Healthcare Provides Medical Director Opportunities to Support Hispanic and Latinx Communities
Health & Wellness
For Dr. Julie S. Alonso, a child and adolescent psychiatrist serving as a medical director with Superior HealthPlan, Centene’s Texas subsidiary, a career in healthcare contains a wealth of professional opportunities, including the ability to provide critical health services to individuals and families in the Hispanic and Latinx communities.
Centene has long been committed to delivering high-quality, culturally competent care to the communities we serve. Today, Hispanics make up 27 percent of Centene’s member population, and 16 percent of Centene’s employee base is Hispanic or Latino.
“There are so many niches in healthcare where Hispanic professionals are underrepresented,” Dr. Alonso states. “It helps for patients and families to see a diverse workforce in healthcare. There are so many job opportunities in different healthcare fields right now. We should be encouraging Hispanic youth to consider choosing a career in healthcare."
Dr. Alonso says working with families and individuals enrolled in government-sponsored healthcare programs such as Medicaid aligned with her desire to impact population health. "The prospect of serving where government policy, medical care, and health insurance intersect appealed to me," she adds. "My primary focus for Superior members is in the area of Psychotropic Medication Utilization Review (PMUR) for the foster care population in Texas (STAR Health), along with children covered by STAR Kids or STAR plans. I have the opportunity to review medical records, talk to the clinician caring for the child or young adult and write up a report summarizing the main concerns and recommendations. It also allows me to observe prescribing trends and patterns among certain subsets of clinicians or members."
Centene encourages its medical directors to continue private practice. Dr. Alonso maintains an outpatient general telepsychiatry practice where she works with children, teens, and adults, and she consults on private forensic psychiatry cases. “I really like that Centene has required clinical time to keep medical directors up-to-date on clinical practice and medical knowledge,” she states.
Dr. Alonso says she is very excited about new and targeted treatments in the field of psychiatry. “One of the exciting aspects of psychiatry is that it is so rapidly evolving in our knowledge of what causes mental illness, the treatments that are available, and our understanding of how the brain works." She adds that she recently gained more interest in Lifestyle Psychiatry, which focuses on optimizing nutrition, stress management, sleep, social engagement, and other healthy lifestyle interventions.