C. Grace Whiting is the President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving based in Washington, D.C.
At the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), Grace works with nearly 60 members across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors from 30 different states and localities to improve the quality of life for family caregivers through research and advocacy. In addition, Grace serves as the Secretariat of the International Alliance for Carer Organizations, which was founded by the National Alliance for Caregiving.
Though the National Alliance for Caregiving has been a long standing member of the UnitedHealthcare Community & State National Advisory Board, Grace joined the Board just over a year ago after assuming the helm at NAC. In that time, Grace notes that she has “enjoyed the chance to learn more about how some of the Medicaid waivers operate in the real world and feels it [Board engagement] has been a great opportunity to connect with others who are working towards a more inclusive health care system.”
Grace believes that the value of boards, such as the National Advisory Board, is in the varied perspectives that are around such tables. She argues that “it’s easy when you are trying to solve a problem to get caught up in the perspectives you bring. Organizations that are trying to create positive change can benefit from working through coalitions, boards, and other initiatives because it gives you a new frame of reference for issues.”
“Innovation in health care happens in that space between public interest groups, government, and corporate leaders. Being a part of the National Advisory Board helps me to better understand how decisions are made by payers such as UnitedHealthcare. Getting to know the people behind UnitedHealthcare, and that they too are thinking about people in need, gives me hope that there are solutions out there for the many families in need,” Grace notes.
For Grace, the Board’s work on quality, caregiving, and creating a culture of access have all been important and intersect with her work at the National Alliance Caregiving. “Our focus (at NAC) is really on the unpaid, friend, or family caregiver. These areas of focus of the Board align with our mission to improve the quality of life for the caregiver.”