WellCare Health Plans' Traci Thompson Ferguson is targeting social determinants

(Jon Shaw)

Traci Thompson Ferguson, M.D., Chief Medical Director of Medical Management and External Relationships at WellCare Health Plans Inc.

Age: 45

Education: Doctorate of Medicine from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MBA from Howard University and Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University.

About her: Thompson Ferguson oversees the implementation and adherence of medical policy, new clinical programs, and oversight and mentorship of the medical directors who support clinical determinations for WellCare's Medicaid and Medicare Advantage members. The managed care company, which is in the midst of a $17 billion merger with rival Centene Corp., offers managed care services to individuals on Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, as well as in the Health Insurance Marketplace. WellCare has about 6.4 million members.

In 2019, Thompson Ferguson led Wellcare's outreach in social determinants of health, serving as chairwoman of the National Quality Forum's Membership Advisory Council and as a key participant on the National Quality Partner's Social Determinants of Health Data Integration Action Team. She also served as part of a nine-month effort sponsored by the NQF and the Aetna Foundation through a Social Determinants of Health Initiative to identify quality and payment innovations. She recently established an endowed scholarship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

First job: My first job was in high school working for a local parks and recreation department doing landscape work for the elderly. 

Accomplishment she's most proud of: The recent establishment of an endowed medical scholarship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in memory of my brother.

Problem she's most passionate about trying to solve: I am most passionate about making healthcare more accessible and understandable to the most vulnerable members of society.

Book she recommends: "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" by Don Miguel Ruiz

Advice she’d give her younger self: Continue to dream big and when I have achieved that dream, dream even bigger.

What she'd do with her career if it wasn’t this: Professor at an academic institution.

WellCare Health Plans' Traci Thompson Ferguson is targeting social determinants

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