Women leaders at Penn State Health, Penn State College of Medicine and Highmark honored on City & State PA’s ‘2023 Power of Diversity: Women 100’ list

Professional portraits of four women are boxed over a background of the Nittany Lion statue. On top row from left are Deborah Addo, Dr. Karen Kim. On bottom row from left are Lynette Chappell-Williams and Deborah Rice-Johnson.

Four women leaders from Penn State Health, Penn State College of Medicine and Highmark were recognized by City & State PA on its  list, honoring 100 leaders across the commonwealth for their contributions.

September 7, 2023Penn State Health News

Honorees include Deborah Addo, president and chief operating officer, Penn State Health; Dr. Karen Kim, incoming dean of Penn State College of Medicine; Lynette Chappell-Williams, vice president and chief diversity officer, Penn State Health; and Deborah Rice-Johnson, CEO of Diversified Businesses and chief growth officer at Highmark, a Penn State Health partner.

City & State PA is a Pennsylvania-focused news organization covering state and local government and public policy. As part of the publication’s Power Lists, the “Power of Diversity: Women 100” celebrates women in public service, nonprofit and advocacy, business executives and academics for their impact on their local communities and statewide.

Deborah Addo, President and Chief Operating Officer, Penn State Health

Professional portrait of Deborah Addo, president and COO, Penn State Health. She is wearing glasses, earrings, a necklace and a suit.As president and chief operating officer for Penn State Health, Deborah Addo oversees the health system’s hospitals, clinical service lines, acute care facilities and Penn State Health Medical Group to ensure their operational excellence. Addo has more than 30 years of leadership experience in health care operations and management. She previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Penn State Health, as well as interim president of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Addo has instituted efforts to improve performance, including a bimonthly forum for the health system’s 1,500 managers. Outside of her work with the health system, Addo holds multiple board positions for medical and social service organizations and is a licensed minister.

Dr. Karen Kim, Dean, Penn State College of Medicine

Professional portrait of Dr. Karen Kim, the new dean for Penn State College of Medicine. She is wearing a suit with a scarf and glasses.

Dr. Karen Kim will join the Penn State leadership team on Sept. 1 as the first woman dean of Penn State College of Medicine and the only Korean American woman currently serving in such a role nationally.

As one of a few Asian women in U.S. medical college leadership, Kim is a vocal advocate for equity in medicine. She joins Penn State College of Medicine from the University of Chicago where she served as vice provost for research and founder and director of the Center for Asian Health Equity. Kim is the Sara and Harold Lincoln Thompson Professor of Medicine, associate director of community outreach and engagement for the National Cancer Institute-designated University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center and a nationally recognized leader in Asian health disparities.

Lynette Chappell-Williams, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Penn State Health

Professional portrait of Lynette Chapelle-Williams, chief diversity officer at Penn State Health. She is wearing a suit, blouse and glasses.As Penn State Health’s first systemwide chief diversity officer, Chappell-Williams has developed and implemented workforce diversification initiatives, diversity and inclusion education programs and patient care inclusivity efforts across the health system’s hospitals and medical practices. Her best practices for diversity and inclusion have led her to speak at diversity, equity and inclusion forums internationally, won her recognition as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer to Know by Becker’s Hospital Review and earned her a spot at Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams’ inaugural equity roundtable.

Chappell-Williams is an attorney by training, with expertise in employment discrimination and labor law. She joined Penn State Health from Cornell University.

Deborah Rice-Johnson, CEO of Diversified Businesses and Chief Growth Officer, Highmark

Professional portrait of Deborah-Rice Johnson of Highmark. She is wearing a suit, blouse and earrings.With more than 30 years of experience in the health insurance industry, Deborah Rice-Johnson has guided Highmark to $26 billion in revenue and approximately 7 million members. As CEO of Diversified Businesses for Highmark Inc. and chief growth officer, she oversees Highmark subsidiaries, including United Concordia Dental, stop-loss insurance company HM Insurance Group and post-acute care optimization and technology company Helion. She has led a range of strategic partnerships and acquisitions, including its alliance with Penn State Health in 2017. In addition to her position at Highmark, Rice-Johnson serves on the Penn State Health board of directors.

Outside of work, she supports our nation’s military veterans and those with disabilities by championing private-sector hiring efforts. She serves on the boards of multiple organizations, including the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Dollar Bank and Mindera Health. She is the board chair emeritus of the Epilepsy Association of Western and Central PA and has served as board president for Variety – the Children’s Charity.

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