Penelope Kokkinides Talks About Why Restoring Healthcare Funding In Puerto Rico Is So Important

Penelope Kokkinides has been in the healthcare industry for over 20 years. Among the universities she has been educated at is SUNY in Binghampton, New York, and Columbia University in New York City. Her specialties are managing Medicare and Medicaid plans. She is also very experienced at increasing efficiency and managing healthcare processes. She started her executive career at UnitedHealthcare where she was the vice president of disease management.

She has also worked for Americhoice and Aveta, Inc, at both places as a vice president. She became a chief operating officer in 2008 at Touchstone-Health HMO, Inc., and held this same position at InnovaCare Health Services for five years after that. She briefly left to work at Centerlight Health Systems as the COO and executive vice president but she returned to InnovaCare Health in July 2015 as their chief administrative officer.

Healthcare in Puerto Rico, which is where Innovacare Health provides Medicaid and Medicare plans, was very much complicated by the hurricane that hit it in 2017. Penelope Kokkinides is working to make sure people’s healthcare and other needs continue to be met on this island. One way she has done so is by being instrumental in setting up a storefront called Recargate. This storefront now provides clinical care to patients and is also a place where they can recharge their portable electronic devices.

Penelope says that Recargate helps people who need medical care, as well as those who want to be screened for mental illness. She says it is also a great place to unwind and features a recreation area for residents of San Juan and the surrounding areas. She says that Recargate has also been serving as a pilot to show effective ways of addressing Puerto Ricans healthcare needs going forward.

Another way Penelope Kokkinides is addressing the healthcare needs of Puerto Ricans is by advocating for Medicare and Medicaid funding at the White House. She took part in a “Women in Healthcare Panel” at the White House where she urged the president to restore funding to these programs on that island. She says that too much has been cut from the Medicaid and Medicare budgets of Puerto Rico in recent years and it would be both the humanitarian and fiscally wise to restore some of the funding. She stated that if these programs were to fail people would move to one of the states where their healthcare costs would be a lot more expensive.