Karen Gage, General Manager, Cognosante State Solutions
We sat down with Karen Gage, General Manager, Cognosante State Solutions to learn more about her tenure and the services and solutions we provide our state customers.
- How long have you been with the organization?
I have worked at Cognosante for more than seven years. I began in February of 2013 as part of the consulting group focused on managing and executing large, complex health information technology implementations for state Medicaid programs.
- If you could describe Cognosante in one word, what would it be and why?
There are so many relevant words to describe Cognosante! Innovative, generous, committed, quality-focused, determined, diverse, and relentless are a few that come to mind. I think the best word is passionate. Cognosante employees are passionate about driving change in our nation’s healthcare system through meaningful work, innovative solutions, and positive results. Cognosante employees are engaged and genuinely passionate about what they do—from supporting our clients to building valuable solutions to giving back to the community. That passion is what makes Cognosante such a great company.
- What is your favorite thing about working at Cognosante?
The people. Cognosante comprises a diverse group of individuals that bring different experiences, skillsets, and ideas that demonstrate what is possible when you work together. They are creative, supportive, and fun to be around. I consider myself fortunate to be part of such a talented and caring group of people.
- Can you tell us a little more about Cognosante State Solutions (CSS)? Is there a specific mission/vision you can share? What is one thing everyone should know about the business unit?
Our mission builds on decades of state expertise to identify ways we can help states, local government entities, and healthcare organizations achieve their health and human services missions. We want to be recognized by state and local government healthcare clients as an innovative partner that is dependable, quality-focused, and intuitive–we support Medicaid modernization, community engagement, business process outsourcing, cloud computing, and interoperability using proven technology solutions.
Although CSS is a relatively small business unit today, we have big plans for the future as we continue to grow in size and scope.
- Who are the main clients of CSS?
CSS focuses primarily on state and local government agencies and organizations engaged in health and human services and social service programs such as Medicaid, child welfare, and public health. Our clients include health information exchanges (HIEs) and organizations that promote interoperability and data sharing such as the Alabama One Health Record and eHealth Exchange.
- What does leadership mean to you? What is one of your biggest strengths as a leader?
To me, a title doesn’t make you a leader – it simply gives you the opportunity to lead. Leadership is knowing where you must go, and being an effective leader means helping your team navigate the waters. Throughout my career I have led a variety of teams – each with different responsibilities, skill levels, perspectives, needs, and goals. It is as important to understand what motivates and drives your team members, as it is to communicate your expectations and business needs.
I think one of my biggest strengths as a leader is my willingness to roll up my sleeves and do whatever I can to help the team be successful and get the job done. I always try to remove obstacles and help push things forward.
- What is one interesting/unique fact about yourself?
I am an avid sports fan and longtime follower of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins. I enjoy watching and attending their games where I proudly wear the black and gold.