By: Charlene Frizzera
1. What advice would you give to those interested in pursuing a career in government or healthcare?
If you want to learn how influence decision made in healthcare, you need to understand how the government operates, how policies are made, and who are the influencers. There are no textbooks you can read or on line instructions. The knowledge and experience gained are invaluable and unique to each person’s own journey.
2. What have you most enjoyed about working in healthcare?
I loved being able to work with stakeholders to understand the need of the providers of health care and the beneficiaries we served. Being able to go “in the field” and actually visit providers, observe how beneficiaries received health care, and understand all of their needs and concerns was invaluable.
3. What is your favorite hobby or activity that you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love to cook. My interest and passion started when I went to Italy for a cooking class on the Amalfi Coast and I was hooked. It taught me to go to the market and find whatever looks good and cook based on fresh ingredients rather than a recipe.
4. Who in your life has been an influential mentor or inspiration for you?
My first job was a secretarial position. I thought that would be my job forever, until my boss told me to go back to school. He helped me pick classes, get registered, and offered to pay for my first semester. He changed my life.
5. What was your dream job as a child?
As a child, I wanted to be a teacher. I have two younger siblings and I would make them be my students and “teach” a class. I intentionally used “make them” since when we laugh about it today, they are very clear they hated it!
Charlene Frizzera serves as a Senior Advisor at Leavitt Partners. Charlene is an outstanding thought leader with exceptional operational knowledge surrounding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Prior to joining Leavitt Partners, Charlene was acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services where she was responsible for leading the policy and operational aspects of CMS while executing the design and implementation plan for the recently implemented Affordable Care Act.
Charlene’s CMS career includes positions as chief operating officer, deputy chief operating officer, deputy director for the center of medicaid & state operations. Through the years Charlene led the integration of the agency’s programs and policies across components and leading all operational aspects of CMS including budget, information technology and systems, human resources, contracting, administration, and program integrity. She was also able to modernize the information technology infrastructure in CMS, and design and implement an aggressive program for reducing fraud, waste and abuse.
As a well-deserved mark of respect, Charlene received the Presidential Rank Award in 2000 and 2008. This award is received by the top 1 percent of the Senior Executive Service in the country for outstanding leadership.