Berger, an advanced practice clinical nurse specialist, brings over 25 years' experience in health system nursing, informatics, and managed care. Prior to joining FirstCare, she served in roles as a critical care clinical nurse specialist, and director of nursing in tertiary and community hospitals in Northeast Ohio. Most recently, Berger spent eight years serving as the director of clinical management for SummaCare, a regional provider-owned health plan in Akron, Ohio. There she was part of a multidisciplinary approach to managed care, participating in the development of post-acute programs collaboratively with health system entities, and integrating health plan clinical initiatives with the local accountable care organizations. Berger's responsibilities included the operational delivery of population health services across a continuum that included wellness services, health coaching, disease-, case- and utilization management, transitional care, house calls and end-of-life services for members of fully-insured, self-insured, and Medicare managed care plans.
"We conducted an expansive search for an executive with success in leading care management programs in health plans and developing programs to positively impact health outcomes for our members," said FirstCare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adolfo Valadez, M.D. "Barb comes to FirstCare with a solid history of clinical and operational excellence across a myriad of health plan programs and member populations, all of which have made her a great fit for FirstCare."
Berger earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio and her master's degree in nursing administration and critical care nursing from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She has co-authored a number of textbooks on topics such as critical care oncology nursing (a 1998 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award winner) and laboratory and diagnostic testing handbooks. Berger is also an accomplished public speaker—keynoting at her alma mater and speaking at the American Society on Aging and other industry events.
She relocated to the Austin area from Akron, Ohio, and leads FirstCare's care management programs from the company's corporate headquarters in Austin.
"Barb's proven track record and deep industry expertise adds strength to our leadership and our focus on caring for our members," commented Valadez. "We are excited to have her as part of the FirstCare family."
About FirstCare Health Plans
Our mission is to provide access to high quality, affordable health care through strong partnerships in the communities we serve.
Since 1985, we've been serving the health care needs of members across North, West, and Central Texas. Today, our service area includes 108 counties, with local offices in Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, and corporate offices in Austin, Texas. We offer a wide range of HMO, PPO, HSA, and ASO products through a variety of programs, including small and large employer plans; state, federal and teacher plans; government programs; and the Health Insurance Marketplace. With the support of our owners, Covenant Health in Lubbock and Hendrick Health System in Abilene, we serve over 176,000 members. For more information, please visit www.firstcare.com.
SOURCE FirstCare Health Plans