Executive Viewpoint: Dr. Meredith Delk reflects on Women’s History Month and social disparities in health care

March 29, 2024

Throughout history, women have made invaluable contributions to society in areas like health care, politics and academia. Women’s History Month serves as a dedicated time to recognize these accomplishments, which can often be overlooked. It reminds us of the important role women have played in shaping the world we live in today.

Inspiring future generations

As woman, mother, leader and lifelong learner, I appreciate the women who fought for the things I take for granted today; trailblazers like Jane Addams, Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinem and Malala Yousafzai, to name a few. And, yet our work is not finished. My hope is that we all work to create a world where all people, irrespective of race or gender, have equal opportunities to thrive. And, I hope, as a female leader at Prime/MRx, I bring that sentiment to the business I have the honor of leading, our State Government Solutions (SGS) division.

"My hope is that we all work to create a world where all people, irrespective of race or gender, have equal opportunities to thrive." —Meredith Delk, Ph.D., MSW, Senior Vice PResident and General Manager of State Government Solutions

Improving medication access and affordability for people living in poverty

SGS plays a role in the lives of 54 million Americans across 28 states and the District of Columbia, managing Medicaid and AIDS Assistance Drug Programs (ADAP), where the government acts as our direct client. This segment of our operation is intricately woven into the fabric of the health care delivery system in each state we serve, addressing the needs of those living in poverty, often battling complex health conditions. Achieving excellence in this arena demands unwavering focus, a challenge our team of dedicated associates meets daily, with unparalleled competence, on behalf of every member we serve. Their commitment to excellence, along with the unique opportunities presented by the SGS business, fuel my enthusiasm for the important work we do at Prime/MRx.

Serving as a community champion and advocate

My journey in health care began with advocacy, driven by a desire to be a voice for those who might otherwise go unheard. This led me through years of academic pursuit, culminating in a master’s degree in clinical social work followed by a Ph.D. in counseling, with a focus on supporting individuals affected by severe mental illness. The invaluable lessons learned from the individuals I worked with during those early days as a clinician were instrumental in shaping my approach to life and work.

My academic career included teaching roles at the University of Florida, and the University of Houston before I ventured into the realm of state policy and politics. After state service I transitioned to corporate America, where I worked for the nation’s largest Medicaid Managed Care company. There, I had the privilege of advocating for Medicaid Members’ interests across Texas, eventually leading a national team dedicated to fostering beneficial public policy.

A spirit of volunteerism has been important on my journey. One way I live this is by working with nonprofit organizations, primarily in support of causes that benefit women and children. I currently serve on two nonprofit boards and recently embarked on a two-year term as Chair of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas Board, which is a statewide quasi-governmental organization dedicated to responding to crimes against children and preventing child abuse in Texas. Concurrently, I serve as a board member for Ascension Seton Foundation, an organization dedicated to spiritually centered holistic care which sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities – especially people impacted by poverty.

While my story is rich with opportunities, this is not the norm for many women and children today, particularly those living in poverty. The stark reality that, in 2020, 1 in 9 women, and 1 in 6 children in the United States lived in poverty, serves as a constant reminder of the disparities that still exist. It is a reality that fuels my commitment to Prime/MRx’s mission to reimagine pharmacy, ensuring we provide the same level of care we’d want for our own loved ones. This isn’t just a job for me; it’s a passion, and a commitment, to make an impact on the lives of those who need it most.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I am reminded of the incredible women who have influenced my life and career. Their legacy inspires me to be a leader who not only achieves but also gives back more than I take, helping to foster an environment of growth, equality, and respect.

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