From the start, Susan Henrikson had a plan: she always wanted to help people. So she went to Providence College to pursue a degree in health policy and management, gaining an internship with Hasbro Children’s Hospital along the way. Since graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Henrikson has been building a successful career in the health care industry.
Henrikson, 34, started out at Core Inc., first as a customer service representative and then as an ERISA coordinator. Within a few years, though, she was hired by UnitedHealthcare of New England, something she wrote in her 40 Under Forty application, that “was a part of my plan.”
Henrikson is now an account vice president for United’s public sector, leading a team that handles more than 46,000 members and $200 million in medical spending. Working with state, municipal and union accounts, her team helps to develop customized health and wellness programs.
For Henrikson, though, her sense of pride doesn’t necessarily come from the size of the account – it’s from clients and members thanking her and her colleagues for the programs they have designed, which have helped detect people’s health issues and then find a way to solve them.
It isn’t just about helping the sick, though: “My goal is help create a system that doesn’t only focus on sick care, but also encourages and educates people about healthier lifestyles,” Henrikson explained.
Her goals don’t stop once she leaves work, though. Besides to participating in her employer’s volunteer opportunities with several local nonprofits, she volunteers as a board member of the Warwick Boys & Girls Club. •