Prestigious Women Awards Honorees: Josefina Carbonell

Josefina L. Carbonell is the President of Florida Community Care, LLC, (FCC). FCC is Florida’s first Long Term Care PLUS Healthplan under the State of Florida’s Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) contract with the Agency for Health Care Administration. FCC Healthplan is a subsidiary company of Independent Living System, LLC (ILS) and the Corporate’s largest Division. Josefina also serves as Senior Vice President of Long-Term Care for ILS Corporate.

FCC Healthplan provides health and long- term care services and supports to over 14,000 Elders and Adults over 18 years of age that due to their disabilities and functional limitations qualify for nursing home placement or equivalent and are provided long term care services and supports in their own home, an Assisted Living facility or in a Nursing Home.

In her role as President, Josefina leads the planning, direction and oversight of the FCC business functions at the highest level of management. She is ultimately responsible for the fiscal, operational service delivery, legislative, and strategic priorities by guiding the senior executive team to achieve the business’ goals. Josefina has developed unique partnerships and collaboration efforts with key community based HCBS/LTSS stakeholders and Health and Long-term Care Providers in order to drive quality service improvements and better integration efforts in the care and delivery of Health and LTSS services to our members.

As SVP for Long Term Care at ILS, she directed the strategic expansion of the Nursing Home Diversion Programs and the Long-term Care HCBS service business beyond Florida to several states. Josefina led the ILS Meals division at Independent Living Systems (ILS) since 2009. She led and developed the implementation of the first national Nutrition Program under a Medicare healthplan as a supplemental benefit offering. ILS Meals has evolved into one of the largest providers of therapeutic post-discharge and chronic care management meals providers with coverage nationwide.

Prior to joining ILS, Carbonell was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the US Senate and served from 2001 to 2009 as Assistant Secretary for Aging at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During her tenure as Assistant Secretary for Aging, Carbonell directed all operations of a $4.1 billion budget for federal grant program that supported community based long-term care services for the elderly through the Older Americans Act program and the HCBS Medicaid Waivers. As Assistant Secretary on Aging she led the implementation of the National Family Caregivers Program, the Evidenced-based Chronic Disease Management programs, the Veteran-directed HCBC programs with the Veterans Administration. She led the US Delegation before the United Nations and the Accord at the 2001 World Assembly on Ageing. And led the successful implementation of the White House Conference on Aging in 2005 and the Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act in 2006.

Carbonell served as co-lead with Dr. Mark McClellan at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) the national implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) and Part-D Benefits under Medicare and the State Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs) Community education programs. Josefina made significant contributions to the modernization of long-term care by implementing the “New Freedom Initiative”, that included the creation of the national “Choices for Independence” LTC Rebalancing Program, the “Aging and Disability Resource Centers” and the “Money Follows the Person” Initiative.

Prior to joining the Bush administration, Carbonell was co-founder and president and CEO of the Little Havana Activities & Nutrition Centers (LHANC) in Miami-Dade County, Florida. One of the largest elder service non-profit community-based organizations in Florida with services to over 55,000 seniors.

Josefina currently serves as a board member for several national, regional and local organizations including the National Council on Aging, Public Policy Committee, Washington DC; National DUALS (Medicare/Medicaid) Coalition, Washington, DC; CMS Region IV Community Advisory Committee, Atlanta, GA; and as President of the non-profit local organization- Independent Living Community Services, Inc. She served on the Boards of the National Easter Seals, Chicago, Illinois; Partners at Home LLC, California; Florida Council on Aging; and Florida Atlantic University’s Board of Advisors for the Academy on Aging.

Carbonell attended Florida International University’s external degree program in Public Administration and was the recipient of a fellowship for Hispanic community leaders in health care management at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and is an alumnus of the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.

Favorite quote: “Give the best you have and it will never be enough—GIVE YOUR BEST ANYWAY!” — Mother Theresa

Fun fact: I love music, dancing and I play the guitar.

How do you unwind after a long day of work? Listening to music helps me unwind.

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? I turned my challenges into opportunities. My defeats gave me more determination to succeed the next time around.

What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? I was given the opportunity to work in my lifelong passion of serving senior adults and spearheading the creation and operation of integrated health and long-term care services to the Elders we are entrusted to serve at the local, national and private sector levels.

Who are your role models? My mother and former Congresswoman Carrie Meek.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? Give it the best that you can in everything you set out to do. And, don’t take NO for an answer! (my father)

What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? Don’t be afraid to take risks, calculated risks, for if you don’t, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Be prepared, Become competent, be confident and win!

How does being a woman has impacted your career? As a single mother of Cuban American descent my family instilled in me the Hispanic-American cultures that if you studied hard and worked my best on what I set my work life that I would succeed as a person!

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