Humana Bold Goal: A Bold Commitment to Population Health

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH and Fred Goldstein, MS

Humana’s known mostly for its commitment to and innovation leadership in Medicare Advantage programs. Perhaps as a result of their hospital system DNA before committing to the health plan space Humana has led innovation on several fronts including the proactive outreach via nurse case manager engagement with member healthcare needs often bordering on both advocacy and delivery system navigation including counseling particularly for ‘at risk‘ member’s with chronic care needs.

Recently, Humana has stepped up in a big way and crafted a program designed to impact the health of their members at the community (population) level. The effort is in part fueled by the growing awareness that clinical intervention only goes so far and that often ‘swimming upstream‘ to the social determinants of health can yield a significant return on the company’s assets and goodwill. Perhaps tied if not inspired at some level by Healthy People 2020 goals and even the private efforts courtesy of Esther Dyson et al at The Way to Wellville Bold Goal is a material commitment to improving the health and communities in which Humana operates.

On PopHealth Week, my colleague Fred Goldstein recently engaged Tray Cockerell, MA, SPHR, Leader of Humana’s Bold Goal Operations.


Background on this effort notes:

There is a growing interest in programs targeting entire communities around the country. Humana, the national health insurer has launched several these initiatives. Humana’s simple but lofty goal is to raise the Health of the communities they serve by 20% by 2020. Fred has been involved with the Bold Goal launch in Jacksonville, FL which began last fall and can comment as an outsider.

Tray joined Humana in 2001 in its Human Resource function leading Employee Relations, expanding his accountability in 2002 to include being HR Business Leader for all corporate functions, including the Offices of the CEO and Chairman of the Board. Tray transitioned into a new role leading internal communications for the organization and partnering to design new benefit strategies and communications for Humana’s associate population. Subsequently, Tray was asked to join Humana’s Consumer Innovation and Marketing Office as its Chief of Staff, where he played a strategic and integrative leadership role, led a Business Optimization team, and played an instrumental role in the front-end of innovation, working with start-ups, health accelerators, and other potential innovation partners.

He is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History. He was captain of the varsity golf team, Academic All-American, and President of his fraternity. Mr. Cockerell also received a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Kansas, where he taught English for two years.

For more information on the Bold Goal Initiative see: Bold Goal 2016 Progress Report.


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