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Washington Celebrates Anthony E. Woods, the State’s First and Only African American Medicaid Health



In 2021, Anthony E. Woods was appointed to take the helm of one of Washington state’s largest co-ordinators of health insurance benefits, Amerigroup Washington. Amerigroup parent organization leaders introduced Anthony as a trusted and highly respected leader, whose extensive knowledge of Medicaid health plan operations and passion for serving communities would serve Washington well through times of tremendous growth and transformational change. That year, Anthony moved his family to Seattle and became the state’s first and only African American managed healthcare plan president, bringing with him approximately 20 years of Medicaid health plan leader-ship experience and a passion that can enhance thousands of lives across the entire state.

Prior to becoming the Amerigroup Washington plan presi-dent, Anthony spent decades innovating industry-leading Medicaid solutions that improve quality of healthcare ser-vices and deliver better health outcomes. He began his career with Amerigroup’s parent organization as a vice president in New York in 2009. He provided decades of leadership across multifunctional areas, from sales and marketing to opera-tions, and was then promoted to serve as the organization’s Wisconsin Medicaid plan president in 2018. Shortly after-wards, he was named as one of Wisconsin’s most influential Black leaders.

When Anthony accepted the position to lead all aspects of Amerigroup’s operations in Washington, he took on the responsibility of ensuring that more than 270,000 Amerigroup Washington members across 39 counties, have access to meaningful, high quality care. He accepted the challenge of strengthening relationships in the community, with state leaders, and among health and social ser-vices providers. He also made a commitment to stay true to his roots, to see his members’ stories in his story, to understand their struggles through his own, and to let his life experiences guide his work to positively impact the lives of others.

Anthony not only brought expertise to Washington – he also brought passion. He was born in Brook-lyn, NY to an African American father and immigrant mother from the Dominican, who spoke very little English. His mother raised him in the Brooklyn housing projects, where poverty, crime and lower socioeconomic status were a sobering constant. However, his mother was driven to improve her life in America and find opportunities for her children through education, hard work and resilience. She continually reminded Anthony that there was more to life than what was in front of him, and that he was responsible for paving his future. This encouragement drove Anthony to work hard in school, find employment early on to help relieve his mother’s financial burdens and build the character traits of an impactful leader.

Dedication and hard work remain a focus for Anthony today, and he embodies these ethics in every-thing he does. He listens first and tries to view everything through the lens of the community. He understands the value of trusting and lasting partnerships, and works hard to forge meaningful rela-tionships with state leaders, care providers, community advocates, local organizations and more. He recognizes the value of investing in education, employment opportunities, housing, social justice, community resources and health equity. But most importantly, Anthony has made the commitment to influence positive change across diverse communities, and to deliver more equitable services to mul-ticultural and socioeconomically diverse populations, especially in underserved communities. With Anthony’s leadership, Washington is well positioned to achieve a stronger, healthier future.

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