According to the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, people with disabilities make up the third-largest market segment in the United States. Centene believes that by proactively hiring people with disabilities, it is better able to serve its members. Just as we are committed to hiring the most qualified talent, Centene is equally committed to ensuring that every member of our workforce has access to the tools and resources that enable him or her to be successful at work.

National Disability Advisory Council

Centene has long recognized the benefits of workplace policies that provide a supporting and welcoming environment for people with disabilities. Our Chairman, President, and CEO, Michael F. Neidorff, worked with key leaders in the disability community to establish a council that could help Centene develop a framework for disability inclusion with respect to our employees, members, providers and suppliers.

Our National Disability Advisory Council is composed of national leaders in disability advocacy who work on enterprise-wide recommendations and initiatives that advance disability inclusion in Centene's workforce and product offerings in our healthcare solutions. 

“Centene has brought some of the top U.S. disability leaders to the table to advise us on how we can be more inclusive to those who are aged, blind or disabled.”

- Colleen Kelly Starkloff, Co-director, Starkloff Disability Institute and Chair, Centene National Disability Advisory Council

Colleen Kelly Starkloff

Centene National Disability Advisory Council

Centene National Disability Advisory Council

Left to right: Peter Altschul, Martha Hodgesmith (sitting on the arm of the chair in purple), June Isaacson Kailes, Tim Sheehan, Phil Pangrazio, Mary Troupe, Mike Oxford, Helena Berger, and Naomi Soule.  Standing, left to right: Sarah Triano, Andrew Imparato, Colleen Starkloff (Chair), Jeffrey Thom, and Julia Bascom. Not pictured: Kelly Buckland, Cathy Cranston, Charlie Carr, and Gary Ulicny. Not pictured: Tim Sheehan

Current Centene National Disability Advisory Council members include:

Jesse Hunter (Executive Sponsor), Executive Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions and Chief Strategy Officer, Centene Corporation
Peter Altschul, Organization Development Specialist, Author of "Breaking Barriers"
Julia Bascom, Executive Director of Programs at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
Charlie Carr, Former Commissioner of Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Cathy Cranston, Organizer for Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT)
Claudia Gordon, Director of Government and Compliance with Sprint Accessibility
Martha Hodgesmith, J.D., Former Associate Director of Research and Training Center on Independent Living – University of Kansas
June Isaacson Kailes, Associate Director at the Harris Family Center for Disability & Health Policy
Andrew Imparato, Executive Director of Disability Rights California (DRC)
Mike Oxford, Executive Director of the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center
Phil Pangrazio, President and CEO of Ability 360
Tim Sheehan, Executive Director of the Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin (not pictured above)
Naomi Soule, Former District Manager with Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
Colleen Starkloff (Chair), Co-director of The Starkloff Disability Institute
Maria Town, President & CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
Sarah Triano,
Director, Product Development, Centene Corporation
Mary Troupe, Senior Manager, Business Development, Centene Corporation
Gary Ulicny, Ph.D., Former CEO of the Shepherd Center

National Employer Recognition

As a result of Centene’s approach to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our workplace, we were recently named one of the best places to work for people with disabilities by the Disability Equality Index.

The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN). Developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates, the DEI is a national, transparent, annual benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices.

Diversifying Talent with Project SEARCH

Centene has long been committed to providing employment opportunities for diverse communities, including people with disabilities. Since 2017, we have worked with Project SEARCH, a workforce training program developed by Easterseals Midwest, to provide internships for young adults with disabilities, preparing them for a future of competitive employment.