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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
April 2024
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Mercy Care Announces 2023 Mercy Honors Recipients; Honors Vitalyst CEO Suzanne Pfister with Lifetime Achievement Award
By Alison Bailin - Friday Jun 16, 2023
At its annual Mercy Honors event, Mercy Care awarded it 2023 Resilience, Innovation, Service, and Empowerment (RISE) Lifetime Achievement Award to Suzanne Pfister. Pfister is the president and CEO of Vitalyst Health Foundation, which focuses on Arizona health policy, technical assistance for nonprofits, strength-based community engagement, and systems change. She and her colleagues are working on a variety of projects, including support for the Cover AZ Coalition, which is focused on helping people obtain affordable health insurance, which is especially important work as we all continue to unwind the public health emergency.

“Suzanne is a distinguished individual who has had an unparalleled impact on Arizona’s health care industry,” said Mercy Care Deputy CEO Tad Gary. “We are grateful for Suzanne, her leadership and her commitment to improving Arizona health policy and promoting health innovation.”

Additional Mercy Care RISE awards were presented to both individuals and providers who lead the way to promote health and wellness in the Arizona community. Honorees were recognized in the categories of Compassion, Innovation, and Advocacy/Collaboration, and the ReMEMBER?Kate Aurelius Award was presented to a Mercy Care employee that has made outstanding contributions to members.

The 2023 RISE Award winners are:
• Compassion Individual: Valerie Hunt, therapist at Therapy One
• Compassion Provider: The Villages Program, Copa Health
• Innovation Individual: Christine Ehrich, CEO of Axis for Autism
• Innovation Provider: Hushabye Nursery
• Advocacy and Collaboration Individual: Desiree Lynn Cook, founder and CEO of I Am You 360
• Advocacy and Collaboration Provider: Tanner Community Development Corporation

The ReMEMBER?Kate Aurelius Award, named after a former deputy director of AHCCCS, is Mercy Care long-term care supervisor Anna Lambert.

About Mercy Care
Mercy Care is a not-for-profit Medicaid managed-care health plan, serving AHCCCS members in Arizona since 1985. Mercy Care is a local company sponsored by Dignity Health and Ascension Health. Mercy Care provides access to physical and behavioral health care services for Medicaid-eligible families, children, seniors, and individuals with developmental/cognitive disabilities. Among those to whom we provide access to these services are members who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (AHCCCS).