Why We Serve Illinois

Molina Healthcare of Illinois (MHIL) is dedicated to serving our members and providing the best possible care that improves Illinoisians’ health and lives. The entire MHIL team is passionate about meeting each individual Molina member’s unique needs in the pursuit of building stronger communities across our state.  

The Why We Serve campaign highlights the personal stories of some of our team members and why they are committed to the work they do in service to our members. Hear from Molina case managers, specialists, and other staff that help us go the extra mile to provide excellent care throughout Illinois.

Matt Wolf
Plan President

Molina Healthcare of Illinois is more than a health plan; we are an integral part of the communities we serve. As Plan President, I am proud to lead a team of dedicated, hardworking individuals who are committed to providing the highest level of quality care to Molina members from Chicago to Carbondale in both urban and rural areas. In addition to serving our members each day, our team is committed to supporting Illinois families and our communities through our investments, volunteerism and partnerships to ensure everyone has an optimal opportunity for health and wellness across the state.  

At Molina, health equity goes beyond addressing health disparities. It involves enhancing systems and approaches in a way that makes the most sense for those we are trying to serve. It also means developing programs and services that consider the specific barriers and challenges that our different communities face. Through it all, we are our members’ biggest allies, dedicated to serving the whole person focusing on behavioral, physical, and social factors that impact an individual’s health.  

We know this can’t be done without the support of our partners. My colleagues and I are deeply immersed in our communities, constantly searching for new relationships with local providers and organizations that expand our resources. The Chicago South Side Birth Center is one such partner. As a part of our MolinaCares Health Equity Initiative, we provided the center with a $250,000 grant to support the development of a new maternal health facility in Chicago’s south side and excited for the launch of this new resource for the families in the area next year. 

I am proud of what our team has been able to accomplish and thankful for all of our Illinois partners who have dedicated their lives and livelihoods to aiding our communities. Witnessing how this work has supported Illinoisians to live more fulfilling, healthier lives motivates us to continue doing what we do every day. That is Why We Serve. 

Dani Brazee
Associate Vice President, Member Growth and Community Engagement 

In 2011, I moved to Illinois to help implement managed care services for the state’s Medicaid population. During those first few years, I was able to meet so many passionate people throughout our state who are committed to improving the lives of Illinoisians. Over the course of 14 years, the Illinois Medicaid program has transformed and expanded a suite of services to not only include health care, but also initiatives improving home and community-based services, access to mental health resources, maternal health, and so much more to address gaps in care for a more equitable system for all.  

I am blessed and honored that the last six years have been with Molina Healthcare of Illinois. Everyone on our team brings compassion and commitment to the members and the communities we serve. Through our Volunteer Time Off program, I have had the privilege of being integrated in my community, working alongside Molina’s partners and meeting members face to face. There is something special about looking our members in the eyes, knowing we are making a positive impact on their lives. 

Not only are we helping our members, but in my role, I also lead the Business Enterprise Program helping minority- and women-owned businesses succeed. Through this program, we look for partnership opportunities that align with our business needs, prioritizing vendors that are minority- and women-owned. In the last four years, I am proud to say over $100 million has gone back to local businesses. 

While I was raised by generous and loving parents in a stable, positive home, I recognize not everyone is as fortunate as I have been. I take the core values of my upbringing such as, “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others as you would have done to you” and work hard to live them every day.  

Building lasting relationships with members and making a difference in my community is Why We Serve. 

LaTasha Smith
Director, Provider Engagement

At Molina Healthcare of Illinois, we are committed to providing accessible, quality care to members and ensuring all members feel heard by their providers. We cater to the entire person – physiologically, psychologically, environmentally – leveraging all available resources and partnerships to address crucial health care and social determinant of health needs in our urban and rural communities.  

I have personally seen the lifesaving difference Molina’s commitment to each member can have on a family. Our search for solutions is not limited by our state borders. Thanks to the relationships we have with departments and an out-of-network hospital, we were able to secure critical, life-changing care for a child that was only available out of state. 

We are committed to going above and beyond to ensure our members receive the care they need to thrive. I’m proud to play a role in providing exceptional care for our members – and that is Why We Serve. 

Rebecca Kidd 
Program Manager

I am proud to be a part of the Molina Healthcare of Illinois team and our efforts to improve access to care, including the Molina Mobile Unit. Since last spring, I have had the privilege of managing our mobile unit services, bringing resources to communities statewide that often experience some of the greatest challenges in accessing them. Our one-stop approach has allowed families to receive support across the gamut of health care services and better navigate across a complex system.  

At Molina, we value whole-person care and know that, to be healthy, our neighbors need support that extends beyond getting access to doctor visits. In addition to wellness checks and prenatal care, our mobile units also help families connect with food pantries, clothing drives, and so much more. To ensure our services make sense for those we are trying to serve, for each of our mobile unit stops, we identify the needs of the local community and collaborate with local partners to address those needs. 

One case that stands out to me is a mother of nine who was facing housing insecurity. She turned to the mobile unit to receive prenatal care for herself and the required back-to-school assessments for her children. We were able to connect this member to a case manager at the mobile unit, treat her for high blood pressure, and continue to follow her through her pregnancy. Thanks to this connection, Molina was able to step in and advocate for her to ensure she received the care needed for a high-risk pregnancy and prevent an avoidable inpatient admission. 

Meeting members where they are is a crucial component of our work and is Why We Serve. 

Tammy Lackland 
Manager, Growth and Community Engagement

I joined Molina Healthcare of Illinois as the first community engagement specialist on the team and was determined to make a difference in my community. Eleven years later, I have seen the impact our work has had on my neighbors and am grateful for the relationships I have built along the way. Every morning, I ask myself, “What can I do to make someone’s life better?” Seeing the joy and impact of our work is what drives me to continue advocating for our members. 

I know what it’s like to struggle. I was raised by a single mother, and watched her work tirelessly and rely on help from others to make sure our family had the necessities we needed. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I saw how families like mine struggled to make ends meet and inspired me to establish drive-thru food events and distribute food boxes throughout Illinois. Food insecurity continues to be a huge issue in our state. That’s why we support our neighbors in under-resourced communities by volunteering at food drives. Knowing that my neighbors can rely on Molina to provide nutritious food for their families is profoundly impactful and a full-circle moment for me. 

No two days at Molina are the same, which is part of the reason why I love my position. Whether I’m working at the warming centers, helping feed those sheltering from the cold, or participating in our mentoring program for the local middle school, I see the impact of our work every day.   

Giving back to my community and seeing the effect of our work in our community is Why We Serve. 

John Ranallo
Manager, Health Plan Communications

As manager of health plan communications at Molina Healthcare of Illinois, I take pride in finding creative, accessible ways to communicate with our members. Throughout my time at Molina, I have seen firsthand how small gestures or initiatives can have a large impact in ensuring our members have access to crucial health care information. 

Every day, I have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s health care journey.  That’s reflected in everything we do at Molina – from the images we choose for our handbooks to the handouts we translate into a member’s native language. Every interaction we have with someone is a chance to positively impact their life. After all, it’s no secret that health information can be complex and daunting, and our goal is to help make sense of it all. 

Our members represent a diverse audience that speaks a wide range of languages, which can pose an additional challenge to accessing resources and care. As Illinois welcomes an influx of immigrants, ensuring our materials are accessible to everyone in our state is more important than ever. That’s why we have prioritized translations of our materials to ensure our members are equipped with the information they need not just to survive, but to thrive. 

Through the work we do, we want our members to know they are represented and seen  — that’s Why We Serve.