the community, parish and state levels—a mission Solomon also strives to accomplish daily through her role at Peoples Health. Solomon is also a member of the board of trustees for the United Way of New Orleans, and is a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative for the nonprofit. She served as Chairwoman for the American Heart Association’s 2007 “Go Red for Women” luncheon, the Louisiana Healthcare Summit Delegate for the Louisiana Governor’s Office and a Delegate for the Louisiana Healthcare Delivery Forum. Solomon is committed to lending her healthcare expertise for the betterment of both her field and her community. Louisiana is currently ranked 49 of all 50 states for healthcare, and this trend helps fuel Solomon’s fervor for improving health programs across the state, not just at Peoples Health. Faithful to what makes New Orleans so unique, Solomon is an active board member of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation (and Co-chair of the Foundation’s Gala Committee), Jefferson Business Council, New Orleans Opera Association and serves as President of the Board of Directors for WWOZ radio. Solomon’s service through her company for her community is second to none. Outside of her personal contributions, she encourages her staff members to support the New Orleans’ community as
  3. 3. “ambassadors of Peoples Health.” She urges Peoples Health employees to participate in community events, as well as nominate their favorite charities to be the focus of inter-company pledge-raising and volunteering efforts. Solomon is a model healthcare professional and New Orleanian, with a passion for the universal health of her community that has fueled her career. Renowned for her devotion to the community, in December 2012 Solomon was appointed to The Times-Picayune/ Roundtable. Assembling a counsel of 14 leaders in business, healthcare, education, the arts and other arenas, the news outlet regularly hosts editorial conversations about the issues most important to the southeast Louisiana region. This roundtable meets bimonthly to discuss pressing issues and generate ideas for the betterment of the community, to which Solomon contributes her years of healthcare expertise and insight into the health of the community at large. Carol Solomon’s dedication to the health of Louisiana and to the people of New Orleans is unsurpassed. Through her work, her volunteer efforts and her community involvement, Solomon raises the bar for executives everywhere. She is a pillar in the healthcare industry and New Orleans community, and is worthy of the esteemed honor of receiving the Modern Healthcare Community Leadership Award. Sincerely, Suzanne Whitaker Assistant Vice President, Communications Peoples Health