social determinants of health

MTM Names Tamara Carlton Director, Social Determinants of Health and Product Development

As health plans and managed care organizations nationwide strive to create scalable solutions for addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDoH), MTM is pleased to announce the naming of our first leader dedicated to SDoH: Director, Social Determinants of Health and Product Development Tamara Carlton. Tamara is a four-year MTM veteran who has led our Product Development team since 2016. In her new expanded role, she defines, develops, and executes progressive strategies for helping our clients remove community health disparities and ensure equal access to healthcare among their memberships.

A healthy lifestyle starts in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities, and unfortunately, is frequently predetermined by the social and economic opportunities afforded to us. Medicaid members, who are low-income by definition, are especially at a disadvantage, as they often struggle with basic needs like food, employment, and shelter—each of which negatively impact their future health. As we focus on improving these SDoH indicators among the members we serve with non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services, Tamara leads our SDoH strategy, identifies emerging trends, and partners with our clients to create innovative programs that address those trends. Her ultimate goal is to help our clients bridge the gap between members and community to drive quality outcomes.

“MTM has always been a collaborative partner for our clients, and is committed to supporting our partners as they seek innovative ways to solve for health disparities and SDoH needs among their membership,” said President and CEO Alaina Maciá. “Perhaps more than ever before, 2020 has shown us just how important it is that we take progressive steps to mitigate disparities among our membership and the communities we serve. Under Tamara’s proven leadership and innovation, I’m confident that MTM will develop and execute fresh initiatives to help our current and future partners improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare expenses, and encourage members to enhance their quality of life.”

Faced with unprecedented challenges, in 2020 MTM and our clients sought new ways to address SDoH needs through community transportation. In Texas, we partnered with transit agencies to deliver meals to community members in need and create mobile hotspots in targeted neighborhoods using out-of-service vehicles. In Minnesota, we worked closely with our client in the Twin Cities area to take transient populations to COVID testing facilities and isolation shelters, as well as a local university to transport COVID-positive students to isolation dorms. In other areas, we collaborated with clients to deliver items like cribs and diapers to members in need.

“At MTM, we care about more than just NEMT—we want to help our clients find true solutions and opportunities to address the disparities that so many of our communities face,” Tamara said. “With the initiatives and programs we’ve launched just this year alone, MTM is proving to be a strategic partner in the care continuum. I look forward to working with our partners to address gaps that exist for members around housing, food insecurity, joblessness, education, social isolation, and of course, transportation.”