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Message From Our Newly Elected Board Chair - June 2021

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — June 30, 2021
Cardinal Members,

Tomorrow marks my first official day as Board Chair, and it is with mixed emotions that I assume this important responsibility. First and foremost, I am honored to represent and help guide an organization that has done so much for the public good since its early days as a mental health agency. From piloting the first Innovations Waiver, to rebuilding into a mission-focused organization in 2018, or most recently, preparing to manage fully integrated care, I have seen the heart of Cardinal’s team and know that it rests solely with you - their members and families.

I am humbled by the confidence shown in me by my fellow Directors, and while the road ahead is going to be difficult, I am committed to ensuring a smooth and safe transition of care and services through the consolidation with Vaya, as well as realignment of some counties to other LME/MCOs.

Having spent the bulk of my career in both public and private health and human services, I am deeply passionate about health policy that seeks to improve the lives of special populations. I can only hope that the direction provided by DHHS proves to be beneficial for our members, and our goal will be to support DHHS on behalf of the health and stability of those we serve.

I am pleased to serve on the Joint Steering Committee along with fellow directors and leaders from Cardinal Innovations and Vaya and right now, we are focusing on developing a clear plan and path forward. I know that there are lots of questions from members, providers and local communities, and the teams have developed a webpage where we will regularly post updates and answer questions.

As I close, I want to take a moment to thank Bryan Thompson, the outgoing chair, for his contributions to the Board, Cardinal Innovations and the broader community. Bryan was appointed to the Board in 2018 and served on the previous Board of Directors for two years. He led the Board with experience and compassion and fostered strong relationships with external stakeholders. With his leadership, the organization navigated through many ups and downs, with a focus on integrity and mission. It is with tremendous gratitude that we say farewell to Bryan as he departs this role.

This weekend many of us will celebrate Independence Day. I hope that whatever your plans are, you get to spend some time surrounded by loved ones and friends.

Be well,

Carmen Hooker Odom
Board Chair, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

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