Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    


Amy Johnston Little, MBA

Executive Director, Dual Eligible Special Needs Population

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee

Everyone needs an advocate.

Throughout her career, Amy Johnston Little has given voice to those who often go unheard and unseen. "I have always had a passion for serving people and focusing on those who are marginalized," she explained.

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Johnston Little's earliest mentors were her parents, both counselors. "I knew I wanted a career in the mental health or social work arena," she said of lessons learned at home.

After earning a degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh and becoming certified in addiction counseling, she began her career as a corrections counselor managing a pre-release population and working with probationers and parolees. She helped develop work and life skills, along with relapse prevention plans, to give individuals the best opportunity to reintegrate into society clean, sober and prepared.

"After seven years, I decided to switch focus, driven by a desire to work closer with the elderly and those experiencing healthcare disparities," Johnston Little explained. Moving into healthcare, she joined the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). "I focused on our Medicare and dual eligible population using my energy to address the socioeconomic barriers that prevented them from fully utilizing healthcare services and taking care of their physical well-being," she noted.

Johnston Little credited Beth Ann Broudy, her direct manager at UPMC, with inspiring a desire to not only impact the plan's members but also her colleagues. "She challenged me to stretch my potential and go back to school to achieve my MBA," Johnston Little recalled. It's a decision she has never regretted.

After working in corporate leadership roles for a number of years in Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Kentucky, Johnston Little was thrilled by the opportunity to join UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee "to recapture the connection with the local community." She noted, "The ability to blend socioeconomic responsibility and target social deprivation while providing healthcare resources to those most in need of preventive medicine has been ... and continues to be ... an incredibly rewarding experience."

She also relished the opportunity to use both her clinical and business background to address the unique challenges of serving dual-eligible special needs members. "By nature, the DSNP population tends to be more transient and often difficult to reach. As a result, we need to work as a team to ensure we continue to develop creative ways of getting the messages around preventive care and healthy lifestyles to the population," she explained.

Collaborating across the state, Johnston Little said her team works with community providers and social service agencies to engage those most in need where they are in the local community. "One of the most rewarding partnerships I have been privileged to be a part of is with Healthy Tennessee and Second Harvest Food Bank."

Bridging the gap between good nutrition and food insecurities, UnitedHealthcare funds more than 75 mobile food pantries annually. At a recent Knoxville event, UHC and ProHealth teamed up with Healthy Tennessee and Second Harvest to provide free health screenings to members, along with the uninsured and underinsured. UHC volunteers and medical personnel from Vanderbilt and Meharry working through Healthy Tennessee cared for more than 300 during the day and handed out approximately 18,000 pounds of food, including fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy. "These large-scale community events bring together the essence of social determinants and work at a basic level to address human needs, providing a platform to start the transition into a healthier life," she said.

A passion for giving back runs in the family. Married to The Rev. Terence Johnston, an Anglican priest with the Church of the Redeemer, the couple is active within their parish and the community, including volunteering with Room at the Inn and animal rescue groups. Any spare time is spent outdoors with three rescue dogs roaming their 11-acre farm just 30 minutes from downtown. "Having grown up in the country, it is our little slice of heaven in Nashville," Johnston Little said with a big smile.

"Every day is a gift," she concluded of her busy, full life. "And if I am fortunate enough to be given the opportunity, my hope is that I will get to be a part of continued healthcare innovation, offering affordable care to all persons."


Related Articles:

Recent Articles

Integrating AI in Healthcare

Technology has advanced to a point where AI in healthcare is increasingly common. Now the challenge is utilizing data in a way that is not only predictive but also prescriptive to improve health and outcomes.

Read More

AMA Advances New Principles to Put AI into Practice

AHIP isn't the only national organization focused on how AI might be effectively deployed to improve patient engagement, care and interaction with the broader healthcare system.

Read More

State of Technology

Nashville HIT leaders address challenges, accomplishments of the region's thriving healthcare IT market.

Read More

Helping Children and Athletes Breathe Easier

Experiencing shortness of breath during exercise can be extremely distressing, particularly when it occurs in a child, teen or young adult.

Read More

PHYSICIAN SPOTLIGHT: Between Medicine and Technology

When it comes to rolling out new systems, Neal Patel, MD, said listening to users and understanding concerns are critical to success.

Read More

Navigating the Risks of New Healthcare Technologies

New technologies in healthcare hold great promise, but with that promise come risks that must be considered and addressed.

Read More

Tech Talk

Recent news of note in Middle Tennessee's health tech sector.

Read More

Enhancing Access to Care through Technology

Innovative technology allows patients, health plans to schedule appointments online.

Read More

Reimaging Residency

A joint project between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss was one of eight selected by the American Medical Association to reimagine residency programming.

Read More

Tips & Traps: Expert Insights from NMGMA Leadership

NMGMA's president and president-elect share insights borne of experience to help practice managers enhance success.

Read More

Email Print



Amy Johnston Little, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee, W2W 2017
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: