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Highmark Health Announces $1.5M Commitment to Increase Leadership Diversity

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   February 10, 2021

Through contributions to The Advanced Leadership Institute, Highmark Health hopes to build a pipeline for African American's to join executive leadership.

Pennsylvania-based healthcare organization Highmark Health announced Tuesday a $1.5 million commitment to The Advanced Leadership Institute (TALI Institute) to increase diverse executive leadership in its community and nationally.

The Advanced Leadership Initiative is forming the TALI Institute as a non-profit organization focused on creating a pipeline of African American executive leadership in Pittsburgh and across the country. The Advanced Leadership Initiative was founded in 2018 by sponsors and contributors in the Pittsburgh area, including Highmark.

"We will be persistent in our objectives to increase inclusion and representation across our organization and within the communities we serve," Daniel Onorato, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Highmark, said in the press release. "Our continued support of TALI, and now the TALI Institute, is a natural next-step and will remain an important piece of our strategic DEI framework."

Highmark Health's commitment includes a one-time contribution of $1 million, and an annual $100,000 contribution for five years to support TALI Institute's efforts.

"I am so grateful to Highmark Health for this incredible leadership commitment to The Advanced Leadership Institute," said Evan Frazier, senior vice president of community affairs at Highmark said in the press release. "Not only have they provided to TALI sponsorship resources over the years, but from the very beginning, they supported me in this unique endeavor to advance leadership diversity for African Americans in our region.  Their investments in me and in the community have truly made a difference."

Since 2018, The Advanced Leadership Initiative has grown its community to include almost 80 African American executives and mid-level managers. In addition to its contribution, Highmark also announced Tuesday that Frazier will join TALI Institute as president and CEO, effective March 8.

The announcement comes less than a month after Highmark Health announced the appointment of Robert James, JC, MBA, MHA as the organization's new chief diversity and inclusion officer.

In December of last year, Allegheny Health Network, a Highmark subsidiary, appointed Veronica Villalobos, J.D. as vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a new role for the company.

Related: Highmark Health Announces New Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Related: Allegheny Health Network Appoints VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Related: Highmark Health to Build Missing Link in Healthcare Delivery with Google Cloud?

Melanie Blackman is a contributing editor for strategy, marketing, and human resources at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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