Hispanic Heritage Month: Centene Shines the Spotlight on Team Members

Transforming Communities


Maribel Barrios-Quezada and Abel Moreno

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Centene is shining the spotlight on leaders and employees of Hispanic backgrounds.

Both Maribel Barrios-Quezada and Abel Moreno discuss the importance of celebrating their culture and how they appreciate that Centene embraces Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and demonstrates its commitment with various Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs).

Maribel Barrios-Quezada joined Arizona Complete Health in 2015 as Director of Marketing and Communications. She is also a member of Centene's LGBTQIA+ EIG cPRIDE. Abel Moreno joined Arizona Complete Health in 2015 as well and is a Specialty Court Liaison. He is also a U.S. Army veteran and a member of Centene’s EIG CENVET.

Q: Tell us about your background, your career at Centene and your current role.

MARIBEL: I was born in San Diego, California, and grew up between California, Arizona and Chihuahua, México. I currently reside in Austin, Texas, and enjoy traveling to California and Arizona to visit and spend time with family. My passion for media and communications began at age 16 when I became a radio disc jockey and later pursued a career in broadcast communications. I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and my postgraduate degree in Innovative Leadership from Western International University. I joined Centene in 2015. My professional background includes media, communications, marketing, advertising and insurance. 

ABEL: I am from humble beginnings, growing up on the south side of Tucson, Arizona. I enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 18. Upon my completion of service, I worked in the behavioral health field in Veterans Treatment Courts. Through these courts, those who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces go through the treatment court process with fellow veterans and are connected to federal, state and local services designed for the needs that arise from military service. This experience enabled me to join Arizona Complete Health as a Specialty Court Liaison in 2015.

Q: What is the most meaningful part of your job?

MARIBEL: In my role, I have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of our members across Arizona through effective communication and outreach, and that’s meaningful and rewarding. It’s fulfilling on a personal level to collaborate with diverse, talented individuals, pulling from decades of experience and commitment to meet and exceed our ultimate purpose of transforming the health of the community one person at a time

ABEL: I think the most important part of what I do is being a part of an eclectic team dedicated to helping people in the justice system and re-entry population. Our team is tackling specific issues that support our communities throughout our provider network.

Q: How is Centene’s approach to DEI different from other companies?

MARIBEL: Centene demonstrates its commitment to DEI in actionable ways and we lead by example. It was this approach that attracted me to Centene more than seven years ago. I aspired to work for an organization where I felt welcome and valued for my contributions as an individual. In joining Centene, I found that not only was diversity valued but it was also celebrated. To me, that demonstrated a level of genuine commitment that I had not experienced at other companies.

ABEL: Centene’s approach encourages and celebrates all diversity. The development and involvement of our EIGs strengthens the means for positive communication throughout Centene. Some companies may not grasp the value of understanding each other’s cultures and how they identify, where at Centene, we embrace it.

Q: Tell us about why you became involved with an EIG?

MARIBEL: Throughout my life, I have found it essential to support and help promote equality to create a sense of understanding that leads to empathy, collaboration, kindness and respect for one another. Over the years, I have been fortunate to be a part of many community organizations promoting inclusiveness and equality. Becoming involved with cPRIDE represented the opportunity to create positive change within my work environment by working alongside colleagues with a shared vision. It was an opportunity to support and champion efforts that align with my values and beliefs that are grounded in equality and inclusiveness.

ABEL: I became involved in CENVET by way of a friend who informed me about the EIGs. I have worked on the development of Veterans Treatment Court mentorships in our provider network and value interacting with veterans as a peer support specialist.

Q: What are your thoughts on the significance of National Hispanic Heritage Month?

MARIBEL: It’s an opportunity to shine light and celebrate with others the rich history, contributions and stories that make up who we are as the Hispanic and Latinx community. It’s a reminder of our shared values and the countless beautiful and meaningful aspects of our diverse cultures. It’s what brings us together to create unity through music, art, food, struggle, history and shared contributions. 

ABEL: Identifying as a Chicano and the history of that title brings an immense amount of significance to National Hispanic Heritage Month. Knowing and never forgetting my culture is important to me and acknowledging the struggles of my people who have come before me gives me a sense of pride. I know it strengthens others who are Hispanics within Centene as well.