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Empowering Women to Achieve Success and Influence Change

Felicia Thomas-Spaulding views her work at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) as an extension of her training as a licensed behavioral health clinician. 

During her time as a professional counselor, she helped make treatment more accessible and effective for patients. Now she organizes that kind of clinical support for thousands of Medicare members as a divisional vice president in HCSC’s government business.

Felicia Thomas-Spaulding

She brings her passion for supporting others to Women Improving the Strength of the Enterprise (WISE), an HCSC business resource group (BRG) that empowers its members to foster change and drive success across the company. Thomas-Spaulding helped establish the New Mexico WISE chapter in 2018 and serves as its chair.

“Setting up our own WISE chapter here had a real grassroots feel,” Thomas-Spaulding says. “It was so inspiring to see women from different areas of our organization come together and express an interest in forming the group.”

Shortly after its launch, the chapter organized a symposium to celebrate and learn from women leaders at HCSC. The event attracted more than 70 participants, and speakers included Janice Torrez, HCSC’s New Mexico plan president.

“We created an opportunity for people at every level of the company to meet some of our top women executives and learn more about their careers and lives outside of HCSC,” Thomas-Spaulding says. “Everyone was so giving with their time. It was a remarkable event.”

The group also began establishing roots in the community by partnering with the Heart Gallery of New Mexico Foundation (HGNMF), which provides educational assistance and life skills training to children in foster care. As part of the collaboration, WISE sent care packages to older children during the holiday season.

“We focused on kids who were aging out of the foster care system and are often overlooked,” Thomas-Spaulding says. “After doing some fundraising within our chapter, we were able to provide them with some key items to facilitate their transition to independent living.”

The HGNMF partnership sparked a series of separate collaborations to improve health equity and increase HCSC’s visibility in local communities. New Mexico’s WISE chapter worked with the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote women’s cardiovascular health, and members volunteer regularly at food banks to increase food accessibility, a key social determinant of health (SDOH).

“A lot of our members work in HCSC’s government business, and many of us focus on populations who are disproportionately affected by SDOH,” Thomas-Spaulding says. “Targeting some of these health disparities can have a lasting impact on communities.”

Thomas-Spaulding credits her fellow BRG members with strengthening HCSC’s long-standing ties to the communities it serves.

“The New Mexico WISE chapter provides a platform where every participant can support our communities in meaningful ways,” she says. “Our BRG members have dedicated so much time beyond their primary roles at HCSC to championing women’s health and assisting underserved populations.”

Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company.