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See & Hear

Kenneth R. White, PhD, FACHE, Associate Dean, Strategic Partnerships and Innovation, Univ. Of Virginia School Of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA, 2019 ACHE Gold Medal Award winner, speaks on:


LGBT Forum Executive Profile


Deborah Brown, DMD, FACHE

Dental Director

WellCare Health Plans

Paterson, N.J.


Q. What inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare administration?

A. I absolutely loved practicing as a dentist. However, as I started taking on more administrative responsibilities, I realized that I was able to work with people in different areas of the industry, including insurance and community advocacy. I found that I enjoyed not only broadening my scope of skills, but also the challenges in promoting change in multiple areas of healthcare.

Q. What have been the hallmarks of your career in healthcare leadership?

A. The primary hallmark of my leadership tenure has to be that I have built my career on providing dental healthcare to all—including those who face challenges in obtaining quality healthcare. It is a cause that I am quite passionate about, and it is my life’s calling. My passion for public health started right after dental school. I found it to be personally rewarding, and it has lead me to my current leadership role as CEO of a nonprofit dental practice organization.


Q. Do you believe that being a member of the LGBT community or an LGBT champion impacts career advancement for healthcare leaders?

A. I am pleased to see that there are many organizations placing LGBT individuals in positions of leadership. However, there is still a lot of work to do. Young LGBT individuals need to see themselves when they look at healthcare leadership. As corporate leaders, we need to do a better job of placing LGBT individuals in high-level positions in an effort to add to the diversity of leadership teams. There is so much talent in the community just waiting for discovery.


Q. What would be your advice to LGBT individuals pursuing careers in healthcare management?

A. First and foremost, I would recommend that LGBT individuals keep striving for their goals, remain focused and let nothing stand in the way of success. Always have pride in who you are and what you can become. I would further recommend that early on in their career, they should obtain an LGBT mentor in healthcare management, as well as identify a professional organization, such as ACHE, that supports LGBT communities and groups.


Q. Why did you decide to join to ACHE LGBT Forum, and what do you feel is the value added by this group?

A. I decided to join the ACHE LGBT Forum because I wanted to be part of a professional community where we could come together and discuss what is happening in the industry, develop camaraderie and broaden the views of the industry. The greatest values I have received because of this forum is participating and learning from healthcare leaders and individuals who share a common goal.


Excerpted from the LGBT Forum Newsletter, January 2019