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.

Centene 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 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

Current Centene National Disability Advisory Council members include:


Jesse Hunter (Executive Sponsor), Executive Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions and Chief Strategy Officer, Centene Corporation

Colleen Starkloff (Chair), Starkloff Disability Institute

Kelly Buckland, National Council onIndependent Living (NCIL)

Charlie Carr, Disability Policy Consortium

Tom Earle, Liberty Resources, Inc.

Claudia Gordon, Sprint Accessibility

Martha Hodgesmith, J.D., University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Community Living

Andy Imparato, Disability Rights California

June Kailes, Disability Policy Consultant

Anil Lewis, National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute

Ari Ne’eman, Autism Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN)

Mike Oxford, Topeka Independent Living Resource Center

Phil Pangrazio, Ability 360

Rylin Rodgers, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)

Naomi Soule, Missouri Council of the Blind

Maria Town, American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD)

Gary Ulicny, Ph.D., Shepherd Council

Mary Willard, Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)

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.

Disability Equality Index recognition banner National Organization on Disability - Leading Disability Employer.

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.